Have Your Say: What's Your Favourite Robert De Niro Performance?
Arguably the greatest American actor of his generation, Robert De Niro has, in recent years, become a prime contender for the "should have retired years ago" cone of shame. Roles in films like Analyse This and Meet the Parents encouraged an ageing De Niro to steer more towards comedy - where he could continue to demand substantial salaries while putting in notably less effort than some of his earlier, more physical roles.
Not that anyone can blame him either. He's an old man, but when the guy who gave us Travis Bickle, Vito Corleone, Jake La Motta and Jimmy Conway pumps out a string of dross that includes comedies Little Fockers and The Big Wedding, alongside big name team-ups like Last Vegas, Righteous Kill or Grudge Match it becomes increasingly difficult to forgive the man. The fact that when he wants to, like in David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, he can still pull an Oscar-nominated performance out of his hat, only makes the current state of his career even harder to stomach. Don't get me started on those trailers for The Intern.
But it's the man's birthday, so let's not dwell on his mistakes. There was a time, if we will allow ourselves to remember it, when two-time Academy Award winner Robert De Niro was a solid gold stamp of thespian quality in what was probably going to be a pretty damn good film too. There are those eight collaborations with Scorsese for starters, which include the still criminally under-seen The King of Comedy and the film that made his name, Mean Streets. There are his weighty roles in quality 70s fare like The Last Tycoon and The Deer Hunter, his villainous turns in 80s classics Angel Heart and The Untouchables, not to mention late-career highlights such as Cape Fear and Heat.
So yeah, I'm talkin' to you. What's your favourite Robert De Niro performance?