Why Joaquin Phoenix deserves an Oscar for Joker
Los Angeles, Feb 10: Hollywood star Joaquin Phoenix finally ended his dry run at the Oscars as he picked up the best actor trophy for his performance in and as "Joker" at the 92nd Academy Awards. The 45-year-old actor had earlier bagged a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his turn as a failed, unhinged stand-up comedian who descends into chaos.
An Oscar had eluded Phoenix for the most part of his career, despite his successful collaborations with Ridley Scott ("Gladiator"), James Mangold ("Walk The Line") and Paul Thomas Anderson ("The Master"), all of which had earned him nominations.
But as Arthur Fleck aka The Joker, Phoenix finally managed to break that jinx and became the second actor to win an Oscar for playing the DC comic book villain after the posthumous best-supporting actor win to Heath Ledger in 2008.
As Joker, Phoenix took a deep dive into character, capturing its essence as well as maniacal spirit in both body and soul. He lost 52 pounds to get into the physicality of Fleck and turned to a pathological disorder to get his distinct laughter right. His laughter is spot on for the classic staple of the Joker as a general character, and his dancing in the film is very technical and fun to watch. The way Phoenix change the tone of his voice with the snap of a finger to the way he can use his face superbly to display a full range of emotions is tremendous.
No doubt that Phoenix is a brilliant actor and also a talented person. He goes to incredible lengths to research and embody his roles.
Phoenix had also pretended to walk away from acting and started a music career for 18 long months. He directed music videos, as well as produced films and television shows. He has directed music videos for Ringside, She Wants Revenge, People in Planes, Arckid, Albert Hammond Jr. and Silversun Pickups.
For recording the soundtrack to Walk the Line, he won the Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.
During the comeback portion of his career, Phoenix was often cast in supporting roles as conflicted, insecure characters with a dark side.
Phoenix is a social activist, lending his support to several charities and humanitarian organizations. He is on the board of directors for The Lunchbox Fund, a non-profit organization which provides daily meals to students of township schools in Soweto of South Africa. Phoenix is also known for his animal rights advocacy. He has been a vegan since the age of three and campaigns for PETA and In Defense of Animals.
Phillips wrote the part keeping Phoenix in mind though the actor took some convincing to play the role.
The film had also courted controversies, owing to its theme of gun violence in the movie as well as Phoenix's temperamental press tour that saw him walking out of an interview midway. But critics and the fans loved the actor's riveting turn in the movie and his pointed speeches.
(with PTI inputs)