Joaquin Phoenix's documentary 'I'm Still Here' is a fake.
The film's director Casey Affleck has confirmed the movie's plot - which sees Phoenix grow a long beard and attempt to become a hip-hop star - is a "performance" and not a look into the mind of a man on the brink of a breakdown.
He said: "It's a terrific performance, it's the performance of his career. I never intended to tricky anybody. The idea of a quote, hoax, unquote, never entered my mind."
Even the opening sequence, which sees Phoenix and his "siblings" swimming in a water hole when he was younger, was shot with actors and edited to look older.
Affleck added the film was not an easy one for viewers.
He told the New York Times: "It is a hard movie to watch."
'I'm Still Here' has only made $96,658 (€74,000) at the box office since its limited release in the US on September 10.