DVD: I'm Still Here (15)

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The Independent Culture

The vomiting after a diabolical concert performance looks real, as does P Diddy's befuddled reaction ("No, no, no, that's enough") to Joaquin Phoenix's woeful rapping.

The rest feels defiantly fake in Casey Affleck's baffling documentary, which purports (Affleck and Phoenix have since 'fessed up to this hoax) to chart Joaquin's desire to quit Tinseltown for a hip-hop career. At no point do you feel any sympathy for a shambolic, coke-snorting and paranoid Phoenix. And this fact alone somewhat gives the game away. Presumably Phoenix's entourage – including his abused agent – and Hollywood pals (Ben Stiller), are "in" on the joke. If so, they're sensational actors.

We're "privy" to Phoenix's sex session with call girls, his drug taking and his verbal punch ups. But what's the point, if it's all (presumably) rehearsed? Are best pals Affleck and Phoenix thrusting a middle finger up to the industry that pays them? Is it an attack on celebrity culture? A Spinal Tap/ Borat-style comedy? If so, it's not that funny. Painful, yes, but there are precious little laughs here. P Diddy is the one exception. As in the execrable Get Him to the Greek he's the drollest thing on show.

This truly feels like "a tale/ Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury/ Signifying nothing". Maybe that was the point. But it feels like an awful waste of time for these two considerable talents. Pointless.

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