Last night Joaquin Phoenix made his first return visit to The Late Show with David Letterman since his faked meltdown 18 months ago. In explaining the genesis of the idea and his bizarre immersion in the fictional documentary I’m Still Here, Phoenix went a long way in convincing confused viewers that he’s returned to sanity too. In fact never went over the edge at all.
Before the interview, Letterman’s intro involved a lengthy explanation of his own involvement or cluelessness, and there still seems to be a degree of fishiness going on. Letterman continues to play the naive act to some extent and directly contradicts earlier claims this week that he was in on the joke all along. Does this mean
Casey Affleck staff writer Bill Scheft was lying a few days ago when he said he fed Letterman one-liners about Farrah Fawcett that Dave later delivered as part of a semi-scripted performance? Or is Dave still weirdly pretending that he had little idea what was going on and just “playing along”? I have to say, I’m bored even typing out those two alternatives. Phoenix’s original Late Show appearance in January 2009 was a bore. All the clips I see of this documentary look tiresome and clearly bogus. Phoenix is not a whole lot more articulate when he’s cleaned up than he was when playing out this shaggy dodge story. Maybe the fake documentary is genius — I haven’t seen it — but now I’ll need to seek it out to keep up with the discussion, and it already feels like a chore. Another two hours of my life forcibly invested in a movie that’s been gnawing away at my attention for way too long.