The best Joaquin Phoenix movies
Within the great variety of actors and actresses that exist in Hollywood, there is a group of names that stands out for their superb performances. With different styles and acting schools, these performers have materialized stories and given life to memorable characters that have left a significant trace in popular culture and Joaquin Phoenix is one of them.
Joaquin Phoenix began his career at an early age, along with his brother, River Phoenix, and became one of the most respected actors in contemporary film industry. With over 30 films in his filmography as an actor, his interpretation of the evil Commodus in Gladiator (Ridley Scott, 2000) and his subsequent Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor, were the inflection points that catapulted him to fame. Since then, Joaquin Phoenix has demonstrated a on growing acting excellence in each new film.
His approaches to acting tend to vary according to the project, but the principles of the technique known as Method Acting usually have a lot of influence in his proposals. The characters he plays are usually lonely and withdrawn individuals, and his search as an actor seems to be aimed at exploring the confines of the human mind and behavior.
In celebration of the success of his most recent film, Joker (Todd Phillips, 2019), we talk about the best Joaquin Phoenix movies in MFC Playlist.
5. I’m Still Here (Casey Affleck, 2010)
I’m Still Here is a fake documentary co-written by the director Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix himself. The shooting of this movie was publicly treated as a documentary that followed Joaquin Phoenix after announcing his retirement from acting to pursue a career as a Hip-Hop artist.
For a whole year, Joaquin Phoenix adopted an unclean appearance and erratic behavior that worried his followers and the entire film industry.
Although at first everyone thought that the actor had lost his mind, it turned out to be one of the most challenging and exciting interpretations of the decade. The film explores the status of celebrities as public figures, the belief that reality shows portray true events and the influence that media have on the opinions and perspectives of their audiences.
4. You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2018)
You Were Never Really Here is a thriller written and directed by Lynne Ramsay. Joaquin Phoenix plays Joe, a hired killer with PTSD who has to rescue a young victim of human trafficking induced to commercial sex.
The film shows a rawer and more realistic version of the revenge stories common in action movies, but focusing especially on the consequences of these violent actions on the fragile mind of their characters. An unfinished version of You Were Never Really Here was released at the 70th Cannes Film Festival in 2017, where the film received a seven-minute standing ovation and Joaquin Phoenix won the award for best actor.
3. Her (Spike Jonze, 2013)
Her is written and directed by Spike Jonze, in his debut as a screenwriter. Joaquin Phoenix personifies Theodore, a melancholic man who develops a strong emotional relationship with a robot that has artificial intelligence called Samantha, played by Scarlett Johansson.
In addition to its great story and powerful performances, Her stands out for its colorful and original production design. The construction of a futuristic city and the use of unusual color palettes resulted in a film full of beautiful shots and a fresh atmosphere. In the Academy Awards of 2014, the film was nominated in the categories of best film, best soundtrack and best production design, and won the award for best original screenplay.
2. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
The Master is a drama written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the acclaimed director of There Will Be Blood (2007). In the main roles are Joaquin Phoenix as Freddie Quell, an alcoholic man who is lost in life, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd, the leader of a pseudoscientific sect that welcomes Quell and introduces him to its belief system.
The film deals with themes such as fanaticism and the exercise of power, and the story is strongly inspired by the life of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the belief system known as Scientology, where it is claimed that people’s traumas can be treated by regressions to past lives. The Master was nominated for 3 Academy Awards in the categories of best actor for Joaquin Phoenix, best supporting actor for Philip Seymour Hoffman and best supporting actress for Amy Adams.
1. Joker (Todd Phillips, 2019)
Directed by Todd Phillips, Joker is the most recent demonstration of Joaquin Phoenix‘s artistic strengths. The film follows Arthur Fleck, played by Phoenix, and his transformation into the Joker, one of the most popular villains from comics. With a small budget of $55 million, Joker already reached the $1 billion mark at the global box office, which makes it one of the most profitable films in history.
Thanks to the incredible performance made by Joaquin Phoenix, the film allows us to take a look at the disturbed mind of the Joker and the reasons that led him to become a murderer. Joker is a scary but realistic film, and Phoenix‘s performance will become a reference not just for the character’s fans, but also for anyone who is interested in acting as an artistic discipline.