Phoenix starred in four movies released in 2018: In the first, Phoenix portrayed Jesus in Mary Magdalene, written by Helen Edmundson and directed by Garth Davis, opposite Rooney Mara. It was released in the United Kingdom on March 16, 2018 to mixed reviews. The film's original distributor has been the cause of the film's delayed U.S. release. Later, Phoenix starred as Joe, a former FBI agent and Gulf War veteran suffering from PTSD, in the Amazon Studios thriller You Were Never Really Here (2017), written and directed by Lynne Ramsay. The film premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, where it received wide critical acclaim, and won Phoenix the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor. The film began its US release on April 6, 2018. Many critics agreed the performance is one of Phoenix' best to date, with Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times describing it as "the most rivetingly contained" work of his career. In his third feature of the year, Phoenix portrayed quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan in his second feature with director Gus Van Sant, the biopic Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot. The film was released on July 13, 2018 and Phoenix's lead performance received critical acclaim. His last film role of 2018 was as Charlie Sisters in Jacques Audiard's English-language debut, an adaptation of Patrick deWitt's historical novel, The Sisters Brothers. The film was released on September 21, 2018. This same year, he also collaborated with Rooney Mara, Sia, Sadie Sink and Kat von D to narrate Chris Delforce's animal rights documentary Dominion. For his contribution to the documentary, he was granted the 2018 Award of Excellence for Narration by Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards.
Following the comeback of his acting career, Phoenix was often cast in supporting roles as conflicted, insecure characters with a dark side. In 1995, he co-starred in To Die For, as a disturbed young man who is seduced by a woman (Nicole Kidman) to commit murder. Directed by Gus Van Sant, the film was screened out of competition at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival and became a financial and critical success, resulting in a domestic box office total of $21 million. New York Times critic Janet Maslin praised Phoenix's performance, writing "So pity poor Jimmy. Rivetingly played by Mr Phoenix with a raw, anguished expressiveness that makes him an actor to watch for, Jimmy is both tempted and terrified by Suzanne's slick amorality. In that, he speaks for us all."More Info
Phoenix's mockumentary film I'm Still Here (2010) premiered at the 67th Venice International Film Festival on September 6, 2010. The film was directed by Phoenix's then brother-in-law Casey Affleck and was also written by Affleck and Phoenix himself. The film purports to follow the life of Phoenix, from the announcement of his retirement from acting, through his transition into a career as a hip hop artist. Filming officially began on January 16, 2009 at a Las Vegas nightclub. Throughout the filming period, Phoenix remained in character for public appearances, giving many the impression that he was genuinely pursuing a new career. Although widely suspected to be a "mockumentary," the fact that the events of the film had been deliberately staged was not disclosed until after the film had been released. The film received mixed reviews and failed at the box office.More Info
In 2011, it was announced that Phoenix would star in Paul Thomas Anderson's drama film The Master (2012). Phoenix played Freddie Quell, a sex-obsessed alcoholic World War II veteran struggling to adjust to a post-war society. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival where Phoenix won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor. The art house film only grossed $28 million but was received with universal critical acclaim, with the acting performances receiving high praise, especially Phoenix's. Peter Travers of the Rolling Stone gave Phoenix high praise stating "Joaquin Phoenix in the performance of his career. Phoenix wears the role like a second skin; he's a volcano in full eruption. You can't take your eyes off him." His performance was publicly lauded by fellow actors Daniel Day-Lewis, Jessica Chastain and Robert Duvall. Phoenix received his third Academy Award nomination, his second for Best Actor, as well as nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama and BAFTA Award for Best Actor.More Info
Phoenix also starred in M. Night Shyamalan's science fiction thriller Signs (2002). Phoenix plays Merrill Hess, a former Minor League baseball player who, along with his older brother Graham (Mel Gibson), discovers that Earth has been invaded by extraterrestrials. The film was a massive financial success, grossing $408 million on its $72 million budget, and was received with positive reviews. Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers praised Phoenix's performance, writing "Phoenix registers impressively, finding the humor and the pain in this lost boy".More Info
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