The Top 10 Funniest Quotes from I’m Still Here Reviews

Is it real? Is a hoax? Is it wonderful? Is it horrible? Does Diddy sic his posse on the entire cast and crew? These are only a few of the many questions surrounding I’m Still Here, Casey Affleck’s Joaquin Phoenix meltdown “documentary,” which opens today. It’s drawn comparisons to everything from Lars von Trier to Entourage to Jackass, and critics are totally split on whether it’s brilliant performance art or tasteless exploitation. While we’re reserving our judgment until we actually see the film, we do recommend that whether you decide to see it or not, you read the reviews — because they’re hilarious. After the jump, 10 laugh-out-loud funny quotes from (mostly negatively) write-ups of I’m Still Here.

10. “Phoenix is either spewing invective, mumbling incoherently, philosophizing lamely or whining about how acting imprisoned him by forcing him to speak other people’s words. He refers to himself alternately as a ‘(expletive) puppet’ or a doll. If so, I think I’d rather watch Chucky.” – Claudia Puig, USA Today

9. “[C]ompared to this goofball, Warren Beatty’s Bulworth is Jay-Z. When he delivers his rhymes, he sounds like a man trying to recite the Gettysburg address through a mouthful of mashed potatoes.” – Matt Zoller Seitz, Salon (Note: This was actually part of a positive review.)

8. “Much of it feels like watching a news cameraman take pictures of someone who has just poured gasoline on himself and is about to light a match. (No, make that someone who has already lit the match and has just dropped it into his lap.)” – Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

7. “[L]est we forget, Vincent Gallo has been doing the irascible maniac act for a number of years now, so the film’s characterisation of ‘Joaquin Phoenix’ doesn’t even feel all that new or exciting. Now, a film of Gallo trying to be pleasant and civil for a year? I’d pay to see that.” – David Jenkins, Time Out (London)

6. “[W]hile the Oscar-nominated actor (‘Gladiator,’ ‘Walk the Line’) may someday choose to act again, the obscurity he claims to desire will likely become a reality, since what he does, and how he behaves, in this film is as pleasant as chewing glass… By the end, Phoenix does rap, and the world yawns.” – Jon Neumaier, NY Daily News

5. “I’m Still Here is structured largely as a vérité data dump, a floppy, ugly look at an actor in a tailspin of vile and/or pitiable behavior that we are invited to figure out as the participants dissolve behind a veil of artistic prerogative. I imagine the ensuing, divergent reactions (Misogynist! Genius!) will be incorporated into a performance prank that is very much ongoing. I also think that Affleck and Phoenix overestimated the interest anyone would have in assuming so much of this project’s interpretive burden. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I stopped guessing about 13 months ago, and this film did nothing to re-engage my interest.” – Michelle Orange, Movieline (bonus points for the Le Tigre ref)

4. “Here’s a documentary I’d like to see: Joaquin Phoenix pouring hot tar on roofs for a few weeks. Or Joaquin Phoenix working as personal assistant to a star who is just as narcissistic as he is. If there was ever a human being who needed a visit from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, this is the guy.” – Peter Hartlaub, SF Chronicle

3. “I’m Still Here… felt like the slow-motion Inception universe’s idea of 107 minutes.” – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

2. “If you’re still considering seeing this documentary, out of some misplaced belief that it will teach you something about celebrity or self-reinvention or performance art, be warned that there’s a running theme of gross-out scenes involving bodily emissions.” – Dana Stevens, Slate

1. “He punches an assistant with his doughy Hobbit fist and is rewarded when the employee schemes to insert a scene of himself squatting over the sleeping Phoenix and attempting to defecate on him. (If this act had actually been completed before the actor woke up, it would have been the film’s one cheer-worthy moment.)” – Kyle Smith, NY Post