Seeing Joaquin Phoenix come up short for the academy awards three times was a devastating thing to see, especially for his fans. However, getting his immense talents finally recognized by the Academy in 2019 for Joker brought a big smile to our faces when we had always seen him lose very deserving awards to other contemporaries. So in light of that, today, we have ranked 10 of his performances that perfectly illustrate his luminous career.
10. Two Lovers (2008). Joaquin’s Leonard was depressed, melancholic, and suicidal. Moreover, the minute nuances he brought out of his character are worthy of praise.
9. To Die For (1995). Young Joaquin’s portrayal of a teenager looked effortless and flawless. Nothing more to say!
8. Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (2018). Boozed-up paraplegic Joaquin didn’t deserve that much appreciation from fans and critics alike, but his chemistry with Jonah Hill made his performance shine even brighter.
7. Walk the Line (2005). Phoenix’s portrayal of legendary country singer Johnny Cash was nothing short of legendary itself. What’s even more impressive is that he sung for his character!
6. Inherent Vice (2014). A convoluted movie but Joaquin’s role as a hippie PI named Doc with those dashing sideburns defined and traversed genres which we didn’t think was possible.
5. Her (2013). Phoenix’s line “Play a melancholy song” perfectly illustrates the bleakness of the digitalized world this movie was set in. His portrayal of Theodore was exceptionally well crafted, with a much deeper meaning that lies beneath the surface that makes us feel things.
4. You Were Never Really Here. A masterful depiction of depression which was made ten times better just because of Phoenix’s portrayal of a morose and suicidal veteran tracking down missing girls for a living with his own demons that followed him everywhere he went.
3. Joker (2019). This movie felt more like a systematic study of an oppressed man who had been failed by society too many times than a comic book movie.
2. Gladiator (2000). Phoenix’s fans who have been following him quite closely for the past two decades still consider this to be his best movie. Any character that makes you hate them is an excellent portrayal of evil.
1. The Master (2012). It’s arguably Phoneix’s and Thomas Anderson’s best movie till date, and people are still not over their snubs in the Oscars. The master is a movie that gets better on every rewatch, and it’s all because of Phoenix’s performance as a lonely soldier who is trying to find his place in the world without trying to leave his own inhibitions after joining a twisted cult.
Joaquin Phoenix is one of the best, if not the best actor working today. His roles inspire us and move us, can’t wait for C’mon C’mon now!