Mike Fleming

Even though Joaquin Phoenix turned in a standout performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, looks like we shouldn’t expect him to be a fixture on the rubber chicken circuit. When Phoenix, who was Oscar-nominated for Walk The Line, was asked by Elvis Mitchell in Interview about the prospect of being put out on the awards circuit again, he responded thusly: “…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. 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.”

Well, Joaquin, when your distributor is Harvey Weinstein, and he won the last two Best Picture Oscars, you will probably have to make the rounds no matter how you feel. You can take solace in the fact it can’t be more uncomfortable than Phoenix’s promotional tour for that mockumentary I’m Still Here. And if Phoenix doesn’t alienate Oscar voters — he sounds a little naive and self-conscious — he has a good shot at winning, particularly if he is in the Best Supporting Actor category.