'I'm Still Here' (2010)

The wince-worthy <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB003418" title="Joaquin Phoenix" href="/topic/entertainment/movies/joaquin-phoenix-PECLB003418.topic">Joaquin Phoenix</a> meltdown <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ENMV000101914" title="I'm Still Here (movie)" href="/topic/entertainment/movies/im-still-here-%28movie%29-ENMV000101914.topic">"I'm Still Here"</a> is either all bull, no bull or partly bull. It could be a largely fabricated home movie, based on real events, or it could be more or less as "real" as it fakes out to be.<br>
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On the other hand: Phoenix's father, who appears briefly on screen in the film, is played by someone with the last name of Affleck, possibly (probably?) the father of the director, co-writer and co-producer, <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB000029" title="Casey Affleck" href="/topic/entertainment/casey-affleck-PECLB000029.topic">Casey Affleck</a>. Like Phoenix, Affleck &#8212; who is Phoenix's brother-in-law &#8212; can be a scarifyingly exposed performer on screen. "I'm Still Here" is going for maximum bad-behavior exposure, all of the time, fake or real or both. It's a celebrity-implosion horror movie, enough to make even the worst person in Hollywood, whoever that may be at this instant, think to himself: "At least I don't mistreat my personal assistant so heinously that he exacts revenge by defecating on me while I sleep, and while the camera's running." (Truth or fiction? No in-between on this bit!) Or, "at least I don't go on 'Letterman' and flame out the way Phoenix did in early 2009." Rarely has the question of a <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="0100000004593864" title="Documentary (genre)" href="/topic/arts-culture/genres/documentary-%28genre%29-0100000004593864.topic">documentary</a>'s artifice mattered less. I genuinely hated this picture, almost as much as I've admired Phoenix's work in everything from "Gladiator" to "Walk the Line" and even the hackneyed but affecting "Two Lovers," after which Phoenix decided to retire from acting and devote himself, in between screwing around and being a self-immolating lout (if the movie's "true"), to a wing-and-a-delusional-prayer career as a rapper.<br>
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Read the <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/sc-mov-0907-im-still-here-20100908,0,996806.column">full "I'm Still Here" review</a>.<br>
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&#8212; <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB0000008127" title="Michael Phillips" href="/topic/arts-culture/journalism/michael-phillips-PECLB0000008127.topic">Michael Phillips</a>

( June 13, 2012 )

The wince-worthy Joaquin Phoenix meltdown "I'm Still Here" is either all bull, no bull or partly bull. It could be a largely fabricated home movie, based on real events, or it could be more or less as "real" as it fakes out to be.

On the other hand: Phoenix's father, who appears briefly on screen in the film, is played by someone with the last name of Affleck, possibly (probably?) the father of the director, co-writer and co-producer, Casey Affleck. Like Phoenix, Affleck — who is Phoenix's brother-in-law — can be a scarifyingly exposed performer on screen. "I'm Still Here" is going for maximum bad-behavior exposure, all of the time, fake or real or both. It's a celebrity-implosion horror movie, enough to make even the worst person in Hollywood, whoever that may be at this instant, think to himself: "At least I don't mistreat my personal assistant so heinously that he exacts revenge by defecating on me while I sleep, and while the camera's running." (Truth or fiction? No in-between on this bit!) Or, "at least I don't go on 'Letterman' and flame out the way Phoenix did in early 2009." Rarely has the question of a documentary's artifice mattered less. I genuinely hated this picture, almost as much as I've admired Phoenix's work in everything from "Gladiator" to "Walk the Line" and even the hackneyed but affecting "Two Lovers," after which Phoenix decided to retire from acting and devote himself, in between screwing around and being a self-immolating lout (if the movie's "true"), to a wing-and-a-delusional-prayer career as a rapper.

Read the full "I'm Still Here" review.

Michael Phillips

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