Joaquin Phoenix will be presented the Chairman’s Award for his performance in Joker at the 31st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival’s annual Film Awards Gala. The award will be presented by Joker co-writer/director/producer Todd Phillips.
The event, presented by American Express, sponsored by AT&T and Entertainment Tonight and hosted by Mary Hart, is scheduled for Jan. 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival runs January 2-13, 2020.
“Joaquin Phoenix mesmerizes audiences in Joker with a performance that elicits empathy and reminds society on the whole that we can be better,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner.
Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award include last year’s Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actress, Regina King, along with Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, George Clooney, Richard Gere, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. Phoenix joins this year’s previously announced honoree Renée Zellweger.
Directed, co-written and produced by Phillips, the Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative film is an origin story infused with, but distinctly outside, the character’s more traditional mythologies. Phillips’ exploration follows Arthur Fleck, a Gotham City man longing for any light to shine on him, who tries his hand as a stand-up comic but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty and, ultimately, betrayal, Fleck makes one bad decision after another that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty, allegorical character study.
Phoenix is a three-time Academy Award-nominated actor who earned his first Oscar nod in 2000, for Best Supporting Actor in Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning Best Picture, Gladiator. Phoenix received his second Oscar nomination, for Best Actor, in 2006 as legendary singer-songwriter Johnny Cash in James Mangold’s biopic Walk the Line.
“Joaquin Phoenix mesmerizes audiences in Joker with a performance that elicits empathy and reminds society on the whole that we can be better.”
For his performance, he also won the Golden Globe as Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, as well as nominations for BAFTA, SAG, BFCA and Chicago Film Critics’ awards. He received his third Oscar nod, for Best Actor, for his work in the Paul Thomas Anderson film The Master. Phoenix also earned the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.
More recently, Phoenix was awarded Best Actor at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival for his role in the Lynne Ramsay-directed feature You Were Never Really Here, and starred in Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, both for Amazon. His additional film credits include Her, Inherent Vice, Irrational Man, 8mm, The Village, Hotel Rwanda, We Own the Night, The Immigrant, U-Turn, Inventing the Abbotts, To Die For, and Parenthood.