If you're unfamiliar with the saga that has been Joaquin Phoenix's career for the past two years, let me refresh your memory.
If you're unfamiliar with the saga that has been Joaquin Phoenix's career for the past two years, let me refresh your memory. In October 2008, he abruptly announced that he was retiring from acting without giving much explanation. A few months later, he revealed that his brother-in-law, Casey Affleck, was directing a documentary chronicling his career change from actor to rapper. The bizarre news left many of us scratching our heads, and the fruit of Affleck and Phoenix's "collaboration" is equally confounding.
I'm Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix takes us through Phoenix's changes, both physical and emotional. He starts off as the clean-cut, handsome actor whose career is just taking off thanks to Oscar-nominated roles in Gladiator and Walk the Line. What we're left with is the haggard, pot-bellied, petulant shell of a man who has lost his way entirely. As I watched Phoenix call prostitutes, ask Diddy for career advice, and pummel a heckler during one of his hip-hop shows, I had to wonder: if this film really isn't a hoax, then why was Casey Affleck filming these hijinks instead of getting help for his friend and family member?
For more of my thoughts on the film, just read on.