"Wow. What on Earth is going on with Joaquin Phoenix?" asked Maureen Ryan in the Chicago Tribune. He made a "surreal" appearance on "The Late Show With David Letterman" Wednesday night, speaking in monosyllables, chewing gum, wearing shades, and mumbling about his new rap career (click here for the video). As the interview ended, Letterman said, "Joaquin, I'm sorry you couldn't be here tonight."
This was "an exercise in squirmingly uncomfortable comic gold," said Craig Newman in the Chicago Sun-Times. Phoenix was on to promote his new movie, "Two Lovers," or his rap career, "or ... well ... who knows, really." All mystified viewers seem concerned about is whether he was high or "just a jerk." And, "what's up with the beard?"
Phoenix's behavior has turned Friday's opening of "Two Lovers" into "a circus nearly as surreal as anything staged by Fellini or Cirque du Soleil," said John Horn in the Los Angeles Times. Phoenix says the film is his "swan song"—he's retiring from acting to devote himself to music. The "unusual declaration" is overshadowing the film itself, "seriously testing the long-standing adage that there's no such thing as bad publicity."
- Why income inequality has become the Democratic Party's top issue
- The indignity of canine bath time
- Watch The Daily Show definitively prove that corporations are not people
- Is it possible to live forever?
- 5 books to read before your 30th birthday
- How to make the perfect hot chocolate
- Why Americans care about Rob Ford's drug abuse but not Nigella Lawson's
- 11 languages spoken by 11 people or fewer
- No, Obama doesn't have to fire everybody in the White House
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week