Director Spike Jonze directed Being John Malkovich in 1999. Being Joaquin Phoenix here, though, is a whole new trip into the loony bin.
Phoenix plays Theodore Twombly, a social misfit who forms a relationship with an artificially intelligent computer operating system (Scarlett Johansson voicing the OS better than any phone-sex operator) which talks intimately to him as though she's his soulmate.
It's kind of like the man-computer yak fest in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Only with Phoenix, it's more Space Oddity because, man, with his porn-star moustache and not-all-there Joaquin gaze into the mystical asylum only he sees, he looks like a serial killer who's just buried another body in his toilet wall.
This clip about a sweet freak actually freaks me out because Amy Adams still lets him hug her. And then the dude goes even more PC - not personal computer, but profoundly creepy.
This is the reason Shia LaBeouf quit hanging out with giant robots. He puts in more acting in this snazzy trailer than all those Transformers movies combined.
As Charlie Countryman, he's a rascally dude who, after sitting next to a dead man on a plane, falls for that stiff's Romanian wild-child daughter (Evan Rachel Wood, both above). Me? I normally just steal the airline spoon.
This clip then becomes a trippy haze where LaBeouf parties and whoops it up until one little hitch - the gal is married to Mads Mikkelsen (TV's Hannibal Lecter), who essays an icy thug so vicious he kicks you in the chest right where you sit. Me? I wouldn't mess for a second with Mad Mads, especially when he threatens scary wise words like "Enjoy your romance while you can; know that it'll all turn into blood in the blink of an eye" without subtitles.
Boy, I'm so going to see this movie. It's got that Euro-style rush of hedonistic, fatalistic thrills - a la Trainspotting - where LaBeouf does more running fleeing from bad choices here than chasing after some silly crystal skull in Indiana Jones. I mean, this has the mesmerising Mikkelsen too. You know, I started to eat Danish because of him.
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