According to Yahoo News, the president "liked the film"

By Adam Carlson and Sean Neumann
November 18, 2019 05:09 PM

Donald Trump treated himself Saturday night to the fictional story of a man so misunderstood and abused by the world that he goes insane in revenge.

The president hosted a White House screening of the Joaquin Phoenix-starring Joker, PEOPLE confirms.

According to Yahoo News, which first reported details of the showing along with CNN, Trump, 73, “liked the film.”

The president — who is the subject of an ongoing impeachment investigation in the House of Representatives after he lobbied Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, though he insists he did nothing wrong — reportedly watched the movie with family, friends and some staff members in the White House screening room.

As IndieWire notes, Trump (though notedly ambivalent about reading), is something of a movie fan: According to IndieWire, he has said his favorite film is Citizen Kane, Orson Welles’ opus about the rise and fall of a media tycoon, while he’s also raved about 1988’s Bloodsport and the 1966 western The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Trump has strong negative opinions, too. Earlier this year, he vented on Twitter about Hollywood’s portrayal of violence in response to The Hunt, a thriller about a group of people being killed for sport. The movie was pulled from theaters after two high-profile mass shootings.

“They create their own violence, and then try to blame others,” Trump tweeted in August, days after a 21-year-old posted an anti-immigration screed online and then killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, according to authorities.

| Credit: Joker (2019) Joaquin Phoenix CR: Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros.

Joker, which traces the origin of the famous Batman villain, has also stirred controversy since hitting theaters in early October: While its box office broke records and Phoenix drew raves for his lead performance, the film’s violence and extreme misanthropy led many critics to revisit discussions on how movies might influence their audience.

(President Trump has faced some of that same criticism himself, given his inflammatory rhetoric and the occasional outbursts of violence at his events.)

Joker is widely seen as an Oscar contender, which would keep it in the pop culture conversation through February.

Some theaters banned fans from wearing costumes to screenings, while the Century Aurora and XD theater in Aurora, Colorado, where a 2012 mass shooting took place during a midnight premiere for The Dark Knight, refused to show the film.