Joaquin Phoenix: Keep Swinging

Posted by Alia Haddad on October 19, 2012 at 10:22 am

Joaquin Phoenix: Keep Swinging

Did you see that? It was quite easy to miss if you ask me. Just as quickly as it came, it has packed its bags, settled up all its bills, and hurriedly rushed away into some alleyway lit only by a flickering streetlamp, no doubt. The “it” I’m referring to was of course the likeliness of this being the year that Joaquin Phoenix wins his Oscar for his brilliant job in The Master; he surely deserved this coveted award sooner for Walk the Line (and maybe even I’m Still Here), but it was okay, because this year he was going to win it, he just had to. I use past tense however, because now, thanks to Phoenix himself, that likelihood of Oscardom is now a faint memory and in its place lies the type of odds that sarcastically whisper, “Ha, yeah, good luck sucker.”

What did Phoenix do to squash all probable Oscar possibility this year? Well, true to Phoenix fashion, he uttered the truth. And did that truth set him free? Sure, why not, but it simultaneously almost surely crushed what was once a without-a-doubt Oscar win.

While speaking to Elvis Mitchell at Interview, Phoenix said, “I’m just saying that I think it’s bullshit. I think it’s total, utter bullshit, and I don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t believe in it. It’s a carrot, but it’s the worst-tasting carrot I’ve ever tasted in my whole life. I don’t want this carrot. It’s totally subjective. Pitting people against each other…It’s the stupidest thing in the whole world,” he says. “It was one of the most uncomfortable periods of my life when ‘Walk the Line’ was going through all the awards stuff and all that. I never want to have that experience again. I don’t know how to explain it—and it’s not like I’m in this place where I think I’m just above it—but I just don’t ever want to get comfortable with that part of things.”

Well, sure, Joaquin, that’s all but true. But come on, really?! The Hollywood powers that be were just patting themselves on the back after taking a (successful) second chance on you after you made fools of all of them by staging your own two-year breakdown. Just as they started getting comfortable with you, wondering perhaps why they waited so long to bring you back, you say something so alienating, so hostile, so true. Well, true as it may be– no, awards mean hardly anything in terms of actual talent and craft (uhh, The Blind Side?! Case and point)–those are still fighting words Mr. Phoenix. And just when we all thought you were back in the Hollywood game, there you are on the sidelines again.

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