Joaquin Phoenix Calls Awards 'Bullshit' So Will He Get Nominated?
If you haven't seen Paul Thomas Anderson's film The Master yet, you're missing out on some spectacular cinema with Oscar caliber performances by Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. But it's not the awards that matter, at least when if Phoenix has something to say about it. In fact, the actor has some pretty harsh words for the awards circuit altogether. In speaking with Interview (via Screen Crush), Phoenix recollects the days when he had to run the awards campaign gamut for Walk the Line, and it's definitely not one of his happier moments, despite the fact he was nominated for an Oscar.
The entire interview, conducted by Elvis Mitchell, is pretty damn great (read it here), but we're just going to focus on the awards talk. Phoenix very bluntly and nonchalantly said:
"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. 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."
Phoenix doesn't say it very eloquently, but he has a point. The Academy Awards is just one big masturbatory night for Hollywood, but no one really wants to be there (and don't get me started on the Golden Globes). It's almost impossible to pit certain kinds of films and performances against another. The other problem is all of the hoops stars have to jump through just to be in consideration. There's campaigning and ridiculous politics and sometimes because of that the best performances and films don't even win, and they might not even be nominated. It's clear Phoenix doesn't like that aspect of awards, but I'm willing to bet he'd still be honored if his peers decided that he gave the best performance on screen in 2012.
But that brings us to the question of whether or not he'll even be nominated now. Making a statement like this won't definitively ruin his chances, but it certainly won't improve them. Phoenix deserves a nomination, and if he doesn't get one, it'll be hard to explain why. Obviously we haven't seen all of this year's performances, but it's hard to think that his turn in The Master won't be considered one of the best. Of course, we'll be keeping our eye on the awards buzz this winter and look forward to seeing where Phoenix lands when the Oscar nominations are announced on January 15th, 2013. Your thoughts?