what the heck, Joaquin?
My obsession with the Phoenix family has been long standing and unhealthy. Ever since I was ten and I saw River Phoenix, only to discover he’d already been dead for a year, I’ve been completely fascinated. The the story of River, Joaquin, and their sisters is so bizarre and tragic. (Fun fact: Joaquin has like 3 nephews, and they’re all named after River. True story.)
And since I’m a crazy person, I’ve felt oddly protective over Joaquin (well, as protective as a complete stranger can feel about a wealthy, successful man ten years her senior).
So when this whole “retirement from acting” thing started happening, I immediately began freaking out. I did assume his breakdown was legit. Between the crazy cults, sexual abuse, living on the streets, being a child actor, watching his older brother die, and eventually winning an Oscar, I thought, it all finally came up. He’d lost it.
Then I heard his brother-in-law Casey Affleck was filimg it, and I was like, “Well… if he’s there, he’s gotta be okay. I mean, Casey’s rational. He wouldn’t let Joaquin do anything reasonable?”
So… now Casey’s says its real. The whole thing. All fake.
But… why? Why did they do this? What was the point? To essentially sabotage his own career to make a mockumentary that’s not funny or poignant? I did expect there to be some mention about River or at least some parallel to be drawn about the cost of celebrity on a person. But River’s is blatantly absent from the film, in name or person. Apparently, old home movies in the film were actually cast with child actors. So it’s all fake.
Here’s what I do know: I don’t understand them, but the Phoenix’s are still fascinating and bizarre. And I really do wish them all the best, and hope that they’re doing well.