On Sunday night, Joaquin Phoenix had the pleasure of accepting his first Best Actor Oscars for the leading role of JOKER. This psychological thriller broke all norms of superhero films, and became one of the most unlikely billion-dollar movie in the history of Hollywood.
JOKER also bagged the Golden Lion for Best Film at the 76th Film Festival – the world’s oldest film festival. Joaquin Phoenix also won the Venice Festival’s acting award, after which followed a series of other gloriouos awards like: a Golden Globe, a S BAFTA, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Critic’s Choice Award.
In his acceptance speech at the Oscars, Phoenix gave a very touching and sensitive speech that touched upon animal rights, racism, and his personal ability to grow and change.
“I do not feel elevated above any of my fellow nominees or anyone in this room, because we share the same love, the love of film and this form of expression has given me the most extraordinary I don’t know what I’d be without it,” Phoenix said. “But I think the greatest gift that it has given me, and many of us in this room, is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless“, he said.
After a little more on nature and how human being’s can develop systems of change to benefit all sentient beings, Phoenix spoke a little about his reputation for being difficult to work with on set.
“I’ve been a scoundrel in my life. I’ve been selfish, I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with,” he said. “I’m grateful that so many of you in this room have given me a second chance. And I think that’s when we’re at our best, when we support each other, not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption. That is the best of humanity.”
He then ended his speech, addressing his late brother, River Phoenix:
“When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric, he said, ‘Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow. Thank you.”
Before this Oscars win for his portrayal of Arthur Fleck, a failing stand-up comedian, Joaquin Phoenix had been nominated by the Academy three times – in 2001 for bet supporting actor in Gladiator, twice for best actor for Walk the Line in 2006 and The Master in 2013.
This is the second time an actor who performed the JOKER who’s won an Oscar for the role, the first one being Heath Ledger for his portrayal of the character in The Dark Knight.