Tuesday September 14th 2010
As the debate over its authenticity rages on in even the darkest corners of the blogosphere, Casey Affleck’s directorial debut I’m Still Here arrives on UK shores this week. It’s very good. Not quite as good as Exit Through The Gift Shop, but very good.
Phoenix’s performance is phenomenal, and if he’s actually eligible for (and would accept) acting accolades, he deserves them all. The JP of I’m Still Here is a fairly grotesque, cruel and heartless figure but he’s always believable. And actually, it’s fairly easy to side with him when he’s up against even bigger cunts like David Letterman.
Equally dramatic is the physical transformation he’s undergone over the last few years…
The film is obsessively authentic, nearly rivaling Gift Shop for plausibility, but there are still a few moments that show it up as a put-on, including writing credits for Phoenix and Affleck, some overly convenient dialogue, and a not-entirely-convincing scene with Ben Stiller. That said, plenty of the film’s participants seem as clueless as we are about the real truth behind it all, and you suspect that even the most ‘provocative’ moments have at least a thin layer of reality to them.
Given the abundance of hard drug use, prostitutes and male nudity, it seems kind of incredible that the BBFC have happily passed it at 15 – especially given their stance on films like Jackass. That said, whoever wrote that it contained…
‘more male frontal nudity than you’d find in some gay porn films’
… has clearly never seen a gay porn film.
(Not that I have either. I swear.)
It’s hard not to think about just how amazing I’m Still Here could have been had they pushed the idea a little further, but nonetheless it’s a brilliant ‘little film’ and a worthy addition to the so-hot-right-now pseudo documentary genre. Now lose the beard, JP.