In honor of his birthday being tomorrow, this week I’ll be counting down the top 10 Joaquin Phoenix performances.
10. The Village (2004)
At number 10 is performance as Lucius Hunt, a man who is questioning the elders of his village after a death of someone. This particular film isn’t exactly good, but the true stand out throughout is Phoenix’s performance, being very mischievous and making you question his actions.
9. Hotel Rwanda (2004)
At number 9 is his performance as Jack Daglish. This is a smaller role for Phoenix, but he strongly excels at it. His Character speaks for the worlds view of what is happening at Hotel Rwanda. He as well speaks for the audience at points.
8. Signs (2002)
At number 8 is his performance as Merrill Hess. Phoenix plays a former baseball star that is still dealing with the ending of his career. On top of that his older brother’s wife has passed & there’s something going on in their cornfields. Phoenix plays this character so well and making this character feel so real.
7. I’m Still Here (2010)
At number 7 is his performance as himself in this mockumentary. This performance caught him a lot of attention through his appearance on David Letterman, where he stayed in character throughout the interview. After that interview many people thought that was the actual Joaquin Phoenix, though a few years later he came back on Letterman to confirm that it was a performance.
6. The Immigrant (2013)
At number 6 is his performance as Bruno Weiss. In this film he plays a theater manager who forces a Polish nurse into prostitution. He basically plays a pimp in this film and truly plays a despicable character with little to no heart.
5. Inherent Vice (2014)
At number 5 is his performance as Larry “Doc” Sportello, a PI looking for a missing couple. Phoenix plays the stoner feel very well, as well as playing an out there guy who is taking things day by day. This film also marks the second collaboration between Phoenix and director Paul Thomas Anderson, the first collaboration might be seen later.
4. Gladiator (2000)
At number 4 is his performance as Commodus. This marks the first Oscar nomination, which was much deserved. Phoenix plays a character that is out to control everything and will take out anyone in his way. He plays this weasel of a character to a tee and makes you hate him in such a perfect way.
3. Walk the Line (2005)
At number 3 is his performance as Johnny Cash. This also marks his 2nd Oscar nomination. This is truly one of the best biopics with 2 great performance in it. Phoenix plays Johnny Cash through all his hardships from alcoholism to drug addiction, that tests his marriage. His chemistry with Reese Witherspoon is truly fantastic and feels so real. I also can’t go without giving much praise to Phoenix for doing all the singing and sounding so much like Cash.
2. Her (2013)
At number 2 is his performance as Theodore Twombly. This performance is extremely underrated. Phoenix plays this depressed loner so well its truly remarkable. Throughout the film you feel for Teddy so much and I give all that credit to Phoenix’s performance. I also have to give credit to the amazing Oscar winning screenplay by Spike Jonze, that builds Phoenix’s character so well.
1. The Master (2012)
At number 1 is his performance as Freddie Quell, a sex addict and very mentally hurt man just discharged from the Navy. This is truly one of the best performances of the century so far, likely only behind Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood. Phoenix is truly scary good in this film, The term scary is also very fitting for the character of Freddie Quell. Phoenix is the definition of a loose cannon in this film that will blow at any second. This film is truly full of great performances, but when Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman face off in this film it’s truly a cinematic delight. Phoenix was once again nominated for this role, and the only thing that stood in his way that night was Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance in Lincoln, and as you know Day-Lewis took home the Oscar that year, which was much deserved but there was apart of me that wanted to see Phoenix win.