Joaquin Phoenix on Winning the LFC

Anne Thompson posted the winners of the London Film Critics awards and Joaquin Phoenix does a funny thing there at the end:

“I struggle with the idea of winning awards for acting. Stating I’m Best Actor for something as subjective as film seems strange to me. To the uninitiated it implies I’m solely responsible for the creation and implementation of the character. I am not. I suppose that’s why we thank our colleagues. There are those who you all know such as Paul Thomas Anderson, to whom I am eternally grateful – a man who has persistently searched for the truth. I am fortunate to have been under his guidance. Philip Seymour Hoffman for his patience and advice. Amy Adams for being angry. Megan Ellison and everyone at Annapurna for their support of the film and ensuring that I was able to cover my mortgage. But there are many others who you do not know by name such as Mike Kenna, who I believe was the grip but he did 20 different jobs so I can’t be sure; Adam Somner, the first assistant director; Karen Ramirez in the office; Tommy – I don’t know your last name… there are too many to list. The truth is, you cannot separate my work from their’s. We were a unit bolstered by the same goal: to do our part in helping Paul to achieve his vision. I view this award as recognition of all of our work. I am very cognisant of the fact that for me this award is an encouragement to continue my lifelong passion of being an actor. I will not squander this high regard. P.S. There’s an up-and-coming actor named Daniel who’s in a movie called Lincoln. You should check it out.”

Beyond the Sound Bite: The Joaquin Phoenix We Didn’t See

78 Comments

  1. F.
    January 20, 2013

    I love him and I wish he would win the Oscars, his performance in The Master is so much better than Daniel Day-Lewis’ in Lincoln :(

  2. numil
    January 20, 2013

    He’ll win, trust me.

  3. January 20, 2013

    Best. Speech. Ever.

  4. flor
    January 20, 2013

    Bwahahaha I love him., he is a punk.

  5. Kane
    January 20, 2013

    To everybody I know who called him a pompous, smug ass when he stated how he detested campaigning for awards, read this speech. The man knows what he’s talking about. We always wish people to be modest but when they and speak how they feel we cast them aside and say, “Fuck him/her, we’ll give the award to someone who wants it.”

    Still the best performance of the year…that I’ve seen.

  6. Andrew
    January 20, 2013

    His performance is the best of the year. Politics shouldnt matter but it does. He has shown he doesnt care for the Oscar, there is no way they will give him one

  7. Marie
    January 20, 2013

    Comment

  8. flor
    January 20, 2013

    @Andrew I don’t think he doesn’t ~care~ I think he would be flatter by the win but he acts becuase he likes it and he is in love with the process and not necessarily because he has a huge ego and needs the applause.

  9. Marie
    January 20, 2013

    To F.

    Obviously, even Phoenix doesn’t think he was soooooo much better than Daniel Day-Lewis. DDL was very good in Lincoln (IMO–and I know I am not alone in thinking that way). You are entitled to your opinion, but I do find it ironic that Phoenix’s lovely statement of solidarity with other actors (as well as the technicians, directors, and writers who help any actor produce a good performance) gets turned into yet another statement of backlash against DDL from a Phoenix fan. Doubly ironic, because if any two characters are incomparable in terms of temperment and disposition (and examples of apples and oranges)—they are Freddie Quell and Abraham Lincoln. And no directors are more different than Spielberg and Anderson.

  10. January 20, 2013

    Brilliant!
    A brilliant actor, who makes his job and isn’ in a desesperate run for awards.
    True words, gentle, from the actor who gave the best performance in year, by far.
    Phoenix, if there’s some justice in all this, the Oscar is yours.

  11. VVS
    January 20, 2013

    What an amazing speech. I agree he should win, because he simply gave the best performance this year, if not the best of the past decade.

    Adam Somner is a hard working man. Just worked with him on Wolf of Wall Street, and he pretty much did all the directing on it.

  12. F.
    January 20, 2013

    Marie,

    I thought Daniel Day-Lewis was great in Lincoln, but as I said before, I also think Joaquin Phoenix was even better than him in The Master! Anyway, if DDL wins I would be very happy because I personally think he is one of the greatest living actors, I just wish he loses this time because he won a few years ago (with a much more deserving performance) and now it’s time to let someone else win.

  13. January 20, 2013

    It’s completely umbelievable for me people thinking DDL deserves win a THIRD OSCAR (simply the second greatest winner in all times) over Phoenix’s brilliant and lifetime performance.
    Phoenix deserves this more than anyone.

  14. SallyinChicago
    January 20, 2013

    Nice speech, but he won’t win the Oscars….why? because of his sad looks at the Golden Globe, like he didn’t want to be there. The same for Tommy Lee Jones. They were not having fun, were they?

  15. LPU
    January 20, 2013

    Ha, that’s really really funny.

    Do him and Adams not get along for some reason? I know she was being cutesy at the LA Film Critics Dinner- but her comment about Phoenix seemed like there was something off about their relationship whereas PTA seemed to “get” Phoenix more? Even when she was on Letterman promoting The Master, she was gushing at PSH but had to pause when talking about Phoenix. I only ask b/c a) I can’t imagine ANYONE not getting along with Adams… she seems like the nicest and genuinely kindest person in the industry, not to mention totally down to earth b) Phoenix may be an oddball but again, can’t imagine him not getting along with Adams. Anyway his comment about her being “angry” could totally just be in reference to the fact that Peggy hates Freddie and wants him out- but I just found their relationship off-screen to be a bit tense. Either way, I love both of them and would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see them surprise at the Oscars.

  16. Yvette
    January 20, 2013

    I like Phoenix, but his Freddy Q. is what happens when an actor gets caught up in tics and mannerisms……Even he gives props to DDL. I liked his expression during DDL’s acceptance speech- there seemed to be genuine respect. Marie, its not Phoenix … But the PTA and ‘Joaquin’ fanboys that turn it into some kind of bitchy competition.

  17. VVS
    January 20, 2013

    Yvette

    get caught up in tics and mannerisms? Everything he did was not by choice, as he said many times he tried not to control his acting at all and just let go. More over, everything he did felt appropriate for the character, since he needed to be so bizarre and twisted that you would actually follow him on the journey of trying to get help through something like Scientology…he needed to be bizarre enough for you to be opposed to him getting help from something like a cult.

    Paul Thomas Anderson, himself, said that Phoenix is a far more inventive actor than Daniel Day Lewis

  18. daveinprogress
    January 20, 2013

    I am delighted he is getting some recognition for his ‘masterly’ performance (sorry for the pun). Daniel Day Lewis is getting the lion share of prizes, and Phoenix was dazzlingly good in this role. He is such an inhabitor of his characters. To have actors of such intensity in scenes together like Hoffman and Phonenix was a treat. I doubt he will get the Oscar, but his 3rd nom iterates why he is such a compelling screen presence. I can only imagine what his late older brother would have made of his roles and what might have happened for his own career had he lived. Such talent.

  19. Casey
    January 20, 2013

    Here’s hoping he actually wins the Oscar.

    If they are awarding best of the year it’s Pheonix! (And Riva)

  20. Steve75
    January 20, 2013

    H. Phoenix is one of my favourite actors and I think He should win oscar but this season is very strong in the actor leading role category. He should have been nominated in the last year. And I think also D.D. Lewis’ performance wasn’t great. Denzel Washington and Hugh Jackman were much better in their movies.

  21. matt
    January 20, 2013

    Wow, I hope he wins the Oscar just so he can give a speech. I was just ruminating on the fact that it takes hundreds of people to make a movie and yet so few are actually honored or even really acknowledged. Bravo.

  22. Yvette
    January 20, 2013

    VVS,
    An actor who has no control of their performance walks a fine line between visceral embodiment and self indulgence.
    Again, I like JP, but DDL has a few eons on him. DDL walked a balance beam of nuance, subtlety and characterization. If you don’t get how big his task was … You can’t appreciate it. And if you don’t get it, you probably don’t know enough about Lincoln to register those subtleties …
    If that sounds condescending, it is what it is.
    And PTA compared JP’s concentration to that of DDL ….
    If you can find me the quote about him saying that JP was a ‘more inventive actor than DDL’
    I’d love to read it.
    JP would probably be the first to give props to DDL as DDL would be the first to show respect to JP.
    Dont turn this into some high school bitch fight about who’s ‘cooler’.
    I have issues with some of the ‘joaquin dows something thats’s never been done …EVER!’
    Well, you might have to go back and watch a long line of Deans, Brandos, Clifts, DeNiros, Pacinos, Oldmans and yes… Daniel Day Lewisetc…
    It’s called
    Method and JP did
    not invent it.

  23. VVS
    January 20, 2013

    Unfortunately, Method acting has very little to do with any of the names you mentioned. Brando and Dean were not Method actors…the media loved to affiliate them with Method acting, but it was totally inaccurate.

    It may be in the vein of Brando and Dean but it still surpasses any of their works. When you watch his performance you simply get the feeling that he sets the new standard for what brilliant acting is. He reached a new height with that performance on behalf of ALL actors, and now he IS the new bench mark.

    You think it’s easier to do what Joaquin did compared to what DDL did? You can think that. Anybody that’s acted knows what Joaquin did is damn near impossible. To be holding on to such a high degree of physical characterization, yet not be restrained by it is the whole paradox of the actor. An actor cannot act unless he is totally relaxed. With his body contorted and face screwed up, it should be damn near impossible for Joaquin to act, yet he not only does that he does it brilliantly, displaying complexity and depth. He goes from portraying one truthful powerful array of emotions to going to the complete opposite at the snap of a finger. Even Brando had never done that.

    Being subtle through the characterization is far more easier than not being subtle. When you’re being subtle, you are hiding in naturalism and since most modern film acting is in that style, an audience has no ability to gauge whether an actor is being truthful or not…as long as naturalistic behavior, it will create the illusion of truth. When one acts as big as Joaquin did in THe Master, there is a high risk of breaking the illusion of truth….yet that never happens in the film. Every moment feels justified by the power of Phoenix’s acting.

  24. Dan
    January 20, 2013

    Yvette, just wanted to condescend right back to you. Of all those actors you mentioned at the end, only one of them (Pacino) is technically a Method actor.

  25. Yvette
    January 20, 2013

    They all denied labels, particularly Brando, but owed much to the Stanislavsky ‘method’ philosophy as opposed to merely playing a part. It was all a rejection of the formal tradition of ‘acting’.
    And while Dean only attended a few actual
    Strasberg classes, he adopted much of it’s characteristics as did peers like Landau and Steiger. You can nit pick all you want about who called who what, but my point is that JP is not doing anything that hasn’t been done in film. You can love it and be moved by it, but don’t try and claim he’s delving into uncharted territory by losing himself in his performance.

  26. Marie
    January 20, 2013

    To F.
    I don’t agree that DDL is much better in There Will Be Blood than he is in Lincoln. He’s just different. Playing Plainview allowed Daniel to have a great deal of freedom. Playing Lincoln tethered him to at least some historical accuracies and real-life aocounts of the man.
    To Yvette,
    I agree that playing Lincoln by definition is difficult..and no one has come closer to the descriptions of Lincoln (by his contemporaries) than DDL has. For example, at first, I thought perhaps that DDL hadn’t used enough twang in his accent. And then I read some more about Lincoln’s voice. Only one person (Colonel Shaw–the dude from Glory) ever used the word ‘twang’ in reference to Lincoln and that was to say that Lincoln really didn’t have a twang… Lincoln’s own son said he played up his country accent for affect while speechifying… but that normally his accent was more subtle..(Brilliantly, there is a moment in which DDL actually plays up the twang while telling a story). Lincoln having spent more time in Illinois than in Kentucky and having lived amongst the upper-crusty Todd family, probably had an accent that faded over time. So, the accent he comes up with is a hybrid of standard midwest (illinois) and Southern drawl…Perfect choice. The performance is filled with little historical touches, but he also creates characteristics not described in history books (like his characters’ tendency to pat people affectionately but in an almost too rough and awkward way.).. Another difficulty is showing how seemingly passive lincoln could be but also authoriative at the same time. The Lincoln in Teams of Rivals was quirky, sly, tender, soft-spoken, under-estimated, but yet he still had authority and determination… That’s a tough balance and difficult to make appear seamless. If you overact the intensity or make him too light–it does’t work. Too light–and he’s not convincing as a war president with a great deal of burden. Too serious/depressed–and he’s not convincing as man known for story-telling and jokes.

    To WS,
    Nuance is difficult becuase its about delicate little choices. But I am sure Phoenix’s performance is equally difficult in many ways.

  27. January 20, 2013

    Anne Thompson called his speech weird. I don’t see how it’s weird. It’s gracious and earnest, and well judged considering the response to his recent comments on the awards race.

  28. Dan
    January 21, 2013

    The Method technically only refers to what Strasberg taught, which was a very specific distillation of the Stanislavsky technique. It was a phrase he coined. He was a megalomaniac and famously claimed many famous actors as pupils even when they disavowed ever learning anything from him. Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler, and Bobby Lewis all taught techniques based on Stanislavsky’s approach, too.

    But I agree with you Yvette – while I was blown away by JP’s performance and think it was the best in many years – it’s absurd for anyone to put him on Brando’s level, or Dean’s, or Clift’s. Those guys did it every time out.

  29. January 21, 2013

    @ VVS:

    “To be holding on to such a high degree of physical characterization, yet not be restrained by it is the whole paradox of the actor. An actor cannot act unless he is totally relaxed. With his body contorted and face screwed up, it should be damn near impossible for Joaquin to act, yet he not only does that he does it brilliantly, displaying complexity and depth.”

    Then John Hawkes deserves it… (other than that he got snubbed)

  30. Sammy
    January 21, 2013

    I personally love to see Phoenix winning the Oscar. He truly deserves it. His only obstacle is that his film failed to get a BP nod and DDL has the advantage of being Lincoln. This is really important especially being in the role of an iconic character.

  31. January 21, 2013

    “I like Phoenix, but his Freddy Q. is what happens when an actor gets caught up in tics and mannerisms…”

    “Dont turn this into some high school bitch fight about who’s ‘cooler’.”

    Yvette,
    Please girl, it would be more apropriate tal about DDL fanboys. People who want to see an actor at 55, whit only 5 nominations, winning a 3rd Oscar and being the second recordist, the first
    among males.
    Please…

    WS,
    You are brilliant in every word. Totally brilliant. I’m proud to see so much eloquence. I couldn’t say better. :)

  32. Pablo
    January 21, 2013

    I would truly love an Adrien Brody/Juliette Binoche/Marcia Gay Harden moment at the Oscars and have Meryl Streep call out Joaquin’s name.

    If Daniel Day Lewis wins (which seems pre-ordained at this stage), he will have won his third Oscar on his 5th nomination. Only Walter Brennan managed to do it after fewer nominations (his 4th). And for the record, Ingrid Bergman won her 3rd Oscar on her 6th nomination, Jack Nicholson on his 11th and Meryl on her 17th.

  33. ernyzaz
    January 21, 2013

    guys come on, DDL was amazing, but joaquin completely disapeared so… annyway my heart goes with joaquin, but DDL will get it

  34. Robin Write
    January 21, 2013

    Would be good to see Phoenix win for a movie directed by PTA who directed Day Lewis’ last win…

  35. Robin Write
    January 21, 2013

    Also, on a side note, how do I change my avatar here?

  36. tr
    January 21, 2013

    As good as DDL is, I just don’t believe any actor deserves 3 Oscars, not when there are other performances that are just as great.

  37. Yvette
    January 21, 2013

    Dan,
    ‘Those guys did it all the time’
    That’s all I
    Was trying to say. These DDL detractors have me sounding someone trying to discredit an actor I respect …
    But when I read some of these comments that JP is ‘has brought acting to another phase of evolution…’ Etc…
    I want to scream and wonder how old they are.
    then I think of Clift, who seemed to be carrying around all his characters’
    emotional burden until his entire body was transformed into an expression of whatever that character had become…Or Dean who was so raw… or Brando in Last Tango … DDL in My Left Foot and many others…
    ….enough said. These actors ‘lost themselves’ every single time.

    Marie,
    All those details made DDL’s performance a thing of beauty. He didn’t simply capture the physicalities but conveyed a soulfulness and depth.
    If he will have won for My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood and now Lincoln… It certainly won’t be because of politics ..
    It will be because he is that good.

  38. Lana
    January 21, 2013

    I think ddl and jp are both deserving! End of story.

  39. Ryan Adams
    January 21, 2013

    Robin, register with gravatar.com using the same email address you give when you sign on on here. Whatever gravatar photo you choose will follow you all around the web, attaching itself to that email address.

  40. RJ
    January 21, 2013

    I actually worked with Karen Ramirez in a production office once. It’s great that Joaquin realizes the importance of all jobs on a film production. He’s quite a guy.

  41. Unlikely hood
    January 21, 2013

    Quick! Statistics geniuses!

    We used to talk about David Lean being the only person with consecutive BD/BP Oscar wins – not consecutive years, but consecutive in terms of films Lean made. (less of an issue now that neither Bigelow nor Hooper can match him.)

    But has any director ever directed two consecutive Best Actor winners? Again, not necessarily in years but in terms of said director’s films?

    Cause that’s what a Phoenix win would mean. I’ll bet it’s never happened.

  42. Robert A.
    January 21, 2013

    Unlikely hood: Actually, isn’t that what a Hugh Jackman win would mean as well? Hooper would have directed two consecutive Best Actor winners.

  43. Robert A.
    January 21, 2013

    @ Unlikely Hood:

    Jonathan Demme! The Silence of the Lambs, 1991, Anthony Hopkins. Philadelphia, 1993, Tom Hanks!

  44. Marie
    January 21, 2013

    @Lana

    You are a wise woman…:)

    Wouldn’t it be cool if DDL and Phoenix tied for the Oscar–what a fascinating moment that would make.. It wouldn’t be the first time Day-lewis tied with another actor. He tied with Jack Nicholson in 2003 for the Critics choice award.

  45. Unlikely hood
    January 21, 2013

    Nice one Robert A! In both comments

  46. January 21, 2013

    Demme. Really.
    In supp actress, Master Woody Allen.
    Wiest, Bullets over Broadway, 1995.
    Mira Sorvino, Might Aphodite, 1995.

  47. Lana
    January 21, 2013

    @marie thnx. Both are extremely gifted at what they do, so whomever takes the oscar whether ddl or jp, it will be well deserved period!

  48. Leocdc
    January 21, 2013

    The thing is Oscars are never about the best movie. It’s about the most seen and loved movie or performance. So, there’s no chance he’ll win, not considering the little support for The Master on the rest of the categories. No BD, No Cinematography, No Score and No Best Picture.
    DDL is playing, on the contrary, the most famous president of USA’s history, in a film directed by one of the most recognized directors of all time, and he completely nailed it (Top 3 performance this year, without a doubt). It’s a pre-ordained prize, it’s truth, but it makes sense.

  49. January 21, 2013

    Both performances are worlds apart in terms of technique. In a perfect world, it would be a tie between the two but all signs seem to point at Day-Lewis now. Phoenix certainly didn’t help himself with the lack of enthusiasm for campaigning, but after reading that brilliant speech it seems like he won’t mind it a single bit if Day-Lewis wins it, as he’s just happy to be a part of the mix. With all the accolades he’s won, I don’t think Day-Lewis would mind it one bit if he were upset.

    A greater speech at the Oscars won’t be heard, unless of course something wonderful happens and Phoenix actually wins it. AD is the biggest Lincoln supported on the net it seems, but Phoenix’s work in The Master can’t be denied its power and I don’t think that even Sasha or Ryan would mind that much if Phoenix won (provided that Lincoln take Best Picture of course :))

  50. Zooey
    January 21, 2013

    Yvette,

    Day-Lewis is a very good actor, but not that good.

    And I don’t consider his win for My Left Foot that well-deserved and his win this year (if it happens) will be a shame because it will happen only because Hollywood wants to punish Phoenix who delivered the performance of the year.

    And yes, I don’t agree with him being the winner of 3 Oscars. It took Meryl 29 years to get her third and in between her second and third she had SILKWOOD, A CRY IN THE DARK, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, ADAPTATION and THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA. Any of these is a terrific performance and absolutely deserving of a win. Yet she was denied wins because she would have another shot. Hepburn had to wait decades for her second win. She was ignored for performances like A LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT.

    And then Day-Lewis comes along and wins and if he delivered a performance that’s really way ahead of the others, fine. But with Phoenix nominated and the many snubbed performances I simply don’t buy a third win. If it were an actress and not an actor, people would be looking for another option. You people usually write: “Share the wealth!” but not now. I’m sorry. I like Day-Lewis, but it’s too much. To me he doesn’t deserve to be in that group.

  51. January 21, 2013

    Zooey,
    In all aspects I agree with you.

  52. daveinprogress
    January 21, 2013

    I could not agree less with Zooey’s appraisal of DDL’s win for My Left Foot. It was a spectacular, submerged performance of great skill, of great heart and of great intensity – qualities he imbues all his roles with. It is why he is a 5 time Oscar nominee and in all probability he will get #3 this year.
    That doesn’t detract at all from Joaquin’s performance.

  53. Marie
    January 21, 2013

    @Daveinprogress

    At the risk of sounding like a fanbot…(okay, I am one, but I think for good reason), I will never understand people diminishing DDL’s work in My Left Foot. You are right it is a combination of technique and heart. Upon the third time seeing the film, I noticed something interesting…that when Christy Brown (aka DDL) gets upset his symptoms of cerebral palsy intensify (like he is trying to crawl out of his own crippled body and his body is fighting back)..To me, that’s a wonderful blend of technical and emotional acting. One becomes an extension of the other. DDL in that film manages to show so many different elements of that flawed but charming man. He can be a right bastard one minute and a sweet little boy the next–flirty, angry,funny, defiant, passionate, lonely, indignant, peevish, warm, loving…such a multi-dimensional character (and that character could have easily just been a victim of his condition). Even when he was a jerk (over having been treated like a child by the woman he loves), I never stopped having empathy for him. But all these elements of character are seamlessly blended together and never seem unnatural or anything less than human. Another little touch– Christy at one point teases his mom by taking her hat off with his teeth…I don’t know if that was improvised or not…but those little touches really make this movie. Also, the movie is surprisingly funny and most of that humor comes from Christy Brown. the only flaw in that movie in my opinion is the score. (which is a bit sappy).

  54. Yvette
    January 21, 2013

    Zooey,
    He is that good. And no, that does not mean that Phoenix is not good. But DDL has been at this a few more years and has provided some iconic performances.
    You can aknowledge that and still love Joaquin.
    The two are not mutually exclusive.
    To say that DDL is not ‘that good’ – without any actual critique to back it up other than ‘he doesn’t deserve three’…just cos…. you’re just showing your fangirl devotion.

  55. daveinprogress
    January 21, 2013

    Lovely tribute to DDL’s work in My Left Foot, Marie. The movie and performance clearly left an indelible impression. It is great to read such glowing consideration of the craft.

  56. January 21, 2013

    DDL deserves it this year. Most people, including myself, would recognize transformational acting as award worthy over what many call “subtle”. So if they decided to go with anyone else this year I think it would be a ‘WTF?’ for most people. If DDL’s Lincoln wasn’t this year, I would also favor Phoenix. Even if he looked like a hot mess at the Golden Globes.

  57. steve50
    January 21, 2013

    It’s DDLs year, no question. Phoenix is a fascinating actor and, from his statements above, a pretty classy one, at that. His work is The Master is one of the 3 best male performances this year – Day Lewis, Phoenix, and Lavant went way, way out there and succeeded brilliantly, enough so that you kind of wish the year didn’t have to end with the declaration of a “winner”.

  58. VVS
    January 21, 2013

    Yvette

    Stanislavsky and Method are 2 different things. Stanislavsky himself had laughed at the notion of the American Method when he heard about it through Stella Adler. Brando was taught scene study by Stella Adler, not how to act. Dean learned most of his craft from Michael Chekhov when he came to Hollywood from New York. Clift wasn’t anything special as an actor. He had sensitivity which was a unique trait for a leading man at his time, but his acting was not on par Brando and Dean.

    I still maintain that what Phoenix does surpasses any Brando performance.

  59. Yvette
    January 21, 2013

    ‘Clift wasn’t anything special’
    ‘What Phoenix does surpasses any Brando performance’
    Those are mighty pronouncements VVS…
    But I digress (I don’t have the energy)
    Clift and Brando were most associated with Adler while Dean revered Brando/Clift more than he ever ‘studied’ any technique… And they also owed much to Muni. Truthfully, they each were far too individualistic and independent to claim any one style. I shouldn’t have threw the M-word here… Knowing you would nitpick the term and who studied what. The point is their generation was influenced by a naturalistic, minimalist, visceral approach to performance with elements of Stanislavsky, ‘method’ and what was going on at the Actors Studio…like Newman, Julie Harris, Steiger, Penn, etc…
    But then you have Anna Magnani who blew them all away. And she never stepped foot in the Actors Studio.
    The point being that labels aside, JP did not invent this kind of physical, bleeding-on-camera-for-art approach. I would probably be rooting for JP in another year…even while I found him mannered.
    Because I like rebels.
    But not this year . …
    Because I think DDL gave a transformational performance from the inside out. Something just pours out of him in Lincoln. As Javier Bardem said of him…
    ‘He’s a sculptor of the human spirit’
    And this year, he was at the peak of his powers. JP will have other chances, but this year belongs to Daniel Day Lewis.

  60. Yvette
    January 21, 2013

    And VVS,
    Another point is that some of you act as if DDL is some Hollywood, ass-kissing, industry insider who just gets nominated at random.
    DDL is as iconoclastic, eccentric, anti-establishment and wonderfully, authentically ‘out there’ as you can get and still be accepted. Because he’s that good.
    JP obviously respects him and I’m sure it goes both ways…
    Neither seem motivated by anything other than their own artistic integrity.
    I just don’t get this need to act like DDL is George Clooney (Hollywood Darling) and only JP is the real deal.

  61. Marie
    January 21, 2013

    @Yvette

    Day-lewis has become a little more of a Hollywood insider than he used to be (nothing compared to Clooney, although Clooney did convince him to be part of that Haiti benefit a couple years ago), but his integrity is entirely intact, and when he isn’t promoting films (like any other actor does), he lays low and spends his time in Ireland. He did pull his weight a little recently to get the European premiere of Lincoln to take place in Dublin (attached with an auction and a charity dinner for the building of a Hospice in Wicklow county, Ireland). His mother died a couple years ago and she spent her last day with hospice care (her choice) and he was apparently touched by how sensitive they were, so he became the patron for this charity (after the lady running the charity sent him a birthday card halfheartedly asking him to be patron.) So, while all this Phoenix stuff was going down, DDL was in Ireland raising money for a hospice in a county that doesnt have one. Also, this year, he narrated a documentary about doctors in danger zones in Africa. He sometimes writes for a magazine called Port Magazine. He is a little less eccentric than people think he is, but he certainly isn’t obsessed with hollywood and he certainly marches to his own drum…
    As for those people thinking he gets awards just for showing up, I remind them of Nine (which rightfully he was not nominated for) and The Ballad of Jack and rose (which UNfairly he got absolutely nothing for.) Its a strange film but its a great performance.

  62. Yvette
    January 21, 2013

    Marie,
    True on all points. Although I would add that I think his ‘insider’ status owes more to the respect he earns as an artist than any schmoozing…
    And I didn’t suggest DDL was some weirdo..but definitely someone who ‘marches to the beat of his own drummer’
    He is an original and not someone who ‘plays the game’
    His integrity is solid. I just the sense that because he is so good .. That backlash in inevitable. I just a few comments from some British critics on his performance in Lincoln:
    ‘Predictably brilliant if self-important’
    ‘Funny walk, twinkly eyes and silly beard..’
    These were snarky insults suggesting that they have become jaded.
    Has DDL become so great and respected that some cynics can’t fully appreciate his performances for what they are.
    My point was that DDL was once the young, slightly moody and mysterious actor – like Phoenix fans see their hero…
    Now they seem to see DDL as some ‘predictably brilliant’ actor..
    As if they’re bored with genius.

  63. VVS
    January 22, 2013

    More than anything, thought DDL has become an icon. His reputation and myth precede him, and they interfere with objectivity when it comes to judging his work. Which is what I think is happening here with you. You see more in his Lincoln performance than there is. While a more objective mind would clearly realize that Joaquin’s performance is light years ahead of DDL’s.

    Dean was not as naturalistic as people think. Youtube some of his TV films and you will immediately see just how theatrical he was in his work. Or look at his explosive breakdown in East of Eden, its anything but naturalistic.

    My point was that Joaquin surpassed the heights that were reached by Brando. I thought Heath Ledger did it previously with The Joker, but Joaquin came and pushed through even more.

  64. Mik
    January 22, 2013

    Heath Ledger as The Joker surpassed heights that were reached by Brando? I’ve heard it all now.

  65. Yvette
    January 22, 2013

    ‘His reputation and myth precede him, and they interfere with objectivity when it comes to judging his work. Which is what I think is happening here with you. You see more in his Lincoln performance than there is. While a more objective mind would clearly realize that Joaquin’s performance is light years ahead of DDL’s.’

    VVS,
    I’m simply watching what others are watching and seeing.
    Can I ask your age?
    Because the world seems brand new to you.

  66. Remy
    January 22, 2013

    Guys, there’s no point in arguing over Phoenix’s Oscar chances. If it isn’t Day-Lewis (and that’s a big if), it will be Jackman.

  67. January 22, 2013

    Phoenix is great!
    Day-Lewis is great.
    And Clift greater than them.

    Please…

    Brando-Clift-Dean > Day-Lewis-Phoenix.

  68. Daniel
    January 22, 2013

    “Can I ask your age? Because the world seems brand new to you.”

    Is anyone else curious as to whether or not Yvette is this confrontational in real life? Now, I know the Internet has its limitations with communicating tone and all, but you kind of sound like a beeyotch.

  69. Marie
    January 22, 2013

    TO WS…
    NO offense and I don’t think you meant to be insulting, but the following comments pisses me off…
    “His reputation and myth precede him, and they interfere with objectivity when it comes to judging his work. Which is what I think is happening here with you. You see more in his Lincoln performance than there is. While a more objective mind would clearly realize that Joaquin’s performance is light years ahead of DDL’s.”
    FIrst off, since when is judging performances an objective thing. Its inherently subjective and you bring your emotional and psychological baggage to it just as anyone else does. This is the biggest argument that I have had with Phoenix fans–the idea that if you don’t prefer Phoenix’s performance than you have your head up your ass or you are misguided or politically-motivated etc. That’s insulting. Need I remind you that people are entitled to opinions without being accused of insincerity or self-delusion.

    Also, DDL’s reputation preceeding him is a double-edged sword. When people assume he is a crazy method actor who takes a year to prepare, they diminish the quality of the performance by saying that anyone could pull off that performance if they work that hard at it. Also, since he’s won twice before people are saying he shouldn’t win any more. Would they be saying that if he had never won before in his life? I won’t presume why people think the way they do, but a comment like “he’s won already; let someone else win’ is not an assessment of his performance.

    Objective is wrong word…non-biased or open-minded is more what you meant, I hope anyhow–because there is no objectivity to any of this.

  70. Yvette
    January 22, 2013

    ‘Is anyone else curious as to whether or not Yvette is this confrontational in real life? Now, I know the Internet has its limitations with communicating tone and all, but you kind of sound like a beeyotch.

    I’m flattered that anyone would wonder how I was in real life…
    Lighten up Daniel…we’re all adults. (presumably)
    Is age off-topic? I was honestly curious because I do sense a generational divide in stances in certain bloggers…like a lack of references, historial perspective. For instance, when I read a music review in the Village Voice about Carole King night on American Idol..and the reviewer says that King’s songs are probably not meant for interpretation etc…well….I have to assume he’s probably young.
    And when someone makes the bold statement that Phoenix ‘surpassed the heights that were reached by Brando..’
    I gotta ask why. And age can often factor in….or not….but with no argument as to why he ‘surpassed the heights that were reached by Brando..’

    Again, I gotta ask.
    But thanks for being curious.

  71. Yvette
    January 22, 2013

    Marie,
    I think you nailed it.
    I was just accused of being ‘confrontational’…lol
    I admit I can get condescending when I’m as a loss for understanding or when I come up against a cement block of resistance.
    I react to condescension. Suggesting that people who love Lincoln are just manipulated sheep who just like it because they’re not smart enough to snark at it’s serious subject matter. It’s a serious film, and a serious, reverent and bold performance by DDL – and that’s always going to get some people hating it.
    I’ve stated over and over that I like JP -
    but the Lincoln detractors are not unlike the DDL detractors….
    they seem to truly resent that this film and this actor are getting so much love. Why? Because they’re favorite performance and performer may be getting overshadowed by that acceptance.
    It’s also just plain, ugly backlash. Sasha forshadowed that in a previous piece.
    I knew that Lincoln and DDL, no matter how great, was going to go up against those who resent being expected to admire it. That’s the way it’s always been.

  72. January 22, 2013

    Humm, one moment.
    I don’t know WS age. All I know is I’m 27.
    At Oscar race since the age of 8.
    Am I too young to research and know anything about a powerful performance, like Phoenix gives in The Master? Maybe…
    But there’s no doubt DDL is too young for win a third Oscar… :)

  73. VVS
    January 22, 2013

    I’m 25. I don’t think Age means much. My knowledge puts me an even field with anybody. The phenomena of immortalizing is not exclusive to any aspect of culture. Just as people are reluctant to believe than anybody can be better than Jordan, or that anybody can be better than Ali, or that anybody can be smarter than Einstein, people have deluded themselves through repetition into thinking that no actor can be better than Brando, and more recent, that no actor can be better than Daniel Day Lewis.

    Joaquin Phoenix is that actor. One only has to look at The Master to understand it. Daniel Day Lewis has never reached as high as Phoenix does in this film. Now, if you were to ask me about Joaquin Phoenix 2 years ago, I would have told you “he’s a good actor,” and that’s all.

    But The Master is not the work of a “good actor.” It’s the work of a genius. It’s unlike anything else out there, or anything else that preceded it. What happened to Joaquin Phoenix between today and a few years ago, I have no idea….but it was a quantum leap in acting ability. QUANTUM.

  74. VVS
    January 22, 2013

    By the way, I think Daniel Day Lewis’ performance is amazing. But it just doesnt hold a candle to Joaquin Phoenix.

    If it were up to me, I wouldnt even have any other nominees in the category this year, just to show how far advanced they are compared to everybody else.

    But this statue belongs to Joaquin Phoenix. If Daniel Day Lewis, wins it, so be it…but history will remember Joaquin’s performance over Daniel Day Lewis’s, believe that. One is a revolutionary piece of acting, the other is a masterpiece by a craftsman.

  75. Yvette
    January 22, 2013

    VVS,
    I’m glad at such a young age you have found your ‘genius’. Because that’s what generations have done before you.
    But what does JP do in The Master that surpasses Brando in The Waterfront, Streetcar, and Last Tango…?
    I really want to know…

  76. VVS
    January 22, 2013

    His spontaneity and unpredictability. I think that’s truly the mark of great acting. The ability to improvise (create moments of nuances and subtle character expressions on the spot) in the skin of the character. This is what keeps me on my toes as a viewer, and the only time I can stop seeing an actor’s acting (I can’t follow the story in 90% of films because I’m just too conscious of the process of acting, and so I see what an actor is doing to achieve that performance)

    Now if we were to talk Math, I would explain it this way. the rate which marks Joaquin’s spontaneity in this performance is completely unpredictable, it’s constantly shifting. Where as with Brando, if you have a trained eye and seen a few of his performances, you start to notice that this rhythm/rate is always the same….so as a viewer you can fall into the rhythm of this dance with him and eventually be moving at the same pace as him. With Joaquin in The Master, you can’t catch up. You think you know where he will be in the next second, your brain tries to jump there in anticipation, and he’s gone in a totally different direction.

  77. Yvette
    January 23, 2013

    But admittedly, much of that is subjective..
    I can say the same for the first time I saw Brando in whatever…
    Or Oldman or DayLewis…
    Maybe it’s their reputation that precedes
    them that keeps you from seeing them with new eyes. You already anticipate what they’re going to do because they’ve already done it.
    Or hell… Mickey Rooney in the classic Playhouse 90 production of The Comedian..
    He was electric and unpredictable and on-the-edge reckless.. Anna Magnani was always sublime…and so real you felt like she would burst through your tv screen…
    That’s how I felt the first time I saw these performances…
    VVS,
    I’ve already professed my respect for JP…
    no one can ‘win’ this debate…
    But chances are… if you delve into some past performances you might find other actors – male and female-
    worthy of such praise. It doesn’t stop or end with one performer.
    It continues…and this that torch was passed through DDL for me.

  78. VVS
    January 23, 2013

    I’ve seen just about everything worthy of seeing as far as actors go. This is the peak for me.

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