'I'm Still Here' trailer: Is Joaquin Phoenix fascinating or simply in need of a good shave and a nap?

You may remember the much-watched clip of actor Joaquin Phoenix mystifying David Letterman. Or  heard the news about his confusing plans to quit the movie biz and recreate himself as a rap star. His strange period of reinvention — the jury is out on whether the talented actor is having Kaufman-esque fun with identity or an enormously self-serious cuckoo — is documented in first-time director, and brother-in-law Casey Affleck’s I’m Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix, which will hit theaters on Sept. 10. (The film has been in the news lately, with a fired crew member suing Affleck for sexual harassment and him hitting her back with a countersuit.) The trailer looks beautiful, and I’m a sucker for most behind-the-scenes looks at famous people. They always look so trapped by the mean lights of the paparazzi line, their hotel rooms so depressingly grand and anonymous. Phoenix’s bulging pot belly seems at once vulnerable and aggressive, an f- you to good health and Hollywood beauty standards. But why do I worry that the movie will lack any real sense of self-awareness or humor, and that its narrative structure will sag without a genuinely reflective subject holding it together?

What do you think? Is Joaquin Phoenix an artist or an attention-hungry buffoon? Could he be both? Did you check in or out during the water droplets metaphor? However silly you might find the akimbo nest that is now the man’s hair, do you still admire his very real gifts as an actor? (See evidence below: the “Folsom Prison Blues” number from Walk the Line.)

Comments (24 total) Add your comment
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  • Josh

    I only like this trailer for the fact that Admiral Adama is the narrator. If he says it, is has to be true.

    Though this does confirm that Joaquin Phoenix is a Cylon.

    • yogi

      beautiful.

    • Catherine

      So say we all!

    • Kristen

      I think Joaquin is a reliable actor and at his best seriously outperforms. He is one of those actors you go back and remember he was in that movie (8mm or parenthood) and you find yourself becoming more of a fan of his work. He goes unnoticed and still remember him as a character you could tolerate even in unpleasant circumstances simply because of his own presence. Like any other actor and the character would not have had the positive impact it had on me.

  • Amelia

    Oh Joaquin and Casey. I love you both as actors, but am currently questioning you as people (especially Joaquin, but Casey agreed to film this).

  • dan

    he is an idiot.

  • Henry

    This is simply the end result of narcissistic excess. Let the boys be boys.

  • D_Rider

    Yaawwwnnn….. The late Andy Kaufman already did this schtick.

  • Kingsley Shacklebolt

    I love Joaquin. Can’t wait to see it. I enjoyed the water drop analogy.

  • emily

    i’m hoping he’s not a narcissist

  • wooster182

    You realize he’s not still unclean and unhealthy, right? He showed up on the radar several months ago clean, skinny, and looking very healthy. There’s no way he went from that pot belly in the trailer to the skinny minnie he is now unintentionally. I’d hardly call him a media hungry buffoon since he stayed out of the public eye for about a year. And he seems intelligent, self aware and honest, which leads me to believe that the movie will be interesting and cohesive. I don’t understand why people are so ready to pounce on him for this. And respect Edward James Olmos, people! Only he could make you want to cry like a baby for a water drop reference. So say we all!

  • thin

    Going to go with “buffoon.”

  • Will

    looks like Joaquin gets pregnant in this movie…Looks like a cute Rom-Com to me.

  • Bubba

    it looks good to me.

    • Cindy

      Me too

    • Km

      You have no taste. The trailer is dumb and predictable. Literally a year ago I knew EXACTLY what they were going to do with this film/trailer. And I was right. Predictable, unoriginal, and stupid.

  • Adda Girl

    Unless Joaquin is going to be playing Ted Kazinski sometime soon, he needs to ditch the crazy look and persona.

  • Jean Genie

    I hope Joaquin will get over this weirdness – I’ve loved his movies. Too bad his brother in law is a jerk.

  • Ugly Jenny

    I’m not really sure what to think of this and I love Joaquin….interesting, weird, flat-out excessive? But I’m definitely curious to see the end result so I guess the trailer did it’s job.

  • Bridget

    I love Joaquin and Casey, so hoax or not, I’m very excited to see this movie!

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