Monday, September 20, 2010

Review: I'm Still Here. Or am I? (TIFF 2010)

I just caught the advanced screening for I’m Still Here, the mockumentary about Joaquin Phoenix’s retirement from acting. For two years, Joaquin and Director, Casey Affleck, tried to convince us that this transformation of sorts was genuine, all to come out after TIFF and admit that it was in fact, a hoax. But – do we really care either way?

After seeing the film, I still don’t know the answer to that, but it doesn’t really matter. The performance of this so-called hoax is one for the ages. Joaquin was almost unrecognizable, sporting his Unibomber-Charles Manson beard and all-around ragged look reminiscent of 90s grunge gone wrong. And talk about method acting, to actually personify a rapper, produce songs (no matter how bad they were) and put yourself out there to be ridiculed the world over!

Despite the film's extremely awkward scenes (unnecessary nudity of the male persuasion and excessive drug use from a guy whose own brother died of a drug overdose), the film was intensely funny and entertaining. I must admit, though, the comedy of it all made it hard to keep a straight face during more serious scenes. Joaquin was so convincing in this performance that it will probably be weird to see him return to himself, whatever that self may be.

Watch Joaquin keep a straight face and stay 'in character' in the now infamous interview on David Letterman:

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