Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thoughts on Joaquin Phoenix's I'm Still Here

Joaquin Phoenix was one of my favorite actors. He first grabbed my attention in the movie Parenthood. Even my father spoke highly of his acting ability at that point. He was full of emotion and power. I also loved his brother River. After River died, it was like I lost both of them, because Joaquin disappeared for a while.

When he returned, it was like he returned with a vengeance. He got an Oscar nomination for Gladiator, which is the movie that caught my attention. I fell for him again in Signs and really went over the edge for him as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line. I followed the awards shows like it was my job and collected as many of his movies as I could. People made fun of me, but I held strong.

And then this mess happened.

He announced to the world that he was going to quit acting. He was going to pursue a hip-hop career. And we all started to lose respect for him.

I purposely avoided watching this so-called "documentary" that Casey Affleck made of him. I didn't want to have the last shred of my affection to be stripped away. But being at home, sick and bored, I could no longer resist the temptation of the free movie On Demand.

Holy hell this is awful. It is like a bad train wreck and you can't turn your eyes away from it, though you really want to just turn it off. I thought it would make for interesting background noise or something while I worked on blogging and what-not. But it is a total distraction because I can't believe what I am seeing.

The man has put on a ridiculous amount of weight. Okay, it happens to the best of us. But he is snorting and smoking all kinds of stuff, telling people off, and believes this shitty music is actually good. It is painful to watch him following P. Diddy all over the place, and the look on P. Diddy's face when he finally hears the crap playing. And speaking of crap, one of the worst moments is when his friend literally takes a dump on his face while he is sleeping, just because they had a big argument. Oh and him vomiting for real after an onstage performance in Miami. Seriously?

Naturally, after people ripped this film to shreds he tried to say it was just a hoax. This was a new character that he was trying on. Casey Affleck called it one of Joaquin's best performances ever - a total mockumentary of an Oscar-winning actor have a total meltdown. Some people believe it is what they say - a total fabrication. Others still believe that it is the truth. Perhaps it is a fabrication of the truth? An altered version of the truth? I can't imagine that someone would ever willingly want a piece of crap like this put out about them, true or fake. I can't believe a family member would go along with something like this.

Whether or not this was a hoax, Joaquin is going to have a hard time ever doing anything in the entertainment field again. He may be able to save face in another ten years or so. But do we really want to wait? Will we care?

Supposedly he has two movies coming out in the next couple of years. Again, will we care? Do I want to watch him again?

I just don't know.

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