As you probably remember, Joaquin Phoenix has feelings about awards season.
"I think it's bulls--t," Phoenix said to Elvis Mitchell during an interview last year. "I think it's total, utter bulls--t, 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."
Phoenix later walked back some of those comments -- "I wouldn't have the career that I have if it weren't for the Oscars. I haven't been in a lot of movies that have made a lot of money ... and getting nominated [for 'Gladiator' and 'Walk The Line'] has probably helped my career tremendously," Phoenix said to the Sydney Morning Herald -- a gesture which may helped secure his Oscar nomination for Best Actor at the 85th annual Academy Awards. Not that Phoneix, who starred in "The Master," necessarily thinks he should win an Oscar.
Picking up an award from the London Critics' Circle for Best Actor, Phoenix released a statement expressing both his great thanks, and also a little disbelief that he bested Daniel Day-Lewis.
"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."
Day-Lewis is expected to win his third Oscar at the Oscars on Feb. 24. Along with Phoenix and Day-Lewis, Hugh Jackman ("Les Miserables"), Bradley Cooper ("Silver Linings Playbook") and Denzel Washington ("Flight") were also nominated for Best Actor.
For more on the London Critics' Circle awards, head over to Indiewire's Thompson on Hollywood blog.
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