The bookmakers have Joaquin Phoenix as the second favorite to win the Oscar for Best Actor in February for his stunning turn as a drifter in John Paul Anderson's 'The Master.' Though there may be a problem: he doesn't want it.
Though nominated for two Academy Awards ('Gladiator' and 'Walk the Line'), it seems Phoenix is pretty disillusioned with awards' season and therefore will play no part this time around. When quizzed on his chances of an Oscar by Elvis Mitchell of Interview magazine, the actor unequivocally stated, "I'm just saying that I think it's ... I think it's total, utter ..., 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." The actor called the whole awards process as "totally subjective," which is pretty hard to disagree with, though added, "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." It's certainly difficult to judge Phoenix's subtle performance in Anderson's modest drama, against, say, Daniel Day Lewis' epic turn in Spielberg's blockbuster 'Lincoln', though at the end of the day, the Academy has to opt for what they believe is the best performance of the year - something that doesn't sit well with the 29-year-old.
His remarks put him in the same company as award season' grouches like Woody Allen and Marlon Brando, though Phoenix is unlikely to scoop the prize anyway. Lewis' turn as Abraham Lincoln left bookmakers slashing his odds to just 5/4.