There was a fair amount of excitement about Lynne Ramsay‘s You Were Never Really Here, a violent character study with Joaquin Phoenix, at the end of last May’s Cannes Film Festival. Phoenix won the fest award for Best Actor; Ramsay won for Best Screenplay. It would have made for a more interesting ’17 award season if Amazon Studios had decided to platform it next month in New York and Los Angeles, but nope. It pops limited on 2.23.18, or a little more than a week before the 2018 Oscar telecast.

It would be great if Amazon could offer a couple of screenings sometime in December, allowing those who missed the Cannes debut a chance to catch up.

The film has already opened in France (11.8) and Belgium (11.15); it opens in Spain on Friday, 11.24. I wish I was in Barcelona right now and preparing to catch an opening-day showing.

From Kyle Buchanan’s 5.27 Joaquin Phoenix interview, titled “Joaquin Phoenix Is an Action Hero Now, But He’s Keeping His Belly“: Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here is about a hammer-wielding, battle-scarred war veteran who rescues girls from a sex-trafficking ring, but you’ll know it’s different from a traditional action thriller as soon as star Joaquin Phoenix takes off his shirt.

“In an era where most leading men have awfully similar buff bodies, the 42-year-old Phoenix stands apart: His character is covered in scars, his pecs are hardly Hollywood-chiseled, and while the actor hit the gym every day to build strong arms for the role, he’s still got a notable gut hanging over his waistband. If there’s any six-pack in sight, it’s likely getting cold in the fridge.

“Phoenix is no stranger to rocking a dad bod onscreen, but this is something different — a rough-hewn physique that uses shirtless scenes to tell the story instead of simply serving as a glory moment for an actor’s vanity. Somewhat slimmer and clad in a dress shirt and tie, Phoenix explained to me today at the Cannes Film Festival (where You Were Never Really Here just premiered) how he conceived the character. ‘I thought he should be as big as possible, but I also didn’t want the standard Hollywood body for getting big,’ Phoenix said. ‘He’s somebody who’s mid-life and has kind of fallen off in some ways.’”