Did Joaquin Phoenix really tumble off the edge and let himself go last year? Or did he simply stay "in-character" for several months? The trailer for I'm Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix offers a sneak peek at what's to come, with little answers.

We are either watching a man's tragic downfall towards Howard Hughes levels of insanity, or a brilliant actor taking on a role of himself in another life. In the trailer we see Phoenix gain weight, allow his hair to grow thick and unkempt along with a beard - but we also see him apparently thrive on the streets, on a speeding boat, and in a pulsing nightclub.

"Several buyers said the film overflowed with Hollywood debauchery, including more male frontal nudity than you’d find in some gay porn films and a stomach-turning sequence in which someone feuding with Phoenix defecates on the actor while he’s asleep," said an LA Times writer of the film. While that sounds like a description of an amusing farce starring the likes of Sacha Baron Cohen, the first trailer of the Casey Affleck film presents it as a dark film with a glimpse of uplifting moments. I'm Still Here arrives in theaters September 10.

Joaquin Phoenix Pictures