We’re all back to school in one way or another—including the film world, who is rolling out all the top guns for Oscar consideration right around now. To that end, I’ve seen a bevy of fascinating, and fascinatingly flawed, films in the last few weeks. The two haunting me most are the docs I’m Still Here, Casey Affleck’s exploration into brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix’s ostensible nervous breakdown, and Catfish, about 24-year-old NYC photographer Nev’s curious relationship with an 8-year-old painter and her talented Michigan family. The old news, and even older hat: controversy swirls around both docs, whose authenticity has been called into question ever since their initial screenings. In the case of I’m Still Here, of course, Affleck invited that controversy, especially since he declared this week that he and Phoenix staged the breakdown, including the actor’s legendarily dissociative Letterman performance. Many critics and (fewer) members of the general public are now up in arms. How dare he prank us? Who does he think he is? Who does he think we are?
L’Shana Tova, indeed. Continue Reading →