The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been kinder through the years to Joaquin Phoenix than the Academy Awards voters have. While the former child star has been nominated three times for an Oscar for his performances in 2000’s historical epic “The Gladiator,” 2005’s musical biopic “Walk the Line” and 2012’s religious cult drama “The Master,” he has yet to take home a little gold man.
But the international journalists who decide who wins the Golden Globes nominated Phoenix for those efforts as well as two comedic roles in 2013’s “Her” and 2014’s “Inherent Vice.” This year, he is once again caught in the heat of competition as the favorite to win Best Film Drama Actor, according to Gold Derby’s combined user odds for his incredibly committed, sympathetic and disturbing interpretation of Batman’s smirking arch nemesis in the comic-book-inspired summer blockbuster “Joker.”
Phoenix would take home his lone Globe for his portrait of the Man in Black, otherwise known as country legend Johnny Cash, someone who also had his share of personal demons to battle. The actor pulled off his singing duties with elan and captured the musician’s uniquely masculine panache on stage. John Travolta was recruited to be a presenter for the category at the 63rd Golden Globes category. Phoenix’s competition? Pierce Brosnan (“The Matador”), Jeff Daniels (“The Squid and the Whale”), Johnny Depp (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”), Nathan Lane (The Producers”) and Cillian Murphy (“Breakfast on Pluto”).
“Thank you very much. Who would ever had thought I would win in the comedy or musical category,” he said with a Joker-like grin as the attendees laughed. “I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this very much,” he said with great sincerity. “And, of course, John and June (Carter Cash) for sharing their life with all of us.”
He also graciously saluted all the actors in the film and musicians as well as music producer T-Bone Burnett and film producers James Keech and Cathy Konrad. Then he gave a shout-out to his director, James Mangold, while looking at his new shiny token, saying, “Half of this is for you. You were amazing through this entire process and I leaned on you constantly. I appreciate all your hard work.”
Apparently, the Globes gang were quite fond of “Walk the Line,” since they also picked Phoenix’s co-star Reese Witherspoon as Best Actress in a musical or comedy for her role as June. “Walk the Line” itself would also walk away as the Best Musical or Comedy Film winner.
If Phoenix does triumph on Sunday, January 5, when the 77th annual Golden Globes airs live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on NBC, let’s see if he cribs from his first speech and says,”Thank you very much. Who would ever had thought I would win for playing a comic-book character?”
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