(picture courtesy : Google images)
First the movie. Then his speech. Both remarkable in their own ways.
The one thing that was clear from Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar acceptance speech was that he is a man of compassion. And why not? The odds he went through in life, the death of his brother River Phoenix, his fight with alcoholism and anxiety, the point when he had almost given up acting.
His idea of 'fight against injustice' was the most impressive takeaway from his speech. Phoenix's example of forceful artificial insemination of cows and then using her milk and calf for selfish human needs is one of the most insightful things someone has spoken on a big stage in a very long time. The same notion of 'fight against injustice' alluding to environmental degradation and man's exploitation of resources brings to mind Leonardo DiCaprio's ‘not taking the planet for granted' speech during his Oscar acceptance a few years back.
Phoenix completed his speech on an emotional note as he read out a line from a poem his brother River had once written. He literally choked on it. It seemed that the actor had more to say, but somehow the emotions were too high to allow him.
All in all, it was an evening for Phoenix and his fans to cherish.
An absolute justice done.
But the fact still remains that few of Phoenix's previous acts in movies like The Master, Gladiator went under the radar of the Academy.
The Academy Awards are no measuring rod for acting prowess of brilliant artists. Ralph Fiennes hasn't won an award yet. Same goes with others talents like James Mac Avoy, Willem Dafoe, Naomi Watts, Glenn Close.
The world is full of talented artists which the Academy has frequently failed to notice.