Originally Posted by DArtagnan
I don't really know how to rate it. It's a very hard film to watch - almost painful.
It deals with nothing except the human condition - specifically for people who're set apart in some way from "normal" people.
I will say that the performances are out of this world, and Joaquin Phoenix has transformed himself in a way I'm not sure I've seen before. It's like he changed every aspect of himself to match the character. He seems to go beyond even Daniel Day Lewis - or the old De Niro. One of the most expressive performances of all time.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is also very powerful and convincing as a larger-than-life con-man. I'm not sure if he believes his own bullshit, but he certainly doesn't react well when confronted with insistence.
Everyone, basically, is fantastic.
The music supports what happens very efficiently - and is truly unsettling.
But, with all that said, it's not entertainment. It's something else. I wouldn't recommend it to people who're not fascinated by all aspect of humanity. Looking for some fun? Stay far away from this one. It's one of the least accessible films from an american director I've ever seen.