Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #144 I’m Still Here

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Movie #144 I’m Still Here

(2010, US, d. Casey Afleck)

It would have been different if anyone took it seriously. It would have been SO different. But the problem of the movie doesn’t lie with the movie. It lies with us: the viewer, the entertained, the follower of gossip, the critic of stardom. If I had taken Joaquin Phoenix’s random change of career seriously, if I had taken his crazy antics seriously, and if I had taken that enormous beard seriously that – as wonderfully stated by Natalie Portman – made him look like “an Hasidic jew in a meth lab”, then maybe this movie would have done its job. But unfortunately, I didn’t. But for as much negative press this film garnered, I actually found a lot of redeeming factors about it. I didn’t get the whole aspect of the film, that according to its filmmakers, “explored celebrity, and explored the relationship between the media and the consumers and the celebrities themselves”, but as an experience in general, I’m glad I watched this. I actually found it quite funny. There are parts that are disgusting and visceral, but even those are embroidered with a sense of satire. Phoenix, in my opinion, deserved to be at least included the awards circuit this year for having transformed himself for so long into this strange, strange, little man. I’m not going to try and convince people this film was any good though because frankly, it’s very easy to understand why one wouldn’t have liked it: A lot of the movie relies on the audience having the feeling that the events on the screen are real, and if that’s ruined, then there’s really not much left.

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