September 16, 2010

So the Joaquin Phoenix "I'm Still Here" thing was an act, which everybody pretty much knew...

... except Roger Ebert (kind of), who gave it a terrible review, which everyone else did too. So now, the director (Casey Affleck) is trying to claw his way back into respectability by taking the stage to tell us it was a Borat-ish fake, except that no one cares anymore, because the film wasn't entertaining, partly because it made the few people who saw it feel bad about the druggy dissolution of a once-great actor.

Well, so maybe it could become entertaining now that Affleck has unburdened us of the sadness we felt to see Phoenix fall — a burden, Affleck had to know, hit people with the additional weight of reminding them of the death of Joaquin's brother River — and we know that Joaquin is acting!

But when Joaquin was traveling about making the film, clips leaked out, people suspected it was an act, and the clips weren't funny then, which I suspect is why they decided to put the film together in a way that deprived the audience of the ability to confirm that it was an act. Make it a puzzle. Stir people up. But that didn't work.

It's so pathetic to try to get a second chance at attracting attention to your movie. But we're all glad, I take it, that Joaquin's okay. Now, will somebody give the actor a script?


Gary said...

So does this mean that wasn't really Johnny Cash in "I Walk The Line"?

Dead Julius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dead Julius said...

Huh? Who is Joaquin Phoenix that I should be mindful of him? Wasn't he the young Indiana Jones, and didn't he die back in the daze of heroin chic?

Oh wait... I just looked him up on Wikipedia, and I know the face... that's uh... that's ummm... oh, yeah, that's Commodus! The battle between him and Richard Crowe was one of the epic moments of fake history.

So he's still around, huh? Never would have known if I didn't read it on Althouse. If the title of whatever piece that I had no idea was being performed was "I'm Still Here", then I guess his message was successfully delivered.

tim maguire said...

The brother of a famous actor made a film about the brother of a famous actor and it didn't do well.

Oh well, it beats originality.

Fred4Pres said...

Ho hum.

TRO said...

"Who is Joaquin Phoenix that I should be mindful of him?"

He's the guy who gave Johnny Cash a harelip.

El Pollo Real said...

actors, Borat, fake, lameness, Roger Ebert

What's to like?

Dead Julius said...

Roger Ebert also dissed Kick-Ass, which was such a super-awesome film that I now consider him too old and too crusty to be relevant to modern culture.

I mean he got all upset that an 11-year-old girl was using the words "fuck" and "cunt" without inhibition. What the fuck is wrong with him?

These old geezers don't get it. There is no shame among young people in being crass, especially in artistic shit. Look at Lady Gaga-- she probably wakes up every afternoon and thanks God for another opportunity to debase herself in front of the world.

The young just don't care. They have the sensibility to know when to take things seriously and when it's just performance. And they know that 99.99% of what happens when people talk in public is performance... from Sarah Palin to Brian Williams to Pope Benedict, it's all an act.

From the linked NY Times review, it seems that the Affleck-Phoenix film tried to tap into this and didn't get anywhere. Maybe it was just ahead of its time?

TRO said...

"From the linked NY Times review, it seems that the Affleck-Phoenix film tried to tap into this and didn't get anywhere. Maybe it was just ahead of its time?"

I think it was the opposite . . . it isn't the new hottness it's just old and busted.

ricpic said...

"...a once great actor."

Next thing you're going to be telling us James Dean was a great actor. Come to think of it, James Dean was at least able "to represent" something, no matter how minor key that something was and is. What has JP ever represented? Self-regarding punkishness?

Paco Wové said...

Echoing several other comments, I made it all the way through that post not having any idea who any of those people are (except Roger Ebert).

And still I do not care.

knox said...


I would find your comments insightful, if I didn't know that they are just an act.

knox said...

What has JP ever represented? Self-regarding punkishness?

He was a great villain in "Gladiator." And I loved him as Mel Gibson's under-achieving, rudderless brother Merrill in "Signs."

TRO said...

"He was a great villain in "Gladiator." And I loved him as Mel Gibson's under-achieving, rudderless brother Merrill in "Signs."

True, good supporting roles.

The Crack Emcee said...

Because I once went to an after-party on the Sunset Strip, that featured all-red rooms filled with B-actors and mattresses, I think these guys were trying to tell you something about real life. But, of course, nobody gives a damn about real life.

It's all about living your best life evah now.

Keep me posted on how that's been working out - if the economic news hasn't told me enough already.

Sixty Grit said...

He was good in Walk the Line, not great, but bearable. I thought Reese Witherspoon was outstanding as June Carter, and her singing was much better than JP's. I thought her singing was good enough for her to record an album. Not that she needs another career or anything. Joaquin probably should think about getting a career about now, however.

chuck b. said...

Read today Sacha Baron Cohen is going to play Freddie Mercury in a movie about Queen.

Cedarford said...

Joaquin Phoenix was wonderful in many movies. He is fairly fucked up, but a superb actor (best supporting nomination for playing Emeror Commodus in 2000, best actor nominee for playing Johnny cash.
He should have been nominated for "Signs", but anything with Mel Gibson is to the Hollywood powers what garlic is to a vampire.

Phoenix will likely return. Everyone expects it and he is deluged with offers after his "retirement" even with his fucked up ways.

His brother River Phoenix might have been a real star too, was on his way, then fouled up totally and died in 1993 of a recreational drug OD.

TRO said...

"Read today Sacha Baron Cohen is going to play Freddie Mercury in a movie about Queen."

I can see that . . .

ndspinelli said...

Casey Affleck is a vegan radical who disrupts movie sets and refuses to wear leather shoes. He is a ham n' egger actor who speaks like he has shit in his mouth...ironic since he's a vegan. Joaquin is a million $ actor w/ a 10 cent head.

knox said...

Casey may be a jerk but I thought he was really good in "Gone Baby Gone." Great directing by Ben as well.

EDH said...

What's up, fellas?

Stop jerking off in my mother's room.

We have a theme.

William said...

I recently saw the movie, Me and Orson Welles. The actor who played Orson Welles did a terrific job. This is kind of meta but does an actor get points for playing another actor, or is it considered more like mimicry? In any event, Joaquin loses points for giving an unconvincing portrayal of himself. How bad do you have to screw up that your portrayal of yourself screwing up becomes a screw up? I certainly hope he gets his act together and becomes a more authentic screw up.

Shawn L. said...

Between this and the press for Ben Affleck's new film, there are two new rules for the careers of the Affleck boys:

Casey: less directing, more acting.

Ben: the other way around.

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

Actually, Roger Ebert kinda gave it a good review. A three star one, where he says things like, "I have hope that if Phoenix ever cleans up his body and mind, he can be restored, and can be happy again."

Oh, actually, he concludes his review by saying, "Note: Regarding the film's 3-str rating: It could be one, it could be four. What do stars have to do with it?"

It seems to have very mixed reviews, according to Metacritic.

c3 said...

OK so I understand:

Documentary = true

Based on real people, real events etc = truthy

Wholly made up = art


Good Art speaks truth; bad art speaks ? )

elizabeth said...

Affleck was eating (during the interview) - a meat-less, cheese-less sandwich. Explains his being spineless!

c3 said...

In a related note: Here's an NPR piece on the book The Tiger: A true Story of Vengeance

Here's the author in the interview:

The injured tiger hunted Markov down in a way that appears to be chillingly premeditated. The tiger staked out Markov's cabin, systematically destroyed anything that had Markov's scent on it, and then waited by the front door for Markov to come home.

But it is true? As one reviewer points out:

As there were no witnesses, it remains uncertain what all parties involved, the tiger and its forest-haunting human prey, were up to over the course of the few days of the predator's brief reign of terror.