There are two ways to see this ‘constructed’ documentary: Its either a kick-ass documentary about the very sad-all-systems breakdown of the once-brilliant actor Joaquin Phoenix or its a total hoax from a dude who went so far into extreme method acting (hence known as the new phoenician method…) that he kind of lost himself in the process with the help, of course, of his brother-in-law, Director Casey Affleck.
Either way, it’s hard for me to not think that they are either both insane or just became convinced that they needed to up the ante in this whole documentary filmmaking business…
Either way, I doubt if anyone really cares. And I am not sure how much it helps, hoax or not, to come across as a stupid, overweight, coke-snorting, beer-drinking, pot-smoking, whore-procuring lout who is mean to his employees, delusional about making it as a rapper and whose best days are already behind him while only in his 30’s.
Whether is a true depiction of a loco former actor or not – I’m Still Here is one of the most disturbing documentaries of the year…and yes, the documentary could look and sound better. But I’m not about to hang I’m Still Here on the production values altar…because I guess that when you are following a mad man around, you really cannot worry about lighting and sound… And whatever we lose in production values we get back in some classic scenes involving the build-up and eventual meeting with no other than P. Diddy…these scenes are nothing short of hilarious.
I guess one of the trademarks of a kick-ass documentary is to elicit an emotional response (mostly outrage) about something that is happening or has happened… But mostly, I found myself feeling outrage towards Joaquin Phoenix.
Is this dude for real? And what is the point of this exercise anyway? On the one hand, if Phoenix has really gone off the reservation and decided to drown himself in a filthy sea of sycophants, vomit, cocaine, pot, alcohol, prostitutes and assistants who shit on your head, I’m not sure why I need to see this or know this.
If, on the other hand, Phoenix and Affleck (who is married to his sister Summer) cooked this raw egg together and came up with the idea of this ‘ultimate’ method acting exercise, then they are more megalomaniac than all of Hollywood combined.
And this is saying everything. Hey, yo, JP, Joaquin, Leaf, or whatever you call yourself now, we already know that you were as good as they come…you last reminded us of this on Walk the Line…so this acting exercise is as unnecessary as it is scary…
But there is something very telling about Phoenix’ career up to now and which very much makes me believe this is just a little stunt these two kids came up with because they decided that JP needed to look more like Brando. Phoenix always prepares well for his roles.
In ‘Walk the Line’, Phoenix showed that he can prepare as much as any astronaut going to Mars, he can sing as well as Johnny Cash and he can be a showman when he wants to. So are we to believe that this same actor would actually show up at a rap performance totally unprepared?
Yes, because that is part of the character he is playing: an unhinged Joaquin Phoenix. The one he and Affleck created for this movie…and the
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