27 December 2010

You’re not here at all, are you Joaquin Phoenix?

I’m Still Here – Casey Affleck

One of the biggest documentaries of the year anticipated by many, dumb-founded by many but liked by little. I’m Still Here, the journey showing the famous actor Joaquin Phoenix move from the acting game to the rap game, yes, i said that correctly, the rap game. Throwing some rhythms on some tasty beats, Phoenix has lost his interesting in being one of the best actors out there and now is focused on making a solo record using great producers like P Diddy, who appears in the documentary listening to Phoenix’s songs and well, you’ll see, he isn’t a massive fan. This documentary has been in the press for a very long because the years long events of Phoenix quitting acting and becoming a rapper has stages where it progressed into strange places. From him growing long hair and a crazy beard to his appearance of David Letterman to not showing up to the press of his last film Two Lovers to finally having fights and falling off stage at his first gigs. It was all recorded and publicised and after a little while people soon began to believe this to be true, but many weeks after the release of the film in the cinema, it is found that the documentary is a fake.

Following Phoenix from the very moment he announces his retirement to his biggest gig in his career, which doesn’t turn out the way he’d hoped, it shows the highs and the lows, but doesn’t feature many highs, just constant lows. It’s really well crafted in how the audience is submerged in this fake story without knowing if Phoenix is really like this or not. You question the whole film, sequences that seem fake to the ones where it shows a glimpse of what Joaquin is going through, which almost seems like a mid life crisis. It’s sad, it’s depressing in places and in others just cringe worthy to sit and watch as Phoenix ruins his career. I don’t know where he will go after this film but it will be interesting to see what his comeback will be like. Certain scenes will stay in your head for a long time, seeing a lot of nudity along with a scene featuring someone pooing on someone, yes pooing; you can see why this film has mixed reviews where critics are trying to establish what is real and what is not.

I love Joaquin Phoenix and was fascinated by this project to see what would happen and for a guy to throw himself into a role like this, taking his established career and throwing it down the drain; it shows he has the heart and passion for acting. But will he be able to get himself out of the hole in time?


Simon Childs

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