Tribute to Joaquin Phoenix

Posted 8 years ago by myetvmedia

Joaquin Phoenix is a formidable character actor as well as a musician, producer, director and activist. At 38 he has been acting for 30 years. His career began as a child acting on the streets of LA with his siblings. He called himself “Leaf” then. Nominated 3 times for an Oscar, each time the prize has eluded him. One reason may be that R-rated movies have historically been more difficult to garner Academy approval. In a candid interview with Elvis Mitchell in October 2012, Joaquin, not one for the limelight, expressed some unflattering views on the Academy Awards claiming they were “bullshit”.  He later retracted the statement saying that they were an “important platform for many deserving filmmakers”. He attended the Academy Awards this year as an Oscar nominee. Seth MacFarlane chose to roast him publicly during the 2013 ceremonies not once but twice.

Joaquin Phoenix chooses roles that embody complex, conflicted characters that often have a very unsettling effect on the audience. His personal life has been far more complex than any of the characters he has portrayed, even the mock portrayal of himself in “I’m Still Here”. Phoenix confesses that making “I’m Still Here” was one of the riskiest but most incredible experiences he has had.  He got his big break from Ridley Scott who gave him the opportunity to show the world his abilities as one of the most powerful character actors of this age. Phoenix earned his first Oscar nomination in 2000 for his riveting portrayal of Emperor Commodus, a character based on Lucius Aurelius’ son, in the epic Roman saga ‘Gladiator’.  He lost in 2005 to Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) his costar in “The Master” (2012) for whom he admits he has immense respect.

I don’t give a fuck. I don’t need to look different or do an accent. That’s not what I’m after. I’m after . . . I don’t know exactly what I’m after—it’s just a feeling that I’m chasing and I don’t know what it is. But I think the only way I really get it is by feeling that there’s no real control and that there’s a certain amount of danger.”

Joaquin Phoenix Excerpt from interview with ELVIS MITCHELL INTERVIEW MAGAZINE

The Master had its World Premiere at the 69th Venice International Film Festival where controversy arose when it was awarded the coveted Golden Lion for Best Picture, which then had to be taken away again due to an archaic jury rule. Anderson won best director. Joaquin Phoenix created a stir when he abruptly departed the Red Carpet disappointing the paparazzi. His antics at the press conference were also memorable.

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His incredibly authentic portrayal of Johnny Cash in Walk The Line earned him his second Oscar nomination. Although the Oscar went to his co-star Reese Witherspoon who played June Carter, Phoenix won a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, (2007) for his song recordings inWalk The Line”.

Phoenix was nominated for his third Oscar in 2013 for his role as Freddie Quell in Paul Thomas Anderson’s R-rated “The Master”. The role was mentally and physically demanding but Phoenix brought his extraordinary creativity to the character.  It is unusual for the Academy to give Oscars to R-rated films so the fact that Phoenix did not win was not so surprising. The first R-rated film to win Best Picture was The French Connection (1971). In 1973 The Godfather won 3 Oscars; Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Actor and the recipient Marlon Brando famously did not attendThe Descendants was the only R-rated film to make the cut in 2012 for a Best Picture Oscar Nomination. Hillary Swank won her first Oscar in the R-rated Boys Don’t Cry (1999); and this year Tarantino won his second Oscar for Best ScreenplayDjango Unchained”. His first Oscar was for “Pulp Fiction”, which many felt should have won Best Picture.

-Moira Romano

  

The Master

I'm Still Here

Gladiator

Walk The Line

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