Former actor Joaquin Phoenix’s jaw-dropping documentary, I’m Still Here, opened in theaters this past weekend. Directed by Joaquin’s brother-in-law, Casey Affleck, the film chronicles how Joaquin has been “keeping busy” since he walked away from Hollywood only to now, un-retire from his original craft - acting.
Disappointment. A one word description on how I felt when I saw the Oscar-nominated actor appear on The David Letterman Show looking disheveled and behaving like he just escaped from a straight-jacket. He was my nontraditional Hollywood hearthrob, and the reason that Gladiator had been my favorite movie.
Joaquin’s back in rarer form, and his documentary I’m Still Here that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival brings to the big screen all of his shocking behavior and crazy antics. Ironically, the movie industry is the instrument that he uses to give Hollywood the middle finger. Sheila Marikar of ABC News Entertainment describes the film as “blow-up after blow-up, joint after joint, beer after beer. He screams, he smokes, he snorts… [Joaquin] insists that he’s better than everyone else, that he deserves A-list treatment, that he’s too cool for Hollywood, that he’s got what it takes to make it as an emcee, and that no, this whole quitting-acting-taking-up-rapping thing is not a hoax.”
“It ended up being more and more fascinating, more and more things happened that were both in the public spectacle and a very private internal implosion that I got to witness,” said director and brother-in-law Affleck to ABC News Now’s “Popcorn With Peter Travers” in May. “It made for this unbelievable, one-of-a-kind movie.”
The LA Times’ John Horn said, ”Several buyers said the film overflowed with Hollywood debauchery, including more male frontal nudity than you’d find in some gay porn films and a stomach-turning sequence in which someone feuding with Phoenix defecates on the actor while he’s asleep.” Needless to say, I’m Still Here portrays Joaquin at his most insane; however, exclaiming in the film Phoenix says, “All you can do is do something for yourself and believe in it and love it and hope that other people love it.”
Well, I love the old Joaquin. I’ll just take a moment of silence to remember who he once was, looking quite dapper…