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    Well Played, Joaquin Phoenix, Well Played

    I'm Still Here, Joaquin Phoenix Magnolia Pictures

    And the Oscar should go to Joaquin Phoenix.

    No kidding. No joke. No hoax.

    Just like Phoenix's performance.

    Counterpunch

    But, wait, didn't we hear Casey Affleck confessed I'm Still Here was a fake

    Yes, we heard. But did you read Affleck's so-called confession?

    "I never intended to trick anybody," Affleck, who directed the film about Phoenix's descent into mumbled hip-hop, told the New York Times. "The idea of a quote, hoax, unquote, never entered my mind."

    And that's because this thing we're calling a hoax is arguably the most authentic work that Phoenix has done in his noted career.

    He created a character, and he stayed in character. For nearly two years.

    Somewhere James Franco is wondering how he'll top that. Somewhere Andy Kaufman is bowing to the new master.

    Come to think of it, I'm Still Here is the movie the Kaufman biopic, Man on the Moon, should have been—perplexing, confounding and unsettling to the audience that knows—just knows!—none of it's real (but wonders just the same if any of it is).

    Say, as critics have, that I'm Still Here is boring, tedious and "an exercise in navel-gazing." Just don't say the movie's a fake. Just don't say Phoenix is a fake. As Affleck said Thursday, "It's a terrific performance, it's the performance of his career."

    And maybe the performance of the year.

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    Get the latest on the I'm Still Here controversy right here.

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