"Joaquin Phoenix has really lost the plot. Stunning performance in Walk the Line and then an eye-popping decline in his career ever since. This strikes me as attention-seeking rubbish – which was staged, self-gratifying and completely pointless."
"He doesn't look so bad, does he?"
Mehmet Ali Toktas
"I don't think anyone was falling for this, were they? Since there are so many 'celebs' falling apart before our very eyes I can't see the attraction of wanting to watch a film about someone's career nosediving and pretending to lose the plot. The news is full of stories about Amy, Lindsay, Britney, Paris, and the old biddies dishing out dollars in an attempt to fight wrinkles and sag (Madonna, Demi, Kylie, Stallone, Rourke etc) – so why should one care about this? As anyone who watched the Letterman show could clearly see, he's not serious. I think I even detected the odd smile behind those glasses and the beard."
"I think it's brilliant... He's always had a sense of humour and a sense of the bizarre, and this combines them... I don't think it's necessarily vain, I think it's a bloody good joke, and a man just wanting to have some obscure fun... If he can do it, why not?"
"This entire 'hoax' is just proof that you can put any polished rubbish in front of the media and they'll make it a story."
"I felt a little cheated to be honest. How dare he make a fool of his audience like this? I felt compassion for his plight and then discovered it was all a hoax. My boyfriend has lost his marbles on a few occasions and I can tell you I woudn't want to make a home movie about it."
"He's so talented that he both had the first and last laugh. Talk about puppeteering of the media. Maybe not Borat, but very good anyway."
"I liked this guy. Over the past two years all I've seen are a few reports saying he had totally lost it. And thinking of his brother, and Heath Ledger, I felt concerned and sad. But hurrah! It's a joke! How hilarious! No, it's emotionally exploitative. A prank for his entertainment, but not for ours... Very bad taste... The whole hoax strikes me as vain self-indulgence. I thought he was more intelligent than this... "
"Who says his career nosedived? Two years of not working – but I don't think he's sleeping in the gutter. Like Hollywood is not going to be clamoring for this guy once he's back in the mix."
"In a business where every career move is strategised like a military campaign, you've got to love a guy who puts it all on the line... "
"Hoaxing Hollywood and pulling the wool over a good chunk of the public's eyes? I have to admire someone with the gall to pull off a trick like that."
"Who cares if it's a hoax? We should all be grateful that Joaquin Phoenix hasn't been lost to hip-hop after all. His rapping is truly awful, but as this rambling, self-indulgent but occasionally brilliantly funny film proves, he's one of the finest actors working in Hollywood today."
Next week in Culture Club: 'Eat, Pray, Love'
Please email your views on the film, starring Julia Roberts as a woman who goes on a round-the-world journey of self-discovery, to cultureclub@ independent.co.uk. The best will be published next Thursday