The whole “is Joaquin Phoenix really retiring from acting to become a rapper?” and/or “hoax?” debate was getting so Joaquin Boring. People claimed he made it all up. He claimed those people were just jealous (what?). It turns out he also does some freestyle rapping in his “final” movie, but it’s a James Gray movie, so did James Gray write the rap into the script or was it an Easter egg for the superfans? Whoaquin Carex? But part of the problem with the story is that it’s been all talk. Crazy actions speak so much louder than crazy words (unless crazy words are being screamed).
So now, after last night’s admittedly pretty incredible Letterman appearance, when we can actually see Phoenix in action, we have a whole new real v. hoax debate to talk about because what was that all about?
This clip already has 100,000 views, and it just went online last night. People are lovin’ it. Your mom’s lovin’ it. I’ve heard this described as being of Crispin Glover proportions of epicness. I don’t know about that. The Crispin Glover appearance is incredible. And the thing about Crispin Glover is that he was always fucking with us. Crispin Glover is watching the whole Joaquin Phoenix saga from his velvet-lined houseboat made of human bones, saying “n00b.”
My feelings on the whole issue are summed up pretty nicely by this:
Nope. No he is not. This Phoenix thing is not the work of a genius. But that does suggest the question “is it even work?” Because, as Lindsay suggested a couple of weeks ago, it could be drug-fueled brain liquefaction. But I’m not sure if I buy that either. This seems too much like a game being played by a self-indulgent narcissist who doesn’t actually understand the rules. Because, obviously:
David Letterman: 1
Joaquin Phoenix: 0
And that’s being generous to Phoenix. Dave scored a bunch of classic zings last night. He should change his name to David Zingerman and open a deli.