I’m Still Here
This meandering mockumentary about the meltdown of actor Joaquin Phoenix and his resurrection as a wannabe rapper is performance art as partly channeled through the profane, episodic, iconoclastic looking glasses of Jackass and Borat. Phoenix’s bizarre 2009 appearance on David Letterman, which was “outed” by director and brother-in-law Casey Affleck as part of an elaborate hoax-experiment, is the pivot point here as the Oscar-nominated thespian slides from red-carpet media magnet to a drug-drenched, bloated, hygiene-challenged, clueless, pathetic rapper who hires hookers over the Internet and abuses his associates so relentlessly that one personal assistant actual defecates on him while he sleeps. Phoenix paints a convincing, disturbing face on a Hollywood star who feels betrayed and imprisoned by the very craft he once revered, but there’s no meat on the skeletal story here as he struggles to resurface in a world where Sean “P. Diddy” Combs reigns as king and reluctant mentor.