Archives for posts with tag: Joaquin Phoenix

It’s rare that I wish a movie had more hijinks, but “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” (2018) is a lot of work. Most movies whose plots revolve around the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step model are. This one’s a grind. (Plus, Joaquin Phoenix has a unique ability to make ambivalent protagonists even less likeable than they should be.) But there are a couple of payoffs. One is watching the ongoing evolution of Jonah Hill as a character actor. The other is staring you in the face the whole movie and director Gus Van Sant neatly and satisfyingly resolves it.

At one point during “You Were Never Really Here” (2018), Joaquin Phoenix appears to extract a tooth with a pair of pliers. Since he’s sooooo Joaquin Phoenix, I briefly wondered if he was really doing it. If there’s one actor who would, he would. It was a fascinating distraction and synopsizes this film about a seriously traumatized dude who rescues traumatized kids only to get caught up in a 1970s-style pervy political conspiracy. Between the flashbacks and hallucinations, there are a lot of fascinating distractions from the fact that the plot – and a lot of the dialogue – is completely incoherent.

Let’s say you fall in love with Siri, but she breaks up with you. Can you go back to the Apple Store for a refund? (Asking for a friend.) With that burning question out of the way, let’s talk about “Her” (2013). The plot – a dude living in a digital-media-immersed Los Angeles falls in love with his uberSiri computer operating system – is so quirky it’s almost a distraction from all the questions it provokes. At its fascinating core, “Her” wants us to ponder the nature of love, specifically, and relationships, generally, in our Facebook age. I wonder what Siri thinks.