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Entries in Robert De Niro (24)

Thursday
Jun142018

Months of Meryl: Marvin's Room (1996)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

 

#24 —Lee, a frazzled single mom and aspiring hairdresser who reunites with her ailing sister.

JOHN: Marvin’s Room begins with a slow outward zoom of assorted pill bottles and other medical paraphernalia scored to whimsically upbeat music that immediately establishes the film’s split personality between dysfunctional family comedy and sentimental illness drama. We soon learn that the titular Marvin is the bedridden and near-death father of Bessie (Diane Keaton) and brother of Ruth (Gwen Verdon), three members of a looney Floridian family. No sooner than Marvin’s illness and medical routine is introduced, Bessie is herself diagnosed with leukemia by Dr. Robert De Niro (who also produced the film). He recommends that Bessie's family members be tested for a possible bone marrow transplant. This diagnosis is the film’s engine, reuniting her with her sister Lee (Meryl Streep) and nephews Hank (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Charlie (Hal Scardino), bridging a twenty year gap between this estranged family...

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Thursday
Mar082018

Months of Meryl: Falling in Love (1984)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 


#10 —Molly Gilmore, a married woman who, against her better judgment, falls in love with a married man.

JOHN: Falling in Love is my favorite movie. Well, not exactly. I only just watched it for the first time, so I can’t exactly gauge the extent of my affection. But I’ll repeat: Falling in Love is my favorite movie. It’s hard not to fall in love (sorry) with a movie where Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro have an affair in 1983 New York City, aided by best pals Dianne Wiest and Harvey Keitel. After a chance encounter at the beautiful Manhattan bookstore Rizzoli on Christmas Eve, the two meet again months later, care of the blessed Metro North, and eventually have their desires and marriages tested. One could say it’s a Mazursky-inflected Deer Hunter reunion, minus the wit, or The Bridges of Dobbs Ferry, minus the tension. But Falling in Love is an almost lovingly clichéd brief encounter featuring two unexpectedly nuanced lead performances. It’s cinematic comfort food of the loveliest order.

Streep is Molly Gilmore, a graphic designer with a stiff doctor husband (David Clennon) and a dying father (George Martin), and nearly nothing else of a backstory to report. In our last entry I noted that Streep as Karen Silkwood is ostensibly the closest character to her own personality that she had yet played, but Falling in Love quickly bucks that distinction...

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Friday
Jan122018

Months of Meryl: The Deer Hunter (1978)

Hi, we’re John and Matt and, in case you missed it, we are watching every single feature film starring Meryl Streep.

#2 — Linda, a working-class girl waiting for the return of her fiancé (and her fiancé’s pal) from Vietnam.

JOHN: The Deer Hunter is a mammoth film, both an epic tale of a soldier’s journey to hell and back (and back again), and an intimate communal study. Meryl Streep is Linda, engaged to Nick (Christopher Walken) but in love with his best friend Michael (Robert De Niro). Streep is given an underwritten part and asked to stand-in for ideas about femininity — and often simply femininity itself — in a picture dripping with testosterone. The film carefully takes stock of its male relationships, tracing masculine bravado from the Pennsylvania mines to the roulette dens of Vietnam, both critical of masculinity and uncommonly poignant in uncovering the deep bonds that exist between men. Linda often provides the film’s only tender balm to such machismo, but Streep transforms her Girl Back Home into an uncommonly rich creation. This is no flimsy Anne Marie. Linda is a supernatural creation of intense sincerity, relaxed yet energetic, guarded yet vulnerable, the film’s emotional core and its anxious heartbeat.

The Deer Hunter contains your favorite Meryl Moment, Matthew, right?... 

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Tuesday
May172016

10 questions for your new home viewing adventures

I expect honest answers in the comments! 

Newish to DVD/BluRay
The Boy -have you ever been scared of a doll? 
Deadpool - What did you think of that junkyard finale?
Dirty Grandpa - Do you think Robert de Niro feels any shame about his filmography or just laughs all the way to the bank? 
Janis: Little Girl Blue - Will Amy Adams will ever actually make that Janis Joplin bio and how many movies do we really need about the singer anyway? 
The Program - Ben Foster. Scary or sexy?
The Witch - Wouldst thou live deliciously?

Also new: Where to Invade Next, Captive, War & Peace (series), Theeb, Orange is the New Black Season 3

I am a boxer for the freedom of cinematic expression!
-Sergei Eisenstein (in Eisenstein in Guatanjuato)

Streaming
99 Homes - Was Michael Shannon robbed of an Oscar nom?
Eisenstein in Guanajuato - Have you ever seen a Peter Greenaway movie? (They're so bonkers and, nowadays at least, underappreciated. Including this one)
Hot Pursuit- Should Reese make more comedies or pursue Oscar #2 with more Wilds?
Humans S1 - Would you feel bad about having sex with a robot programmed to serve you since they can't really give consent? 

Also new: Tell Me You Love Me (S1), RegressionKindergarten Cop 2, Goosebumps

Wednesday
Mar022016

HBO’s LGBT History: Remembering the Artist (2014)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

 For the past two weeks, we took an Oscar-themed break by looking back at the 1993 and 2003 acting races. We imagined a world where Ian McKellen and Lily Tomlin could have nabbed another nomination and wondered aloud if Jessica Lange could have earned nomination #7 had HBO films been released theatrically. This week, we're back to our normally scheduled history but there's still an Oscar winner involved: We're looking at Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro Sr., a documentary on the Taxi Driver actor's artist father.

The detours into hypothetical Oscar history were meant to remind us that HBO’s LGBT content has been consistently strong for over three decades now, at times dwarfing the mainstream fare that has found itself invited to the Oscars this past few years. But sometimes, as we’ll see this week, the HBO imprint is not enough to guarantee that the issue of sexuality will be given its due.

In Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr., directors Perri Peltz and Geeta Gandbhir offer us, we’re told early, an attempt by Bobby De Niro to give his father the due that so eluded him in his lifetime (he died of prostate cancer complications in 1993). [More...]

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Monday
Nov022015

Dirty Grandpa Poster

Manuel here getting your week started with a poster that is hard to come to terms with.

Everything we know about this upcoming comedy comes courtesy of all the on-set shots of Efron which were deliciously skintastic. (JA has been dutifully (un)covering them at his blog.) There's also a trailer below, but the poster is more fascinating. How well-known is that Hoffman/Graduate shot among the young ones the film's tone is obviously courting. 

 

Or, perhaps it's an attempt at finding a middle ground between the Zefron fans and the De Niro fans? Are you at all excited about this very random pairing of inter-generational leading men?