Joker Star Joaquin Phoenix Wins Best Actor at Critics' Choice Awards

Joker star Joaquin Phoenix has been named Best Actor at the Critics' Choice Awards as determined by the Critics Choice Association, typically the most-accurate predictor of Academy Award nominations. Nominees in this category included Phoenix’s Joker co-star Robert De Niro, nominated for his leading role in the Martin Scorsese-directed The Irishman, Leonardo DiCaprio in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Eddie Murphy in Dolemite Is My Name, Adam Driver in Marriage Story, Antonio Banderas in Pain and Glory and Adam Sandler for Uncut Gems. Phoenix's win for his portrayal of failed stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck comes one week after he was awarded Best Actor at 77th Golden Globe Awards.

According to award-tracking website Gold Derby, which pools award predictions from industry trade experts and journalists to determine Oscar odds, Phoenix's chances at an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor currently stand at 10/3. Phoenix tops the list that includes Driver for Marriage Story (19/5), DiCaprio for Hollywood (5/1), Banderas for Pain and Glory (13/2) and Taron Egerton for his role as enduring music superstar Elton John in Rocketman (17/2).

The site also lists Joker writer-director Todd Phillips' odds at a Best Director nomination at 20/1. Phillips was nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes, a prize that ultimately went to 1917 director Sam Mendes. For a Best Picture nomination, Joker stands at 10/1, alongside Hollywood (7/1), Irishman (15/2), Parasite (15/2), 1917 (8/1), Marriage Story (17/2), Jojo Rabbit (19/2), Little Women (23/2), Ford v Ferrari (16/1), and Knives Out (44/1).

Phoenix expressed an issue with the awards circuit when he was "tricked" into appearing before journalists backstage at the Globes, where Phoenix said his approach to the infamous DC Comics character is something he's talked about "for six months." Detailing the "long process" of getting into the mindset of the mentally unwell Arthur, Phoenix admitted his approach to Joker was "quite erratic":

"I didn't attack it linearly. I think I was most curious of the medications he was taking and the effects of those medications," Phoenix said at the Golden Globes. "That led us toward realizing we had to have this wild fluctuation of weight. So that was something I don't think was expected until I kind of dug into understanding the medication and the effects of what he was taking. So that was the beginning."

Phoenix previously stated he didn't want his madman to be "identifiable" by real-world psychologists, explaining he turned to multiple books about "clinical assassins that share a similar personality type to what I ultimately defined Arthur with."

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"I'm not gonna say what they are because I think those people have got enough attention, so I'd rather not mention them by name, the men I studied and based the character on," Phoenix continued. "There's probably so many other things that I just can't remember right now. But I feel like I already answered this question six months ago."

Joker is now available to own on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray.