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My Own Private River (2012)

Footage from My Own Private Idaho (1991) is re-contextualized in James Franco's tribute to River Phoenix.
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Footage from My Own Private Idaho (1991) is re-contextualized in James Franco's tribute to River Phoenix.

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19 February 2012 (USA)  »

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James Franco's Phoenix documentary - TOTALLY AWESOME
28 October 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I was extremely crazy in love with River Phoenix (RIP) when I was younger and I still welcome everything about him now, more than 20 years after his tragic death.

Furthermore, I never thought, I would be able to watch this amazing documentary.

So, to my surprise, I just had the great opportunity to watch this brilliant documentary by the extremely talented James Franco and high praise also to Gus Van Sant for providing footage of the original title My Own Private Idaho (everyone should also check out that classic movie which should have gained some Oscars).

Oh, I watched this via YouTube, so not sure how long this documentary will stay up and how the person who loaded this onto YouTube got hold of this full documentary but very grateful.

Anyway, this documentary is just WOW, Franco truly respects River Phoenix and it shows, everything was just perfect.

I have to be honest, this reminded me more of a film than a documentary but remembering how awesome River Phoenix was as an actor, is just something so very special; especially, since all this came from pooled never before deleted footage.

I mean all this footage from this documentary could easily have gone into the original movie, might have been slightly different but still, what quality work from all cast members that I saw.

It was nice to see Keanu Reeves, who is in this documentary quite a lot (not in every single seen) but enough to please his fans, not sure what the previous reviewer was talking about? Also, this documentary is to showcase River Phoenix and his talents, so no one should be surprised that the focus is on him more hence the title of this documentary.

Hopefully, everyone will get the opportunity to see this excellent documentary on the big screen sometime soon.

However, I sincerely understand perfectly well, why it would be extremely difficult for the Phoenix family to change their minds again from what I have read and say no, as well as the distribution company of the original movie.

The original movie will always be there nothing can take that classic away and importantly this documentary only adds respectfulness to his legacy (his family would not need to worry but I am sure still difficult to experience), plus everyone knows James Franco is a huge fan of his and the involvement of Gus Van Sant, helps to demonstrate why River Phoenix was one of the best actors of his generation and if only he could have gone on to do much much more.

Anyway, this documentary will make you cry due to the sensitive nature of River Phoenix powerful performance (the whole cast = powerful) and of course the tragic loss of him so soon after the original movie was completed but if you do get to see this outstanding documentary (I feel very lucky) then do so, a must for Phoenix fans and thank you very much James Franco for undertaking such a documentary, he will never be forgotten (I knew I liked Franco for a reason - quality director/actor).


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