Monday, December 27, 2010
In a shock heard around the entertainment world in October 2008, Joaquin Phoenix announced his retirement from the acting world, brother-in-law Casey Affleck was there filming it all as he attempted to transition into a career in hip-hop which ultimately turned into a documentary about a star and his nervous breakdown which lasted nearly a year. In September 2010 upon the film’s release we find out what we had all suspected that it was all bullshit.
One could make the argument that this was a masterstroke in filmmaking, working the 24 hour news cycle in the media and the very Hollywood system itself in believing this farce and turning into a cunning social comment on the very system that Phoenix and Affleck make a living on…or it was just a couple of assholes running around doing whatever the hell they wanted. 2 talented actors got bored, got high and wanted to make their own version of Borat, Bruno etc, and is usually the case it was only funny in small doses.
There incessant insider references about the Hollywood would befuddle someone who works in that industry (it did for me) and the whole project came off like a vanity jerk off session, spitting in the face of an industry that made them. A 5-10 minute skit of Phoenix’s meta-satire riffs could have been funny, hell that’s what “Funny or Die” is for, but it just got stretched way too far.
I hope…no I pray that what passes for a mockumentary these days gets a serious upgrade, because this type of movie runs the risk of committing the worst crime in art, it’ll get played out and boring.