Meryl Streep, Joaquin Phoenix win Toronto Film Festival's first Actor Awards
UPDATE: Joker star Joaquin Phoenix has already won his first 2019 awards season honor.
In addition to the previously announced honorees Meryl Streep and Roger Ebert Director Award recipient Taika Waititi, the three-time Oscar-nominated actor will receive the Toronto International Film Festival‘s TIFF Tribute Actor Award for his nearly 40-year career of starring in everything from major blockbusters (Gladiator, Signs) to prestige, critically lauded awards players (Walk the Line, The Master).
“Displaying both raw instinct and consummate technical skill, Joaquin Phoenix is the complete actor, and one of the finest in contemporary cinema,” TIFF co-head Cameron Bailey said of the actor in a press statement. “Over three decades, he has brought a piercing truth to each groundbreaking role. TIFF is thrilled to be celebrating an artist of his calibre with this inaugural award. We can’t wait for Festival audiences to experience his electric turn in Joker .”
The Todd Phillips-directed origin story, due for release on Oct. 4, is based on the titular DC Comics villain originally from the Batman franchise, and co-stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Frances Conroy. It is set to world-premiere at the 2019 Venice Film Festival before bowing at TIFF in September.
The festival further announced legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins — who amassed 14 Oscar nominations before winning his first in 2018 — will receive the new Variety Artisan Award for distinguished technical achievements in the film industry.
Across his 44-year career lensing movies, Deakins has worked with directors ranging from Angelina Jolie (Unbroken) and the Coen brothers (No Country for Old Men, Fargo, True Grit) to Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind) and Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road).
EARLIER: Meryl Streep will add yet another industry accolade to her crowded mantel.
The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival announced Friday the three-time Oscar-winning actress is set to receive the annual cinema event’s first TIFF Tribute Acting Award, which will be presented at the inaugural TIFF Tribute Gala on Sept. 9 at the Canadian city’s Fairmont Royal York hotel.
According to a press release, TIFF hopes the new annual ceremony will serve as a significant fundraiser to support its year-round film initiatives while also honoring the prominent industry influencers.
Streep will be on hand to accept the award, which coincides with the North American, TIFF-hosted premiere of her new film, Steven Soderbergh’s Panama Papers comedy The Laundromat. Earlier this week, the project — also starring Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas — was announced among the first round of new titles joining the festival lineup, which also includes likely Oscar contenders such as Marielle Heller’s Mister Rogers-centric drama A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Adam Sandler’s Uncut Gems, Netflix’s Noah Baumbach-directed marital drama Marriage Story (starring Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, and Laura Dern), and Kasi Lemmons’ Harriet, a historical drama about the life of abolitionist Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo).
In addition to The Laundromat, Streep’s recent career includes celebrated roles in film and TV projects like Big Little Lies, Into the Woods, and The Post, which earned the 70-year-old actress her record-setting 21st Oscar nomination in 2018. Across the last 40 years, she has amassed 31 Golden Globe nominations, winning eight, while her filmography has grossed a collective $2.4 billion at the domestic box office.
“Meryl Streep is undoubtedly one of the most talented and versatile actors of her generation,” said TIFF co-head, Joana Vicente, in a press statement. “Her tremendous contribution to cinema, television, and the stage spans five decades; from her early roles in The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs. Kramer, and Sophie’s Choice to later films including The Devil Wears Prada, The Iron Lady, and The Post, she has portrayed characters that are as compelling as they are timeless. TIFF could not be more thrilled to honor such a skilled and exemplary artist.”
As previously announced, the TIFF Impact Award will go to Participant Media at the Gala. An additional TIFF Tribute Acting Award recipient will announced in the weeks ahead, along with an honoree for the Mary Pickford Award for emerging female talent.
TIFF 2019 runs from Sept. 5-15, with ticketing information available here. Check out the first round of titles joining the annual festival’s lineup here, and check back on EW.com in the weeks ahead for future additions to the event’s program.