I don’t know whether I should be completely horrified or inexplicably intrigued by the new Joaquin Phoenix documentary, I’m Still Here. My love for the Phoenix boys runs deep, for Joaquin even more so than River (Oh, stop yelling at me about Stand By Me, okay? I get it he was a prodigy. Moving on…), but what the hell?
I have read more than one report from the Hollywood press that wonders if this isn’t all just an elaborate hoax scripted for the publicity. Really? The Phoenix family rivals the Culkins for crazy and that’s saying something. Have we become so cynical as spectators to the celebrity debacle that we don’t believe he just lost his mind for a year? And on the flip side, if it is a hoax, wouldn’t you have to be just the slighest bit nuts to want to live your life that way for a year? I mean, he hired P. Diddy to manage his RAP career, for goodness sake. That doesn’t exactly scream sanity to me.
If you read Screenrush’s review of the film, it sounds downright barbaric. Screenrush blogger Sophie Vogel writes, “Affleck doesn’t shy away from the extreme here, showing such explicit behavior as Phoenix snorting cocaine off a prostitute and one of Phoenix’s adversaries defecating on him while he sleeps. Nice.” Um, ew. It disturbs me to no end that this makes me want to see this movie MORE after reading that sentence. It always irks me when celebrities follow in the drugged out deadly footsteps of their syblings. Watching my brother drop dead in front of me would keep me sober forever. And why was Casey Affleck just watching him do drugs? As his brother-in-law, I would think he would put the camera down and go ‘Woah, dude, not cool.”
Of course, at the end of the day, you can’t deny the level of self-indulgence and narcicism that went into the crafting of this documentary, whether it was real or fake. And I fully intend to encourage it because I can’t help myself.