Joaquin Phoenix Birthday Special: 7 Movies of the Hollywood Star You Should Watch If You Loved His Oscar-Winning Turn in Joker

Sreeju Sudhakaran
·4-min read

Joaquin Phoenix finally got the Academy Award recognition he has been deserving for years, after he won the Best Actor award for Joker earlier this year. While the DC spinoff film has strangely aged not that well within a matter of few months, what with its very close semblance to Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, there is hardly any doubt that the entire film is anchored by Joaquin Phoenix's strong performance. But on the occasion of the actor's 46th birthday, let's look at some other movies of his that's worth a watch or re-watch. Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara Welcome Baby Boy, Name Him After the Actor's Late Brother River Phoenix.

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Joaquin is younger brother of the late River Phoenix, a talented young actor of Stand By Me and My Own Private Idaho, who passed away tragically at the age of 23 in 1993. Like his elder brother, Joaquin also begin his career as a child actor before transitioning into adult roles. His star-making turn came by playing the antagonist in the 2000 film Gladiator, for which he got his for Academy nomination. Joaquin was part of popular films like Signs, The Village, Hotel Rwanda, Quills, We Own the Night, The Master, Her, Inherent Vice, Mary Magdalene, and the recent Joker.

While everyone has their favourite Joaquin Phoenix movies, here are seven of ours, not including Joker.

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To Die For

Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/Shutterstock (790382no) Joaquin Phoenix in To Die For GTV Archive

One of Joaquin's early adult roles, he plays a student who falls for his seductive teacher's flirtations and gets trapped in her schemings. While Phoenix does good in the role, To Die For is to be watched for Nicole Kidman's saucy performance as the criminal with drop-dead gorgeous looks.

Gladiator

Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator

Ridley Scott's historical drama is remember for its gladiator battles, Russell Crowe's Oscar winning turn as the tragic hero and Phoenix giving an excellent performance as the antagonist. As the devious Commodus, who has an unhealthy fascination for his sister, Phoenix's character is appropriately deranged and dislikeable, and often threatens to steal the show from Crowe. Oscars 2020: How Joaquin Phoenix Paid Tribute to His Late Brother River Phoenix in His Emotional Oscar Acceptance Speech (Watch Video).

Walk The Line

Joaquin Phoenix in Walk The Line

In James Mangold's biopic made on singer Johnny Cash, Phoenix took on the lead role portraying the tumultuous life of the controversial artiste, earning an Oscar nomination in the process. Also watch out for Reese Witherspoon, who plays Cash's second wife June Carter and won the Academy Award for the Best Actress.

The Master

Joaquin Phoenix in The Master

Paul Thomas Anderson takes on cults and their enigmatic leaders in The Master, that benefits from the brilliant performances of its three lead actors - Phoenix, Amy Adams and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Phoenix plays a WWII vet who becomes part of a religious cult headed by Hoffman's character, where he tries to get rid of his sexual frustrations. All the three actors earned Oscar nominations for this one.

The Immigrant

Joaquin Phoenix in The Immigrant

Joaquin Phoenix is often excellent when he has to portray characters with grey shades, which is again evident in this underrated drama. Phoenix plays a Jewish pimp, who is selfish, shrewd and basically dislikeable but still doesn't come across as completely hateable. Also wonderful performances from Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner.

Her

Joaquin Phoenix in Her

Her, directed by Spike Jonze, is one of the best romantic dramas of this century, and perhaps a story of where we are heading towards. Phoenix is fantastic as the loner seeking solace in his helpful AI, skilfully voiced by Scarlett Johansson. The supporting cast is also interesting with the likes of Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Chris Pratt. Spike Jonze Birthday Special: 10 Beautiful Quotes from His Movies That Will Leave You Deep in Thought.

Inherent Vice

Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice

Another Paul Thomas Anderson film in this list. Inherent Vice is perhaps his most eccentric work, where Phoenix plays a PI who lives up to the tone of the movie. Inherent Vice, despite its zany premise, is not a very easy movie to watch, since not everything is clearly explained to us. Which is also what makes it fun. The movie also features an ensemble cast in Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Eric Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro, Jena Malone, Maya Rudolph, Michael K Williams and Martin Short.