I’ve watched this evolution of I’m Still Here documentary about Joaquin Phoenix, and it seems like a great publicity stunt for a very eccentric guy. Phoenix is an interesting one and this seems like the type of project he would love to do to mess with everyone.
Sadly with Magnolia Pictures distributing this, I’m Still Here probably isn’t looking like it will have much longevity at the theaters but hopefully it will have a cult following. The much-anticipated documentary about the crazy, bearded, hip-hopping rebirth of actor Joaquin Phoenix arrives in theaters this weekend.
Joaquin Phoenix is definitely one of Hollywood’s great method actors and best movies ever liked him in To Die For but then he really stepped in up in Gladiator. When Walk The Line came along, it was an amazing pairing of Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in roles that they were born to do. After Walk The Line, Phoenix definitely seemed to disappear and go into another universe of himself. I don’t know if it was part of pre-planning for this documentary or exhaustion from a role that he truly melded into much like how Gary Oldman does with his roles. I always wonder how method actors can survive when they work so hard to become some of the tortured people they portray. Both Phoenix and Oldman (Sid & Nancy) went into rehab shortly after taking on hard hitting roles.
I’m Still Here is one of those films that some are going to love and other will hate it thinking it’s just another self involved actor doing lots of naval gazing. All his actions and what many thought were stunts leading up to this film is something that will leave many wondering if they are watching the slow meltdown of a once great talent, and if that’s the case, how in the world could Casey Affleck be so irresponsible to enable this behavior? Or is this just allowing the story to unfold in a true documentary style. The audience we saw the film with did a lot of nervous laughing as people do when they’re uncomfortable with a situation and hoping that what they’re seeing is meant to be funny. This happened way back when Todd Solondz’s Happiness came out.
So with I’m Still Here, Casey Affleck has done a true documentary with a great pace that unfolds naturally and leaves the audience to decide for themselves if this is a cautionary tale of stardom or just another self involved actor trying to take the piss out of everyone.