Following the Joker world premiere at the Venice Film Festival over the weekend, Joaquin Phoenix is now officially a contender for Best Actor Oscar. Up to this point, which is early, but not as early as you think considering the Oscars are at the beginning of February in 2020 which shortens the season, experts had Antonio Banderas as a frontrunner for his performance in Pain and Glory. 

Joaquin received an eight minute standing ovation in Venice and now he’s not only in the race, he’s surged to the front. It’s only September right now but the way they’re talking, it would be a historic snub if Joaquin isn’t nominated. Sarah and I are seeing it next week, and I have no doubt that he’ll be great, as he always is. I just don’t know why we have to pretend that this is surprising. The moment it was announced that he’d been cast as the Joker it was like…oh, yeah, of course. What WOULD be a surprise is if he was cast as Mr Rogers. I would watch the sh-t out of that movie. But Joaquin Phoenix playing an outcast whose rejection becomes his pain becomes his poison? This is the road we’ve been travelling. 

You know what would/will be refreshing though? The Joaquin Phoenix Oscar campaign. He’s been nominated three times before for Gladiator (probably my favourite JP performance – he was Joffrey Baratheon before Joffrey Baratheon), Walk the Line, and The Master and seemed to actively NOT want to win. This time though? It’s not like he wouldn’t know what the studio is hoping for, being that this is ostensibly a super antihero story and they’ve decided to present it at a film festival, and yet his body language, at least on Photo Assumption, looks …not as reluctant as it’s been before? 

Joaquin Phoenix will never be the thirstiest on the campaign circuit, but just the fact that he’d be willing to be there will be an asset. He certainly doesn’t look like he hates it when Rooney Mara is proud: 

Check them out, Hollywood’s First Couple of Aloof, letting their love be captured on camera: 


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Hello Oscar, here they come.