Freddie Quell is one time US soldier who fought valiantly during World War II, someone who came home with a medal or two, a ferocious case of post-traumatic stress and a deep rooted desire for something new and life affirming. Freddie is of course the character Joaquin Phoenix plays in Paul Thomas Anderson's epic drama The Master and has been gaining Phoenix the kind of praise that many thought he would leave him behind after the actor's supposed breakdown and semi retirement.
Following on from his turn in 2010's I'm Not Here, a mockumentary of sorts that saw the actor, being followed by Casey Affleck and his camera, make his transition from multiple Academy Award nominated actor to hip-hop star, the actor was cast away from the limelight for some time. With The Master, Phoenix isn't just back, he's proved that like all great actors he was never going to make his comeback in a half-hearted manner.
Both the Phoenix and the film itself have been gaining nearly universal praise from critics and audiences alike, with Phoenix picking up the award for Best Actor, a merit he shared with his co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman, at this years Venice Film Festival. With Oscar season still months away Phoenix is already favourite to take the coveted statue home with him come the end of February, whether he wins the prize is yet to be seen.