It always amuses me to ride the wave of chatter about Oscar nominations. Behind every list of supposed snubs is a flawed premise: these trophies are due to individuals for a job well done. If that were true, sunshine would arrive with every snowfall and chocolate would be ruled a food group.
The Oscars are not about merit. Nobody got robbed of anything except maybe political clout. They are about campaigns for merit. If that sounds like a political arena, then you’re getting there.
Joaquin Phoenix may have been a wizard of artistry in The Master but if he didn’t apologize for calling the Oscars the stupidest thing in the whole world he might well have ruined his chance of snagging a nomination. In a much buzzed about article in Interview magazine last fall, Phoenix called it all “total, utter bullshit” and went on to say “I don’t want to be a part of it”.
Except he does, apparently. Harvey Weinstein bankrolled a typically massive campaign for The Master and Phoenix had his part to play. An apology of sorts was due and it arrived just in time. (via Vulture magazine):
But I know that first of all, I wouldn’t have the career that I have if it weren’t for the Oscars. I haven’t been in a lot of movies that have made a lot of money … And getting nominated for a movie has probably helped my career tremendously. But in some ways, it’s the antithesis of what you want to be as an actor. You’re always trying to free yourself of the artifice, which is really difficult.