Misanthropology: Joaquin Phoenix

Misanthropology: Joaquin Phoenix
Some are entranced by the impenetrable and quixotic. Some find an abandonment of familiar ground to be a daring and laudable career move. Some love to watch stars burn out in a brilliant blaze of ultra-violet.

And we do too! But insincerity is a big buzzkill, and Joaquin Phoenix, who had made a tidy and profitable career for himself as a decidedly unobjectionable screen presence, is making just this sort of left turn. The kind that finds us scratching our heads, laughing derisively, and quickly hacking out a few bullet points for his inauguration into Gimme Noise's hall of shame, Misanthropology. Click below the jump to find five helpful hints about how to hate on the new-look Joaquin Phoenix.

1. His career. Odd how a quick gonzo turn can gild his previous work. Now that he's moping around in an opium daze (the authenticity of which is under hot debate-- our take? Phoney baloney) and muttering half-baked freestyle raps and announcing his retirement from acting (also of dubious veracity), you'd think people were mourning the loss of Sir Ian McKellan. Look, we enjoyed Gladiator as much as the next blog. But Signs? Ladder 49? Quills? De Niro he ain't.

2. American actor, British accent. We don't care if it was a red herring in The Village, or a necessary convention of the American Gladiator movie. Phoenix's turns as an emperor and a rural knave score him a coveted spot directly beside Dick Van Dyke. Fledgling filmmakers, we beg of you-- there's 51,000,000 people on that little imperial isle. Splurge on a plane ticket and spare us the indignity.

3. That fucking beard. Yeah, we've watched a lot of Zach Galifianakis too.

4. Taking the genius out of "tortured genius." Rumors that this is all a bit of viral marketing for Casey Affleck's upcoming mockumentary be damned-- the difference between Joaquin Phoenix and Andy Kaufman is the difference between the firefly and the fire.

5. His rap music. Unfortunately, it seems that it really will take a nation of millions to hold him back.

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