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The Phoenix Who Ate Himself
September 10, 2010 10:07 PM   Subscribe

Joaquin Phoenix is the man who ate himself

Re-experience Robert De Niro's jailhouse wailing and wall-punching scene in Raging Bull. And then imagine a followup moment in which Joe Pesci's Joey sneaks into Jake La Motta's hotel room as he's sleeping, and then climbs onto the bed, drops his pants and takes a dump on his brother's face. And then Jake leaps up and beats the crap out of Joey and runs into the bathroom to clean his face off, going "Eeoohhwww! I can't take this! Eeooohhww!" I've just described the essence of Casey Affleck's [...] Joaquin Phoenix meltdown doc which screened this afternoon at the Toronto Film Festival.

The movie in question is called I'm Still Here. You may have seen some of the Letterman stuff already.
posted by philip-random (74 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, what a bad article. I have no clue what that last bit about Iran is supposed to mean.

It is sort of an interesting story, how by making an obviously fake mockumentary (are we still pretending this was in any way real? come on), he managed to fuck his career just as badly as if he had really wanted to become a bad rapper.

But really, at the end of the day, it's just another crap celebrity-driven vanity project taking afilm festival slot away from an actual independent artist. Meh.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:18 PM on September 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


Here's Ebert's take on I'm Still Here. He seems to think it's all real, probably.

Whenever I see Joaquin Phoenix--even well before his current breakdown ("breakdown"?)--I remember how it was Joaquin who was with his brother River when River ODed on a speedball outside the Viper Room on Sunset Boulevard. Joaquin must've been a young teen at the time, and I imagine he idolized his big bro quite a bit. To see someone you love so much die in your arms--literally in Joaquin's case--must've messed with his head something fierce. Not to mention that River was on the verge of serious adult roles and was probably the best actor of his generation.
posted by zardoz at 10:19 PM on September 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


Reviews are mixed!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:20 PM on September 10, 2010


Well, Roger Ebert's tasteless, merit-less pop-psych analysis of someone he has probably never met aside, come on. It's fake. Remember when he did it on the Oscars? You think they let people who are genuinely having a meltdown do it on THE FUCKING OSCARS? And don't even take it out for the west coast? Come on.

Fake fake fake fake fake fake fake fake.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:23 PM on September 10, 2010


Epic troll is epic.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:32 PM on September 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oops...here is Ebert's review.
posted by zardoz at 10:36 PM on September 10, 2010


I love the idea of a schtick that is so persistent that it becomes permanently fused with the performer. And I think, based on everything I'm seeing about this movie, that that's what they're going for. But I don't think this reporter gets it.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:38 PM on September 10, 2010


A towering artistic achievement. A colossus.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 10:55 PM on September 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


I didn't really find the author's POV controversial at all: he's just saying that it's really beside the point whether it was faked or not, because the whole thing is just such a colossal travesty that Phoenix has almost certainly destroyed his career with it. As such, the documentary is fascinating in a train wreck sort of way as a permanent record of a once respected actor who has speedily deep sixed his own life's work, intentionally or otherwise.
posted by squeakyfromme at 10:57 PM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


he managed to fuck his career just as badly as if he had really wanted to become a bad rapper.

Nonsense. He's one of the best actors going. His career is hardly fucked.

it's just another crap celebrity-driven vanity project taking afilm festival slot away from an actual independent artist.

Considering you haven't seen the picture, it's weird you're calling it "crap". You consider yourself a filmmaker and you'll write off something like this without having seen it? (You haven't seen it... right? Or do I owe you an apology?)

And this is more ridiculous than your first comment. The Toronto Film Fest is hardly about "independent artists". Though they screen smaller films, they make a fortune off standard Hollywood fare. Ticket prices start at $20 and run up to $40. Each!

Fake fake fake fake fake fake fake fake.

Your point?
posted by dobbs at 10:59 PM on September 10, 2010


Oh, and I know the film's about how he thinks he's fucked but I got the impression you think he's fucked. :)
posted by dobbs at 11:00 PM on September 10, 2010


It's pretty obviously a put-on (the Slate review notes that the person said to be Phoenix's dad in the movie is an actor, which I think makes its mockumentary nature rather plain), but it's such a completely bizarre sort of vanity project that I can't figure it out at all. I can only imagine that he and Casey Affleck were getting high one night and thought, as high people often think of things that aren't really very funny, that this would be really funny. Instead, it's sort of baffling (or it seems that way to someone -- me -- who hasn't seen it). What disturbs me is that his brother was an actor with musical aspirations and a drug problem that killed him; it seems terribly unlikely to me that Phoenix is really following in his brother's footsteps, but that's basically what his (comic?) film is about, and I don't think I even have a word for whatever that might be. Disrespectful? Callous? Creepy? I mean, I'd be disturbed in a whole other way if I really imagined for a moment this film wasn't an elaborate joke, of course. But since it is, I'm just at a loss. I'm more interested to see him drop character and explain what in the world he was thinking making this movie than I ever will be in watching it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:30 PM on September 10, 2010


He's one of the best actors going. His career is hardly fucked.

Not sure your finger is entirely on the public's pulse on this one, but I guess we're all going to have to wait and see. I mean, it's starting to look like even Mel Gibson may eventually rebound after a year or two of quietly flying under the radar, so obviously anything is fucking possible in this day and age. But then I'm not sure Joaquin is as bankable a star as Gibson or that he has as die hard a fanbase either. Regardless, though, the whole thing sounds more or less like an NC-17 reality show, and how many film stars rebound from reality shows to become Tier 1 Hollywood stars again?
posted by squeakyfromme at 11:32 PM on September 10, 2010


it's such a completely bizarre sort of vanity project that I can't figure it out at all

I'm 100% sure this will be its primary draw. What I'm 50/50 on is whether the majority of filmgoers will be laughing AT him or WITH him, which is probably the key variable in whether or not he resumes his former role as A-list leading man when this is all over.
posted by squeakyfromme at 11:34 PM on September 10, 2010


It's fake.

A distinction without a difference. Think of it! Appears three years later to leverage his letterman performance while maintaining that its a documentary and he's still out of acting. Je refuse! If done properly, an incredible career arc. If done wrong sucked up into the memory hole and once every three weeks somebody at the grocery store acts weird around you. He's got nothing to lose.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:37 PM on September 10, 2010


he managed to fuck his career just as badly as if he had really wanted to become a bad rapper.

Nonsense. He's one of the best actors going. His career is hardly fucked.


Problem is, Hollywood runs on reputation. Nothing wrong with the occasional drunk + disorderly moment (possibly involving hookers) -- just don't get WEIRD. Just look what that did to Tom Cruise.

Joaquin, by design or not, has crossed over to the deeply WEIRD. He will now either crash + burn in his own unique way, or he's going to school us all on his personal reserves of resilience and reinvention.

I'm hoping for the latter.
posted by philip-random at 11:38 PM on September 10, 2010


the person said to be Phoenix's dad in the movie is an actor
This.

This.

THIS. This is all a big joke, a performance piece. I wasn't sure. I was pretty sure, but I wasn't entirely sure.

But this!
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:46 PM on September 10, 2010


He will now either crash + burn in his own unique way, or he's going to school us all on his personal reserves of resilience and reinvention.

I'm hoping for the latter.


I'm pretty much with you on everything you said here, including the Tom Cruise analogy, but based on what I've seen from Joaquin Phoenix so far in his career there's nothing to make me too hopeful about his ability to morph into an interesting eccentric a la Marlon Brando crossed with Capt Beefheart. I'd love to see it happen but my interest in "I'm Still Here" is not contingent upon it... though my interest in his NEXT film most certainly IS.
posted by squeakyfromme at 11:47 PM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


former role as A-list

He's a great actor but he's never been and never will be A-list.

Just look what that did to Tom Cruise.

But he's not Tom Cruise--that's the point. People like him because he seems like a good person and he can act. No one deludes themselves that he made a career on his looks. I'd argue that his humanity is exactly the reason that the public will forgive him for this (if that even needs to be done--I don't think it does), whereas Cruise's lack of humanity--or more correctly, his lack of humility and everyman-ness, are what permit people to despise him. His CrazyTime made people think, "See! I told you!" whereas Joaquin's is more, "Damn! It can happen to anybody!"

Also, keep in mind that with the exception of Walk the Line, Phoenix has never been expected to carry a major film. He's only been top-billed in "small" films like We Own the Night and Two Lovers or in films where there's another aspect that's marketed, like Shyamalan's Village.
posted by dobbs at 11:49 PM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


dobbs, I hope you're right ...

But the man seems to have imploded right in front of our eyes. The intimacy of this is what's so weird. I've had it happen with close friends and man, you can forgive it, but it's hard to forget.
posted by philip-random at 12:06 AM on September 11, 2010


He's a great actor but he's never been and never will be A-list.

Split the difference with you: he may not quite be A-list but he's definitely not a "great" actor either. I wouldn't even put him in the same class as contemporaries like Phillip Seymour Hoffman or Christian Bale, let alone the truly "great" like Brando and Olivier. Joaquin is more like a Nicholas Cage with better taste in roles.
posted by squeakyfromme at 12:14 AM on September 11, 2010


But the man seems to have imploded right in front of our eyes.

Let's be honest. We know next to nothing of the man. He has a weird tv appearance on letterman. And some bizzare rap gig one night. Its not like we hang out with the guy 24-7. Nobody could no us from so sparse a record, so we do not know him.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:15 AM on September 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


(shit, as much fun as it is to hate on Tom Cruise even he has exhibited better acting chops over the years than Joaquin Phoenix)
posted by squeakyfromme at 12:15 AM on September 11, 2010


Split the difference with you: he may not quite be A-list but he's definitely not a "great" actor either. I wouldn't even put him in the same class as contemporaries like Phillip Seymour Hoffman or Christian Bale, let alone the truly "great" like Brando and Olivier. Joaquin is more like a Nicholas Cage with better taste in roles.

I'll admit that "great" is lazy of me. He's better than average and usually takes interesting rolls, how about that?

And I'd take Cage or Phoenix over Bale any day of the week--or Hoffman if he's the lead. Bale has about the worst taste of any major actor working today, imo. He's never been in a film I've wanted to see twice and most I wish I'd never seen at all.

Tom Cruise even he has exhibited better acting chops

I got nothing against him as an actor. I liked him in Magnolia, Eyes Wide Shut, and the Color of Money and he's been fine in most of his performances.

As to A-List, though... I meant it in the strictest terms: his name means a film is pretty much greenlit. This is maybe 6 - 10 people working at any given time (and that's being generous). Phoenix will never be that guy.
posted by dobbs at 12:32 AM on September 11, 2010


Problem is, Hollywood runs on reputation. Nothing wrong with the occasional drunk + disorderly moment (possibly involving hookers) -- just don't get WEIRD. Just look what that did to Tom Cruise.
What? Tom Cruise is still making movies, and making tons of money. Apparently he's still really popular over seas, although I don't expect that to help Joaquin Phoenix. Anyway, Robert downy jr. apparently had all kinds of drug problems, then played Iron Man. Lindsay Lohan is still getting roles. No one really cares.
posted by delmoi at 12:34 AM on September 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


He's never been in a film I've wanted to see twice and most I wish I'd never seen at all.

Ouch. I'm no Bale fanboy, but that seems harsh with The Machinist, Howl's Moving Castle, and Empire of the Sun in his resume.
posted by juv3nal at 1:12 AM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joaquin Phoenix's career will survive. (But now, someone needs to start a coverband named "Leaf Will Eat himself"...it doesn't matter what songs they cover.)
posted by crataegus at 1:14 AM on September 11, 2010


(shit, as much fun as it is to hate on Tom Cruise even he has exhibited better acting chops over the years than Joaquin Phoenix)

Joaquin and Tom are not in the same league as far as acting goes and Tom is in the minor league.
posted by lee at 1:50 AM on September 11, 2010


I'll admit that "great" is lazy of me. He's better than average and usually takes interesting rolls, how about that?

I'd probably agree if you hadn't gone on to say that Christian Bale has never been in anything worth seeing twice. Even leaving aside the Batman movies - which you either love 'em or hate 'em - here are what I feel are the best movies by each actor:

Bale - Velvet Goldmine, American Psycho, Laurel Canyon, The Machinist, The New World, The Prestige, 3:10 to Yuma... I'm omitting "I'm Not There" and "Public Enemies" because I thought both were greatly disappointing, but they have their advocates.

Phoenix - To Die For, Clay Pigeons, Hotel Rwanda, We Own the Night... I gotta tell ya, that's about it for me. Walk the Line I found to be a trite and predictable biopic, Gladiator was a decent popcorn movie but entirely undeserving of an Academy Award, and to be honest I haven't seen Reservation Road yet.

Admittedly, Christian Bale has picked some real duds - Reign of Fire, Terminator: Salvation - but Joaquin more than makes up for that by working with M. Night Shyamalan TWICE!

As to A-List, though... I meant it in the strictest terms: his name means a film is pretty much greenlit

Well, getting a film greenlit doesn't automatically make one an A-list actor, but I get what you're saying: you're thinking A-list in terms of "hey, we need a Will Smith or Leonardo DiCaprio to anchor our $200 million dollar summer blockbuster". In which case, yes, there are probably less than a dozen actors working in that capacity at any given time. But I would say that Joaquin is a big enough B-List actor that he can take a producer from on the fence to signing a check for a lot of modestly budgeted projects. But after this mock/doc comes out, it remains to be seen whether his name is still getting checks written. I don't buy the argument he has nothing to lose here, but to me it's exactly those stakes that make it interesting.
posted by squeakyfromme at 2:22 AM on September 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


And now, a cranky moment.

Every day, people just like Joachim Phoenix break down and go crazy, people who no one spares a second thought because they aren't famous actors.

Let's just say, I'm not shedding an awful lot of tears for this guy Phoenix.
posted by JHarris at 4:11 AM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


As a counterpoint, there is no reason to ignore the suffering of an actor just because he's in the spotlight, right? Assuming of course that it's legitimate suffering. I can spare tears for that, famous or not.
posted by Splunge at 4:56 AM on September 11, 2010


1 This movie is not going to be big. Even if it was so revolting that watching it ruined Phoenix for you forever that still leaves pretty much everyone to like him just fine.
2 If Phoenix went away for a while and emerged as his same old self and was given a film where he could be great and promoted it lucidly people would pretend it was a big deal. We've done the same thing with Britney Spears (kinda) and teen pop stars have a shorter shelf life than leading men.
3 You know that Jon Lovitz master theatre character. I wouldn't be surprised if, true or not or partially true, Joaquin pops out at the end and is like ACTING!
posted by I Foody at 5:27 AM on September 11, 2010


Double.
posted by waraw at 5:46 AM on September 11, 2010


I thought Hollywood ran on box office not reputation. Phoenix can't stop being this character until after the film has gone to a wider distribution. The whole marketing plan depends on the is he or isn't he game. Just like Blaire Witch. The film cost probably less than 2 million and will make 20-30 easily.
posted by humanfont at 5:51 AM on September 11, 2010


As to the fake vs. real debate consider this: if it's a real meltdown then Casey Affleck has to be considered a pretty horrible person doesn't he? What kind of person films a the dissolution of a friend's life without trying to help him? If your friend (or even just an acquaintance) was genuinely suffering from an illness would you get him help or film it for your own greedy-art?

It seems that if you think it's real, then you ought to think of Affleck as an inexcusable opportunist. Does anyone think of him that way?
posted by oddman at 6:10 AM on September 11, 2010


Everybody hates a tourist.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:29 AM on September 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


I wonder how much he paid J.G. Ballard's estate for the film rights to The Atrocity Exhibition.
posted by localroger at 6:47 AM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


So wait...Ben Affleck isn't in this film? Well, I'm not watching it now.
posted by Fizz at 6:57 AM on September 11, 2010


Dude's fucked up.
posted by tommasz at 7:19 AM on September 11, 2010


It seems that if you think it's real, then you ought to think of Affleck as an inexcusable opportunist. Does anyone think of him that way?

This is gonna sound like a joke, I know, but it's not: He stunk up the joint so bad in The Killer Inside Me -- a film that would have been quite good if not for the worst casting of a lead role I have seen since Carrot Top played Abraham Lincoln in...so, basically, ever -- that I really don't think I can be rational about him. I am willing to ascribe nearly any motivation to his actions, so long as it's a bad one.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:27 AM on September 11, 2010


Problem is, Hollywood runs on reputation. Nothing wrong with the occasional drunk + disorderly moment (possibly involving hookers) -- just don't get WEIRD. Just look what that did to Tom Cruise

Nah, Tom Cruise is all looks and charm, not acting ability. Instead look at all the weird, possibly ill, definitely sometimes illegal classics. There were whole generations of them before the most recent plastic brigade. They're dying off now but they got respected more for being so tortured and talented. Some of them could barely string a cogent sentence together in interviews. Look at Tom Waits and Shane MacGowan also, if they struck up a conversation with you in a pub you'd be slyly looking for the bouncer in case they went off on one.
posted by shinybaum at 7:42 AM on September 11, 2010


Performance art to give the little people a moment's petty glee that the rich and famous are doomed to implode...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 8:07 AM on September 11, 2010


I think it's kind of sweetly naive that the reviewer thought Phoenix could tank his career by appearing crazy on film, real or fake. If entertainment history teaches anything, it's that you don't have to be talented and/or A-list in order to get a free pass on all sorts of crazy crazy. Invent your own language and go for naps in somebody else's house (Anne Heche)? Get arrested multiple times for drugs (Lohan, Downey Jr., half of the rest of young Hollywood)? Blow your boyfriend on video and get it leaked to the public (Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton, about a dozen others) or for art sake (Chloe Sevigny)? Jump up and down on Oprah's couch and claim vitamins can cure depression (Cruise)? No sweat. Just be famous, marginally contrite, and attractive, and we'll wait a little while, heat up the blogosphere with out mock outrage, and then give you another shot. All of these folks did things that if most people did in their normal lives, they'd probably be socially ostracized. But they're all back and working as if nothing happened. I'm actually struggling to think of an instance in which a Hollywood celebrity's personal behavior actually, irrevocably tanked their career. So far I've come up with Fatty Arbuckle and the people blackballed as Communists.* In both cases, history revealed how unjust those situations were.

I'd actually be kind of shocked and relieved if this actually did hurt his career. Not because I think he deserves, since I think he's a really talented actor, but because it would show that the public is actually capable of giving a crap about who these people actually are beyond being famous. As it is, I expect Phoenix's public immolation will barely raise cause a tremor before he gets let back into the club.

*Oh, I actually thought of one. Sean Young. Maybe she wasn't famous enough before she played the crazy card.
posted by ga$money at 8:36 AM on September 11, 2010


Pee Wee Herman?

Britney Spears may have managed it, her comeback tour was okay but she'll never achieve diva status like other singers. Maybe she wasn't talented enough to begin with though, and that seems to be a factor.

Jennifer Grey's nosejob?

Whitney Houston? I know she wins at diva for the rest of her life but her career has definitely been affected.

Wesley Snipes and Nic Cage went from wow to joke presumably based on their behaviour.

I agree that you have to try pretty hard to torpedo your own career if you're big enough though.
posted by shinybaum at 8:49 AM on September 11, 2010


I'm actually struggling to think of an instance in which a Hollywood celebrity's personal behavior actually, irrevocably tanked their career

Michael Richards?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:51 AM on September 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I love Joaquin Phoenix. Always have. I presume this is performance art taken to an incredible extreme, and I hope it is, because as mentioned above if he was actually having a breakdown and his brother-in-law opted to film it, with no one in his family or circle of friends fighting to stop it, that would be pretty ugly. If it's instead a statement about fame and art, then I think it's an interesting project, not in spite of River Phoenix but in part in response to his life, death, and the aftermath. In poor taste? It was Joaquin's experience. I think he's uniquely qualified to do whatever the hell he wants with the experience.

We seem to love watching from the sidelines as actors implode, and we go on and on doing it. Do you know that Joaquin's 911 call the night River died is on youtube? Presumably there was a whole program about celebrity 911 calls! He was a kid watching his brother die in front of him, calling for help in a panic, and the recording of it is available for us to consume at will. I found it by accident a while ago, and it just broke my heart to hear. The terror and pain in his voice wasn't acting, and it wasn't for us, and yet we've claimed it for entertainment purposes, as if it's a fictional narrative for us to consume. If this film is a giant fuck you to the culture that is so hungry to witness all the worst and most difficult moments in any minor or major celebrity's life, then I say good for him for staging it. At least this time it's on his terms.

One reviewer said it was like the Hasslehoff cheeseburger video, but feature length; I realize that's meant to be a criticism, but potentially that's exactly what this film is meant to be. You want breakdowns as cultural entertainment? Here you go! On the big screen, no less!
posted by Hildegarde at 9:18 AM on September 11, 2010 [15 favorites]


Michael Richards is a good example. Is this where we link this thread to the Louis C.K. thread? It is kind of interesting that on the scale of career sabotage, dropping the n-word ranks higher than, oh, being taped having sex with an underage girl (Rob Lowe, R. Kelly). I wonder where having somebody defecate on your face will land on that scale.

I don't think PeeWee Herman is a good example. He made a "triumphant" reappearance as PeeWee just a few months after the scandal broke, and at least according to the always reliable Wikipedia, he used the scandal as a way to retire the PeeWee character, as he had grown tired of it. If that's true, the lull in his career could just as likely be about finding a new way to be famous without PeeWee.
posted by ga$money at 9:26 AM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


If criticism of celebrity breakdowns fascinates you, be sure to watch the definitive dramatic work on the subject: South Park's Britney's New Look. It's really pretty amazing, although may not be timeless (events referred to are a whole two years old).
posted by Nelson at 9:32 AM on September 11, 2010


Michael Richards?

With the possible exception of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, nobody from that show has been doing all that well, TV or movie-wise. See also: the cast of "Friends." I'm not sure Richards' outburst is why he doesn't have another show or film project.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:36 AM on September 11, 2010


If that's true, the lull in his career could just as likely be about finding a new way to be famous without PeeWee.

But Paul Reubens (PeeWee Herman) has never come close to achieving his pre-bust level of popularity, fame etc. All power to him if this was is intention. But the fact remains, his bio will always feature that bust as its before/after point. Likewise, Tom Cruise and the Oprah weirdness. Sure, he still makes movies (some of them quite good apparently) and people buy tickets to them ... but he will NEVER be as big, as influential, as LOVED as he was before that strange and wrong kind of embarrassing performance.

Which brings us back to Mr. Phoenix. As I stated already ...

Joaquin, by design or not, has crossed over to the deeply WEIRD. He will now either crash + burn in his own unique way, or he's going to school us all on his personal reserves of resilience and reinvention.

It doesn't matter if it's all just performance art. Or more to the point, whether that's exactly what it is (a real life, happening-right-now exemplification of Antonin Artaud's maxim that the true performance must end in madness). The bottom line is, the guy's presented himself as deeply, creepily, sadly weird right smack in front our mediated eyes. This won't be easily forgotten or filed away. Which, as Hildegarde points out, may be precisely his intention ...

a giant fuck you to the culture that is so hungry to witness all the worst and most difficult moments in any minor or major celebrity's life.

All power to him if this is the case. I sort of hope that it is. But I don't think this gesture's going to get him any big deal roles any time soon.
posted by philip-random at 9:45 AM on September 11, 2010


Ebert's tasteless, merit-less pop-psych analysis of someone he has probably never met

I think that Ebert is actually being quite generous in making the case that Joaquin is having real, genuine problems. He reiterates that he thinks that Phoenix is a very talented actor (linking to previous reviews) and is trying to avoid the conclusion that he would have pissed away years of his life and his professional reputation on some mockumentary shaggy-dog story.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:19 AM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


drjimmy11: "Remember when he did it on the Oscars?"

I'm pretty sure that was Ben Stiller.
posted by dhammond at 11:53 AM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Celebrities just aren't that interesting after all.
posted by gallois at 12:05 PM on September 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm late to the party but I just had to say that the TNT original Treasure Island with Heston as Long John Silver and Bale as cabin boy Jim Hawkins was a real treat as a kid and I've re-watched that uncountable times.
posted by mbatch at 12:18 PM on September 11, 2010


The whole marketing plan depends on the is he or isn't he game. Just like Blaire Witch.

I think it's a lot more like Andy Kaufman. The wrestling thing wasn't easy for even his friends to reconcile, and there is still doubt as to his intentions, that maybe he got lost in his own role.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:00 PM on September 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's very possible that he decided he had enough money, didn't feel like ever acting again, never wanted to act in the first place and made this movie as a private joke between him and casey affleck and doesn't give a fuck if anyone likes it or if his career survives.
posted by empath at 2:28 PM on September 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Christian Bale has picked some real duds - Reign of Fire

I have to stand up for Reign of Fire. It was damn fun.


Michael Richards?


He was publicly forgiven by RZA in Funny People (I hated that movie btw)
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:36 PM on September 11, 2010


Derail: I will never understand why Michael Richards is so irreparably despised for that schtick, and Bill Hicks is so universally loved for doing the exact same thing, but with the C-word. From all I've been able to tell, the difference is comic timing, which seriously squicks me out.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:49 PM on September 11, 2010


Michael Richards?

One could (probably quite successfully) make the argument that he was already going nowhere by the time that his scandal broke.
posted by antifuse at 5:00 PM on September 11, 2010


For what it's worth, I think Born On The Fourth of July is a better movie than it gets credit for and probably is better than anything Bale or Phoenix has done. That said, I hope Joaquin Phoenix gets a redemptive opportunity like Robert Downey jr did in Wonder Boys.
posted by feloniousmonk at 5:37 PM on September 11, 2010


roll truck roll: it's because as much as we say "it's the worst word around" to be polite, a lot of us really love "the C-word" and are in no way offended by it.
posted by mad bomber what bombs at midnight at 7:41 PM on September 11, 2010


Partied with JP and Rory Cochrane (wanna talk about lacking a career?) in Costa Rica and those guys really abuse themselves. It was amazing. Also, apropos of some of the comments being made here about Tom Cruise: a douchebag cult member with a freakishly perfect smile can also be a decent actor.
posted by Roachbeard at 7:44 PM on September 11, 2010


"I can't recount the history of the Phoenix meltdown and deliberate career collapse of '08 and '09. I can't do it! I'm sorry but my fingers are refusing to type the words. Look it up or whatever."


Will do, as long as you send me a portion of your fee and ad revenue for the bit of Google you were too lazy to paraphrase for me. Deal?

HURF DURF LIVEJOURNALISM SCHOOL
posted by mippy at 6:16 AM on September 12, 2010


A man who ate his own head? Now I have seen everything.
posted by Biru at 8:54 AM on September 12, 2010


It's very possible that he decided he had enough money, didn't feel like ever acting again, never wanted to act in the first place and made this movie as a private joke between him and casey affleck and doesn't give a fuck if anyone likes it or if his career survives.

I am not sure what to think is going on with him, but he definitely has us talking about him. It's like a train wreck in slow motion, and we're all just voyeurs, but nobody wants to turn away lest we miss something. Well, I know other people have used that metaphor, and it's hardly an original thought ... I will say this, however: if that turns out to be the case, that all this is just an act, I will be impressed. The act has been very convincing, at least on Joaquin's part. Well, he isn't as erratic as I'd expect, although it's difficult to measure. But nobody has broken that story, and if Joaquin remains like this as the months and years go by, it will be harder and harder to believe it's an act. The fact that his dad was played by an actor is really sketchy ... or did I miss some news related to that?
posted by krinklyfig at 9:59 AM on September 12, 2010


It would be pretty awesome if his dad was portrayed by an actor AND this was all real.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:49 AM on September 12, 2010


I will say this, however: if that turns out to be the case, that all this is just an act, I will be impressed. The act has been very convincing, at least on Joaquin's part.

Well, evidently he showed up at the premiere looking completely normal -- clean-shaven, short-haired, de-fatted -- and it's being reported he's actively seeking roles, so I'm thinking it's very safe to put this all in the bullshit pile. It's all pretty nonsensical to me, to be honest, and it kind of makes him seem like a weird jackass, and I can't really imagine it's going to do anything much for his career, but he seems to have succeeded at...whatever the fuck he was trying to do here, I guess.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:55 AM on September 12, 2010


Michael Richards?

I dunno; not that his career was revived or anything but his appearance in the Seinfeld reunion on Curb Your Enthusiasm was pretty damn hilarious.
posted by graventy at 2:01 PM on September 12, 2010


I haven't seen it, but I hope he's acting and not that tortured/nuts. I'd like to see what he could do.
posted by Pax at 4:46 PM on September 12, 2010


I opened for Leaf Eat Self back in 2008, touring with Chinese Drywall.
posted by steef at 8:10 AM on September 13, 2010


Confirmed to be a fake.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:16 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joaquin tells Dave he's sorry but it had to be done
posted by philip-random at 8:52 AM on September 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm terribly happy this was all fake.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:00 AM on September 23, 2010


well, I'm not sorry for Joaquin, but yeah, the world suddenly seems less strange and that's always disappointing.
posted by philip-random at 2:35 PM on September 23, 2010


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