Oscars 2020: Joaquin Phoenix's Best Actor Acceptance Speech Moves Todd Phillips to Tears

Joaquin Phoenix left it all out there when he filmed Joker. Todd Phillips has been there the entire way to cheer his star on and the director’s emotions spilled out when the time came for the big night. His performance netted him an Academy Award for Best Actor and he stepped up to the stage to accept his award. Phoenix has not been shy about engaging with environmental issues and inequality in his other awards season speeches. This one was no different, and he just let the statements flow from his heart. While he did get caught up in the emotions of the moment, he came through as heartfelt and bold to the people sitting at home. It was a wild thing to see.

He started out with the statement that, “I do not feel elevated above any of my fellow nominees because we share the same the love of film and this form of expression has given me the most extraordinary life. I don’t know what I’d be without it.”

“I’ve been a scoundrel in my life,” Phoenix added. “I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with. Many of you in this room have given me a second chance.”

Then, he shifted gears to some of the ecological causes that have become a staple of his focus. “We’ve become very disconnected from the natural world,” Phoenix observed. “We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives first we steal the baby and then we take her milk that’s intended for the calf and we put it in our coffee.”

To end things out, he remembered his brother River Phoenix. “When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric, ‘Run to the rescue love and peace will follow.'”

There is no question that Phoenix put forth one heck of a performance in Joker. From the moment that the film debuted at various film festivals, it seemed clear that Warner Bros. had an awards-caliber performance on their hands with this movie. Now, Joker sits in rarefied air, not just with comic book movies, but also in film history.

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