At this point in the road to I'm Still Here I'm really not interested in debating whether or not the thing is a hoax. After seeing it, it's obvious to me that it is (many critics disagree, but I honestly don't see how that's possible), and as such I'm just going to remark on the entertainment value of this misguided and, frankly, pretty poorly made mockumentary. (I promise there actually is some, despite that ringing endorsement.)
Have you ever wanted to just say "To hell with it," and become a trapeze artist? (Unless you already are a trapeze artist, in which case perhaps you said "To hell with it, I want to work in a cubicle.") Career decisions are hard. I would imagine they're harder still when you are rich and famous and are surrounded by people who kiss your ass and tell you how brilliant and talented you are all the time. Take Joaquin Phoenix. Way back in October, the Oscar nominee announced he was quitting acting to focus on his music. And then his brother-in-law Casey Affleck recently announced he'd be filming the actor's -- I'm sorry, musician's exploits for a documentary. Well, reports have come out since that it might end up being a mockumentary. Turns out, the whole career-change thing may be an elaborate hoax. To which most of us are probably having the same thought: I've seen this on MTV. Followed quickly by: Oh God, I hope so.
While we're all pulling for the hoax angle so the talented (and yes, nutty) actor can get back to making movies, it has occurred to me that there are several actors out there that made career decisions we (and probably they) all wish had been hoaxes as well.
When actor Joaquin Phoenix announced last October that he was retiring from acting in order to pursue his musical career, it was speculated here in the Moviefile that maybe he was just a little bit crazy. It certainly seemed an unexpected development, considering that his other career choices in film were pretty smart in recent years, having starred in Walk the Line and the last two M. Night Shyamalan movies that were any good. Today, Phoenix's planet-sized crazy has managed to pull brother-in-law actor Casey Affleck into its orbit. Affleck isn't following suit and retiring from acting, too, but he will be taking on the role of documentarist in order to film the progress of Phoenix's new musical career.
In what is not the strangest red carpet interview Joaquin Phoenix has ever given (some of you may remember when he was convinced during an interview that a large frog was trying to eat his brain at the Walk the Line premiere a couple of years ago), he has nevertheless gone above and beyond the call of weird when he told a reporter for E! and later confirmed with Extra that he is retiring from acting, and that the upcoming film Two Lovers would be his last. In a move that's usually reserved for actors who actually can't get any more work, he told the reporter that he was quitting to focus on his music.
There must be some sort of Venn diagram which illustrates that the likelihood of a Hollywood actor to try his hand at rapping is directly proportional to how insufferable he is in other facets of his life. Let me give you an example: Did you know that Tom Green has released not one, but two hip hop albums? True story. By now you've probably seen the footage of Joaquin Phoenix onstage rapping (and promptly falling off the stage -- hee!) for some documentary Casey Affleck is producing about Phoenix's attempt to become a hip hopper. And just a couple days ago, Jim Carrey jumped up onstage with Fiddy Cent for no apparent reason.