Thursday, 21 February 2013

Best Leading Actor 2012: Joaquin Phoenix - The Master

This year we had two alcoholics between best leading actor's Oscar nominations. The first one, Denzel Washington for his performance in Robert Zemeckis's film Flight, didn't show the alcoholism very well. He didn't seem drunk, even in the scenes he should and was very forgettable. Another one is Joaquin Phoenix for his performance in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master. Did he handle his alcoholic character better than Washington?
Yes, he did. But it doesn't mean his performance was flawless. Not at all, but his performance was much better better and if nothing else he made it at least interesting. Just like the whole film, it's love it, or hate it. In fact, Phoenix's performance reminded me of Jennifer Lawrence's performance in Silver Linings Playbook. It wasn't very realistic, both of the actors were overacting, but they're both very iconic and in about ten years, they'll be considered as an Oscar-worthy masterpiece (kind of Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, or by me so many times mentioned Diane Keaton in Annie Hall).
I have to say I enjoyed Joaquin's performance. But I can't pretend I don't see the fact he wasn't very realistic, nor believable. He has the opposite problem than Washington has, actually. While Washington didn't seem drunk when he should, Phoenix seemed drunk when he shouldn't. It seemed to me as if he was drunk throughout the whole film, in every single scene, without an exception. And I doubt if he should do that.
But no matter he wasn't realistic, if he was enjoyable. And he was. His scenes with Philip Seymour Hoffman are really great. His best scene is also with Hoffman and that's the one, in which he is forced to not twinkle. He was very powerful in these scenes. Also his scenes at the beginning are perfect. But then in the end he tends to be really over the top.
The chances of winning an Oscar: After all he said about the Oscars they're very low. I think that this time the alcoholics are at the bottom of the list...

1 comment:

  1. Well I don't think he played him drunk all the time but rather Freddie is a man always in a daze. Later in the film he shows a bit more of a sober Freddie, even if he has not fully escaped that daze. Anyway I thought it is a brilliant performance, that is not exactly "realistic" but more of a stylized performance done in the scope of realism in the vein of the young Marlon Brando or even more so Montgomery Clift.