Master Class

Joaquin Phoenix hits reset on his career, with brilliant results

Weinstein Company LLC

Joaquim Phoenix plays a troubled war veteran in The Master (2012).

The conventional wisdom on Joaquin Phoenix is that his devotion to his work is rivaled in its intensity only by his aversion to promoting it. For the world premiere of his new film, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, at the Venice Film Festival, Phoenix flinched from photographers on the red carpet and, at the movie's press conference, fidgeted, smoked and barely spoke. A week later, at the Toronto Film Festival, he skipped the press conference altogether. It could be argued that, in a metaphysical sense, Phoenix also skipped his infamous promotional engagement on Late Show with David Letterman in February 2009....

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