Joaquin Phoenix calls the Academy Awards "utter bullsh*t"
Let's jump back in time a little bit. A couple of years ago Joaquin Phoenix took a very public hiatus from Hollywood to indulge his weirdest hip-hop fantasies, while at the same time jabbing at the celebrity elite with his mockumentary I'm Still Here. While we all(myself included) justifiably laughed at his antics, it was clear the film was Phoenix resetting the course of his acting career. When he'd return to Hollywood, he'd do things his own way or not at all.
Whether you accepted The Master as the masterpiece many people do, I think we can all agree that Phoenix's performance as Freddie Quell is certainly Oscar-worthy. Phoenix has been down this road before, having been nominated for Walk the Line(losing out to Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Gladiator, and according to him it's an experience he never wants to go through again. When asked about his Oscar hopes for The Master, Phoenix made it clear that he doesn't have any, and damn sure doesn't want the Academy's consideration. Here's what he told Interview....
Phoenix: "I'm just saying that I think it's bullshit. I think it's total, utter bullshit, 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."
Clearly, his previous experiences informed a lot of the animosity he has towards the process now, and he talks about that further...
Phoenix: "It was one of the most uncomfortable periods of my life when 'Walk the Line' was going through all the awards stuff and all that. I never want to have that experience again. I don't know how to explain it—and it's not like I'm in this place where I think I'm just above it—but I just don't ever want to get comfortable with that part of things."
He's not wrong about any of this, by the way. We can all agree that the Oscars are only partially about performance and the rest about who plays the political game the best. It's a horse race, and whoever shakes the most hands and spreads the most money around is probably going to win.
This doesn't mean Phoenix won't get nominated. It'd be too transparent if the Academy left him off the ballot now. They'll just find a way for Phoenix not to win. At least that's my opinion on it.