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Is De Niro Back? Did He Ever Leave?

A Dramatic Recreation of an Argument My Dad and I Must Have Had 1000 Times: 

Me: Man, De Niro has totally lost it. It is so pathetic to see him just recreating that “you talkin’ to me” attitude over and over again in idiotic movies, doing that skeptical-lip-scrunch-eyebrows-raised-shrugging-the-shoulders thing he does. This is the guy who played Jake LaMotta for Chrissake! Travis freakin’ Bickle!

Dad: Yeah, well he’s making a lot of money. 

Me: Yeah, but he could do so much better. He’s an artist! I just don’t get it…

Dad: There’s nothing wrong with making money. 

Me: He could make money and make good movies! 

Dad: Not as much money.

So I’m intrigued and excited about all the positive reviews I’ve been reading of De Niro’s performance in Being Flynn, a new film by writer/director Paul Weitz. The critics have some problems with the script, but universally praise De Niro’s performance as complex, multilayered, and powerful. A reminder of what an incredible actor he can be. 

But who’s right here? Me or my dad? Is it too much to expect of our artistic heroes that they keep raising the artistic bar they set in their angry, hungry youth?

Follow Jason Gots (@jgots) on Twitter


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