I'm Still Here
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"I'm Still Here" covers all the trappings of a celebrity life in descent. Drug use, prostitutes, public intoxication, brawling and a "star" desperate to be taken seriously despite his best efforts to act a fool--we've seen the act before in countless narrative films and fictionalized biographies. We get a repeat of the infamous Letterman interview, the concert performance that became a YouTube sensation, and the incident where Phoenix attacked a concert goer. We also get to see moments of celebrity intervention--Edward James Olmos tries the spiritual approach while Ben Stiller tries to get Phoenix back to work. Much of the film is about a scramble to get into the music industry. Phoenix aggressively pursues P. Diddy, the film's most inspired performance, who is mainly just concerned about getting paid. Now that's real! And it all concludes on a rather ridiculous "arty" note which has got to be satirical.
Affleck has maintained that this is his brother-in-law's best performance.Read more ›
But the film holds up on its own, too. Like 'Exit Through the Gift Shop' by Banksy, it raises wonderful questions on art and life, celebrity and talent, by personally putting the filmmaker's, or artist's reputation on the line. And look for an great performance by Sean Combs (P. Diddy) as a hip hop entrepreneur who brilliantly parodies and plays with our expectations of Diddy himself.
The message? We don't know these people, so perhaps we ought to give up the judgements we make of these celebrities and stars with whom we hold no real affiliation. After all, they are just like us they can be flawed - even if they are richer - a lot richer - more respected, more beautiful, and more privileged that we the huddled masses.
Now, if it is not a gag, well, Joaquin Phoenix has transformed himself into the ultimate in Hollywood cliches. The misunderstood actor who wants to move past the restrictions of Hollywood and "express his art". If it is not a gag, the real issue is that Phoenix is a dope addict and a rotten person indeed...but it's almost certainly a gag.
* About to meet P Diddy, Phoenix tells his companion: "Don't tell them you're from New Jersey".
* There are a lot of scenes with men lying around on beds talking. One particular friend likes to expose his genitals for the cameras. There is another scene of a naked friend running around while Phoenix playfully chases him with a towel, popping the friend's hind end. As the movie progressed, I half expected a gladiator scene. Gag or not, there is a subtext here. Not sure whether that was intended or not.
* Phoenix snorting coke (or powdered sugar) off a hooker's breasts.
* Ben Stiller (in on it?) trying to convince Phoenix to play in his new movie. Phoenix accuses Stiller of "playing Ben Stiller" and that is exactly what he is doing. It was the same semi-loser character from all of his films.
* Phoenix fleeing a movie premier and fighting furiously to get through a door with a huge "this is not an exit" sign on it.
* The actual hip hop performances. Phoenix is like the huge drunk guy on karaoke night storming the stage to sing "Free Bird". The best indicator this is actually a big gag.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Depressing is how I will sum it up. Sure it starts out funny if you're like me and knew it was supposed to be sort of a hoax movie. Read morePublished 3 months ago by MissC
It very interesting to watch, first hand, a life of someone, most other people think has the perfect life.... yet it's just like most of ours. I know it might be a flook. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Shannon
My God this was so great!!! To put together such a damaged and insane character and run with it for two years! Fooling EVERYONE from celebrities to media to fans. IT WAS SO FUNNY. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Vince
Good insightful entertaining. A bit crude but interesting if you wonder about what went in with JoaquinPublished 9 months ago by Josclyn