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Robert de Niro

Robert de Niro by max-sham
Robert de Niro, a photo by max-sham on Flickr.

For a person of my generation, it pretty much goes without saying that Robert De Niro is the finest screen actor of his. To be a movie-besotted adolescent in the ’70s and early ’80s was to experience, in real time and at an impressionable age, performances that would go on to become icons and monuments. ‘‘This kid doesn’t just act — he takes off into the vapors,’’ wrote Pauline Kael in her review of ‘‘Mean Streets.’’ Not that there was anything airy or abstract about what he was doing, which was transforming himself — physically, vocally, psychologically — with each new role. And in the process, before our eyes, reinventing the art of acting.

There was a time when De Niro was everywhere, assuming a new shape in every film. Maybe it seems that way to me because my own catch-up viewing, in a golden moment when both video stores and revival houses flourished, coincided with an especially productive period in his career. In any case, I remember — and still treasure — De Niro in Elia Kazan’s adaptation of ‘‘The Last Tycoon,’’ in Bernardo Bertolucci’s ‘‘1900,’’ in ‘‘Brazil,’’ in ‘‘The King of Comedy’’ and ‘‘New York, New York’’ and, and, and . . . at least a dozen more movies that I won’t try your patience by listing here.

I confess, however, that it took all my professional discipline to resist squandering the time I spent with De Niro on a recent Saturday afternoon in a slack-jawed fanboy recitation of his greatest hits. Oh, my God, you’re Jake LaMotta! You’re Johnny Boy! You’re Travis Bickle! I’m talking to you.

To the younger generation, though, he is most recognizably Jack Byrnes, Ben Stiller’s impossible father-in-law in the ‘‘Fockers’’ franchise. And as the reliable heavy in a steady stream of action movies and crime dramas, some (but not all) of them quite good. It has become fashionable to suggest that De Niro’s best work is behind him. But nostalgia is a vice, and a survey of the last four decades of movie history reveals that De Niro has never slackened, diminished or gone away but has rather, year in and year out, amassed a body of work marked by a seriousness and attention to detail that was there from the start.

So let’s not herald his new movie, ‘‘Silver Linings Playbook,’’ as a comeback or a return to form. He has been here, more often than not in top form, the whole time. But ‘‘Silver Linings,’’ directed by David O. Russell and based on a novel by Matthew Quick, is nonetheless something special — an anarchic comedy in which De Niro plays a wild, funny and touching variation on the difficult-father theme. His character, Pat  Solitano Sr., is a Philadelphia Eagles fanatic whose dream of domestic peace is undermined by his emotionally unstable son (Bradley Cooper) and his own volatility.

Pat Solitano is a reminder that De Niro, an unmatched master of brooding silence and quiet menace, can also be an agile comedian and a prodigious talker. On-screen, anyway. He has a reputation among journalists for sometimes extreme reticence, and the role of celebrity interview subject is not one he is known to relish. In our conversation, which took place in his TriBeCa office, he did not put on the smooth bonhomie that is the default setting for off-duty movie stars in the company of writers. He sat with his feet planted on the floor and his hands flat on the arms of a deep leather chair, and the answers to my questions did not always come readily or easily. It seemed like work.

Why shouldn’t it have? Nothing about De Niro’s approach to acting, as evident in nearly a hundred movies so far, should lead anyone to expect glib insights or ready answers. That wasn’t what I was looking for, any more than I wanted a glimpse of the ‘‘real’’ Travis Bickle or Jack Byrnes or Pat Solitano or any of the others. But I was curious about where they had come from or, more precisely, how they had come to be. I was looking for clues, chasing after vapors, interested in doing the job of talking to an actor about his.

Robert De Niro 2011 Shankbone

SCOTT: Let’s start with “Silver Linings Playbook” and working with the director David O. Russell. How did that come about?

ROBERT DE NIRO: I knew David before, and I’d seen one or two of his other movies, and then I saw “The Fighter,” and I thought it was terrific. And then this came along, and I don’t know whether I read the book before I read the script — but either way, he changed it, obviously, from the book. The book was interesting, the character was interesting, but it was the reverse of the way he is in David’s version.

A.S.: How so?

R.D.: He’s much more — [in the book] he’s very taciturn, goes in his room all the time. He’s still a fanatic, but he just gets in his room and he won’t come out. It’s a great character, it’s just totally different. Mine is more reversed — inside out, however you want to say it.

A.S.: One of the things that’s amazing about that movie is the rhythm, the sense of chaos in that household, when you and Jacki Weaver and Bradley Cooper are together. The sense that at any moment things could go in any direction, either funny or horrible.

R.D.: David has a very unusual style of directing. You’ve got the camera moving around, he’ll push the camera over to this character, to that character, he’ll throw lines at you and you repeat them. And I don’t mind that, that’s all great. It’s a particular way of working and gets right to it and it’s spontaneous. You just have to go with it. He understands that whole chaotic thing. It’s part of his — I don’t want to say meshugas, but maybe it is. It’s his craziness. But a lovable craziness.

A.S.: I was comparing this role to some of your other recent movies, and it does seem like a few of the characters you’ve been playing recently are fathers.

R.D.: Then it will be grandfathers and if I’m lucky great-great-grandfathers if I’m still standing.

A.S.: It was really interesting to look at Pat Solitano in “Silver Linings” and compare that to another recent performance that I thought was terrific, and completely different, which was Jonathan Flynn in “Being Flynn.”

R.D.: It is a variation on a theme — the father regretting certain things. That’s the theme; and that’s what a lot of parents do: regrets and things. And if it’s written well it’s good, and worth expressing in a movie.

A.S.: When you looked at this character in “Silver Linings,” did you think of specific things that you could do to express that sense of regret?

R.D.: With “Silver Linings” I didn’t feel — I was thinking of certain things, but I just said, “Let me go with it.” You have to know what you’re doing, where you’re going with the scenes, and I put a lot of work into that. But when you’re out there at the same time you gotta be ready for anything.

A.S.: You obviously do a lot of work with a lot of different directors. Are there times when you come in with your own idea of the character?

R.D.: When I’m in it, I’ve already decided I’m going to work with the directors, so we have an understanding about what’s going to happen. I don’t get into these long-winded heavy discussions about character — do we do this or that or what. At the end of the day, what you gotta do is just go out there and do it. And the director respects what they’ve hired you for and chosen you for: to do the part and respect what you’re doing.

A.S.: So you don’t get thrown by different styles? Like an improvisational style like David Russell’s?

R.D.: David was something I could understand. But there’s a problem if you have a director who gives you things that are just a little goofy and you can’t relate to them, and you can’t connect on any level. I try never to get myself in that situation.

A.S.: What about being on the other side of that, when you’re the director?

R.D.: I always feel you have to be very, very — whatever an actor does they can do no wrong. And they have to have that feeling so that they can try anything they want. Even if it’s not right, it doesn’t matter. Maybe we’ll use part of it. It’s O.K., do it once your way and then do it my way and then we’ll decide, or I’ll decide later, which is really the best. And sometimes you do that just to let the person get it out. I know I’ve done that with myself. I’d do it and I get it out and then I realize it probably wasn’t right. But I got it out.

A.S.: What was it like when you were younger, when you were coming into your own? You were working with some directors who were also young, who were your peers, people like Martin Scorsese and Bernardo Bertolucci.

R.D.: I’m older now, and I’m more experienced, so I don’t get thrown by the directors that I’ve worked with. Rarely happens. And I’m certainly not a person that feels precious about myself — it’s just common sense. But when I was younger, I was a little more nervous about stuff. With Bernardo, sometimes he would be — I felt that he was European, they make certain demands.

A.S.: For example?

R.D.: In “1900,” we shot the old stuff on the first day, and I realized there that that was a mistake — it just wouldn’t work, nobody was into it. I didn’t know what I was doing sitting in another country with this director who I like very much, but it was like, “Where are we?” If I had thought about it more, I would have said, “Can we not do this scene later, not the first day?” I was sensible enough to know you don’t do things so out of order. But I went along with it, I remember that, and it just didn’t work.

A.S.: What about with Scorsese, that’s an extraordinary run you had, starting when you were both quite young. Looking back, you can see what Rupert Pupkin has in common with Travis Bickle, but there’s also something very different in those two performances. I felt like, when I was watching those characters, that I was seeing something on-screen that hadn’t been there before — the investigation of a whole new kind of person.

R.D.: With “The King of Comedy,” I wanted to do it, Marty was reluctant, but we just did it, and that sometimes happens in things that I’ve done with him. I did it just to work together. There was a script — I don’t know if you know the history of it.

Robert de Niro

A.S.: What’s the story?

R.D.: It was written by Paul Zimmerman. And there was another version Buck Henry had worked on, too. I was talking to Milos Forman [who had been set to direct the Henry version], and I said, “I really like the original, do you mind if I take it and go to Marty with it?” That’s the way I remember it, I could have missed something. I wanted to do that version.

A.S.: That character for me is one of the most fascinating and scariest of people. And there’s a kind of physical transformation that happens in that role, and for many of these roles — not only getting in shape to box or gaining weight and so on, but a total change of posture, size and shape. How important is that for you in getting into these characters?

R.D.: Very important. Physical is very important. You can have a physical movement that can give you your whole identity.

A.S.: Because “The King of Comedy” is still very different from the kinds of roles you’re known to play.

R.D.: Speaking of that, Marty, myself and Dick Bruno, who is the costume designer on “King of Comedy,” we were going down Broadway — there was one of these Broadway showbiz type stores, near the Stage Deli, that had these flashy clothes that you’d find in Vegas now. This little store with a mannequin, and the mannequin had the suit on and the hair and everything. We went in, took the clothes, I took the hairstyle, the mannequin hairstyle, I said it’s all perfect. Marty said great, let’s just do that. And that’s what we started with.

A.S.: Looking back, I find that one of the things that strikes me most is the consistency with which you’ve kept working for 40 years. And that’s a question that I’m fascinated by, whether I was asking Scorsese or Bruce Springsteen or Meryl Streep or Woody Allen: How do you keep it going and keep it fresh?

R.D.: I enjoy it. I like it. And especially when you get older, you start realizing you don’t have that much time. And you look back and say, “The last 15 years, it went by kind of quickly.” You don’t really know it until you get there and look back and say, “Geez, where did that time go?” I know I’ve gotta account for every day, every moment, every this, every that, but it still went, that time went. So now I have the next whatever, hopefully 15, 20 years if I’m lucky, and I think what to use that time for.

A.S.: Are you going to direct more?

R.D.: I’d love to direct. I tried to get “The Good Shepherd” [De Niro’s film in 2006 about the birth of the C.I.A.] to do the second installment with Eric Roth, and now we’re doing the cable-type things. So it’s different. [Cable] gives you more time to get into things. But it’s not the way I envisioned it, because I had a grand story that could be told as a movie. I want to definitely use it in this other way, but I would rather have done it as a movie.

A.S.: Was it difficult to get the first movie made?

R.D.: It takes a long time to get it done, to get the financing, no matter who’s in it. It’s very, very arduous, a daunting, uphill battle. I have so much respect for people like Marty, or any director who only directs — all the battles over this and that, everybody giving their opinion. And you gotta listen to them. Because they paid for it. I’ve been through it, and it’s a real fight. There’s a quote: You gotta be part gangster. You’ve got to fight for what you want. You’ve got to listen to everybody’s opinion, then finally at the end of the day, you have to do what you feel is right.

A.S.: People talk a lot about how the industry’s changed, for better and worse.

R.D.: The obvious changes are the action films and all that stuff, the cartoon-character type stuff, which, for what it is, it’s O.K. The whole blockbuster type thing which I think started with “The Godfather,” the first “Godfather” and “Jaws,” and that kind of kicked off this whole other thing, and it morphed into what it is today.

A.S.: Do you think that has made it harder for more personal films to get made?

R.D.: You could probably answer that better than me. Probably in some ways. It’s a struggle. As far as producing movies, you partner up with a studio, they do the distribution, you get the money somewhere else, they carve it up in different territories. I remember back when you did a studio movie, you did a studio movie. Now it’s all over the place. Wherever you get the money, whenever, if ever you can get it, and then you’ve got to find distribution — it’s exasperating.

A.S.: Is that the same experience for actors and directors?

R.D.: Things are tighter. You’re working on tighter budgets. That’s why again, with Marty, who has to do that every time — to fight to get the way he wants it, and I have a lot of respect for him. Being able to battle it out. No matter how you do it, you gotta hold your ground at times. Other times you’ve got to compromise. But never a compromise that you can’t live with.

A.S.: It’s one of the things that gets said a lot about the ’70s — that it was this period when personal filmmaking was possible on a big scale.

R.D.: That’s what everybody says, the ’70s, that was that period. I didn’t look at it that way. We’re lucky we were able to do those movies and get some money to do them. There are more personal movies in some ways being made now, more opportunities for actors to me.

A.S.: What is your relationship to critics? Or to your own reviews?

R.D.: What I say is, if you didn’t have critics — even though they can annoy you and upset you — if you didn’t have a critic, who would tell you how it is? Because people won’t tell you. When you do a movie and you’re showing it to people or audiences or friends, they’re never going to say that they dislike it. Because they’re with you and they know what you went through. So they’ll always find a positive thing to say. So the people who you’ll get real feedback from are critics. Especially good critics.

A.S.: Do you learn anything from your reviews?

R.D.: Yeah. I read a review of one film I did with Pacino, it was about four years ago, we played two cops, and the critic said I looked like a puffed-up whatever. I said they’re right. I laughed. But I also did that intentionally because I let myself get heavy because he’s a cop. It was just funny.

A.S.: Do you ever look at your past work?

R.D.: I’ve always wanted to do that — just to go back or to start from the first movies that I’ve done and all the way to the present.

A.S.: I know that there are actors who have different ideas about that. Gene Hackman has said he doesn’t like watching his movies once they’re done.

R.D.: I understand that. I felt that way, too, but it depends on which film it is.

A.S.: What about watching your performance in dailies during a shoot?

R.D.: That whole thing about the director doesn’t want the actors to look because they’re going to get thrown, that’s because they don’t know what an actor — it just doesn’t work that way. It’s always good to have the actor look. In fact, if you look at the playback on the monitor, you can see exactly what you’re doing and what you don’t want to do and whether you’ve got to make an adjustment. I’ve had directors say, “Take a look at this,” and you see right away what needs to be done. At the same time, I don’t like to look. I say, “Just tell me whatever you want, and I trust your judgment on that.” But if I do look, there’s never a downside. It can only help me.

A.S.: Is that truer now because of the experience you have? Was it different earlier in your career?

R.D.: No, I always looked at the dailies. I do so less now, but I always have access to them in case I want to go over something. And if you do that, you will find something without fail every time, something that can be improved or this or that. It’s just the way it is.

A.S.: Looking back over your career, I find there’s more comedy than I expected — and I think you may be a little underrated as a comic actor. But watching you, certainly in the “Fockers” movies, I’m wondering if you approach those films any differently from the dramatic roles. Because the character in that movie, for example, is certainly taking himself every bit as seriously.

R.D.: Yeah, it’s different, the process is different. Sometimes, I would much prefer to do something with more subtlety and more nuance, a more complicated thing, more contradictory. But they’re fun to do. I don’t know if I’ll do any more.

A.S.: The interactions are different. You and Ben Stiller have a different sort of chemistry.

R.D.: Yes. Ben has a way of just reacting that is funny. He’s making a comment on my character and our relationship just by doing nothing.

A.S.: Do you get a chance to see a lot of movies?

R.D.: I try. I haven’t seen anywhere near as many as I should. They give me the ones that they really say you must look at, and I try to. There are so many great films.

A.S.: Can you talk about any that particularly impressed you?

R.D.: I’m going to ask you something — have you seen “Argo”? What was that like, because I’m curious to see it.

A.S.: “Argo” is really good. I think Ben Affleck did a terrific job directing it, it’s so tight and suspenseful, funny, it has a little “Wag the Dog” angle in the Hollywood story line.

R.D.: I can’t think of a recent movie that I’ve looked at. “The Fighter” I liked a lot.

A.S.: Were you a movie lover growing up?

R.D.: The classics I like, the Montgomery Clift-Elizabeth Taylor “A Place in the Sun.” “East of Eden,” James Dean films, Brando films are great. At that time you just go to a movie at the Loews or the local chain, and there was two movies on a bill and the news in between and that was it. Now there’s so many.

A.S.: If we go all the way back, when and how did you decide that you were interested in becoming an actor?

R.D.: I wanted to do it when I was a kid around 10. I did it on Saturdays for a year or so, then I went when I was 16 for a while, and then I took a little break. I started more seriously when I was 18 ½ or so.

A.S.: When did you first get the sense that acting was be something you might be good at?

R.D.: When I was around 18. I was looking at a TV show — a soap opera or some weekly western — and I said if these actors are making a living at it, and they’re not really that good, I can’t do any worse than them. I wasn’t thinking of getting a job on a western or any of that. When I got into it more seriously, I saw how far I could go, what you could do. That it wasn’t what I thought when I was younger. But I remember saying that to myself, watching those black-and-white TV shows.

A.S.: That you could do better.

R.D.: Yeah. Better than what I was seeing.


Robert De Niro


MaureenNorth Carolina
Can't leave out "Midnight Run" with Charles Grodin. Who knew DeNiro could be so funny?
Nov. 13, 2012 at 3:40 p.m.RECOMMENDED30

Best non-verbal acting I've ever seen:

In "Heat", DeNiro has pulled off the big score and is driving with his new love Amy Brenneman to a certain escape, and a new, presumably reformed life abroad. All he has to do is keep driving and then get on the plane, but it means leaving behind a man who had betrayed him and his gang.

In one brief, brilliant moment, we see his face - especially his eyes - change from relief, to happiness, to hesitation, to anger, and finally to vengeance. He turns the car around, finds and kills the betrayer, but is then killed himself.

It was just one shot in a tiny scene, but it mesmerized me. In that one moment he showed me his entire character without saying a word.
Nov. 13, 2012 at 5:02 p.m.RECOMMENDED27

As a production professional I had the chance to work with Mr. Di Nero. The grace, the humility and professionalism is equally obvious when the camera is not rolling.
Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:23 p.m.RECOMMENDED20

Stu FreemanBrooklyn, N.Y.
I wish I could agree with Mr. Scott's contention that DeNiro "has been here, more often than not in top form, the whole time" (i.e., during these past four decades). I haven't seen "Silver Linings Playbook" but I've sat through a great many- perhaps all- of this actor's movies and would have trouble coming up with more than a handful of interesting performances delivered during the course of the past 20 years. Sad to say but he's been coasting during most of this period- working with material that he appears to have little interest in and doing little to elevate it above the level of mediocrity. The fact that he hasn't worked with a top-flight director since he did "Casino" with Martin Scorsese nearly two decades ago is surely part of the problem (good directors help to inspire good actors by challenging them to function as components of a singular artistic vision). Too much of the time deNiro has been showing up as a sort of special guest attraction: doing his thing, picking up his paycheck and going on home. He's been bored, and he's also been boring.
Nov. 14, 2012 at 1:44 a.m.RECOMMENDED15

one of his best performances is in "Bang the Drum Slowly" -- VERY different from the tough guys that he normally plays (also a great baseball film)
Nov. 13, 2012 at 5:02 p.m.RECOMMENDED14

Babbs6Chicago, IL
"A Bronx Tale" was very good also.
Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:24 p.m.RECOMMENDED13

Jack ChicagoChicago
Thanks for a really interesting interview of one of our leading actors. His approach and reflections are such a fascinating mixture of what is instinctive and what is learned by someone who is very thoughtful about their craft. The opposite of the usual fluff interviews of "movie stars".
Nov. 13, 2012 at 11:05 a.m.RECOMMENDED12

That movie rules.
In reply to MaureenNov. 13, 2012 at 3:57 p.m.RECOMMENDED11

Miss CaliSan Francisco,CA
Robert DeNiro is one of the COOLEST actors of all time!

Wish his interviews were longer on t.v., very relaxed and sincere gentleman.

Keep making the movies!!!!
Nov. 13, 2012 at 3:40 p.m.RECOMMENDED10

Peter McNerneyLiverpool,UK
Yea RD did some great enjoyable performances.But of my favourites for his comic slant was We;re no angels,I thought him and Sean Penn were a riot.And of course the Deer Hunter and Raging Bull,The Godfather will go down with the all American classics.Thank you Mr De Niro for all the hours of enjoyable escapism you contributed to,and the wonderfull talented people who produced and directed the stuff.
Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:47 p.m.RECOMMENDED9

AnonSt. Louis
Not a typo. Read the sentence again.
In reply to Kim ZigfeldNov. 13, 2012 at 5:02 p.m.RECOMMENDED8

My first New York film audition was on Dec 5, 1980 - for Robert Deniro and Martin Scorsese for the film "King of Comedy". The audition took place at the Rolex building here in Manhattan. When I walked into the audition room, Deniro stood up (looking so handsome) and shook my hand, he was gracious and warm towards me. I told him how much I loved his work in Raging Bull, he told me to call him Bob, he was a sweetheart, he made me feel at ease. He was kind and helpful with notes and direction and had me do the scenes several times over again, both he and Scorsese, would mumble words to each other in between my audition. It was a surreal experience. Over the years I would bump into Bob at the Actors Studio and various film events, and he made a point of congratulating me on a film I had directed and we would laugh about the first time I met him. For me Bob finest work was: Bang the Drum Slowly, Taxi Driver, Godfather 2, Deer Hunter, Raging Bull and Midnight Run (an underrated performance). I don't think comedy roles are his natural strength and I would like to see him go back to his roots and explore again playing those complex troubled characters, its these types of roles that highlight his great strengths as an actor. Bob will always be number ONE in my books and he is still to this day, easy on the eyes!
Nov. 14, 2012 at 4:19 p.m.RECOMMENDED7

I can't recall how many times I have watched his movies. I don't think any actor can change facial expressions as RD does to suit the character. I often wondered.. if he looks in the mirror and flashes back to one of his many characters.
Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:24 p.m.RECOMMENDED6

LillienWDetroit, MI
I think part of what people misunderstand about Robert De Niro is that no one did what he did before he did it. There were, to be sure, many other fine actors, who were, in their own way, original. But not quite him. I remember what it was like to be a cinemaphile and to have never seen anything quite like a De Niro performance. Perhaps so many are nonplussed by the accolades he still receives for early work--and let's face it, if he had never made another film after Raging Bull, he'd be assured a spot in the pantheon--because we've seen so many replicas and ripoffs since then. Daniel Day-Lewis, for example, owes a lot to De Niro, and that's a part of why De Niro is great. He can rest on his laurels because there are other actors who take their cues from his performances, his work ethic, and his (actor's) world view. Who cares if he's resting on his laurels? Mean Streets, and Taxi Driver, and Raging Bull, and Goodfellas are the gifts that keep on giving.
Nov. 14, 2012 at 4:19 p.m.RECOMMENDED5

The two movies that I'll always cherish were Taxi Driver and Deer Hunter that I saw in the theater. Agree that Mr. DeNiro's best work is not behind him but the memories of my favorite DeNiro performances are.
Nov. 13, 2012 at 3:40 p.m.RECOMMENDED5

Nancy C.Philadelphia
"...his [generation]." The object of the independent clause is implied, as it refers back to the identical object of the initial dependent clause, "For a person of my GENERATION [all caps mine]...", the implication being that the writer and De Niro are of different generations (i.e., "my generation" versus "his"). The repetition of the word is not necessary. IOW, there is no typo, only a failure of our educational system to properly teach grammar anymore.
In reply to Nov. 14, 2012 at 4:15 p.m.RECOMMENDED4

Alex C.Seattle, WA
Outstanding mention, Maureen. There are some over-the-top moments in that film, but some really wonderful moments. One that comes to mind is when DeNiro's character, Jack Walsh, goes to see his estranged wife and daughter in Chicago. The scene between Jack and his daughter in the driveway is the single most moving moment I've ever seen in a comedy film, and it's all driven by DeNiro's mannerisms. There is no way they are teachable - they are just him.
In reply to MaureenNov. 14, 2012 at 2:42 p.m.RECOMMENDED4

A pretty bad typo in the first sentence: "For a person of my generation, it pretty much goes without saying that Robert De Niro is the finest screen actor of his."
Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:23 p.m.RECOMMENDED4

"Generation" is assumed to follow "his". It is like, " I like ice cream more than my wife (likes ice cream).
In reply to Nov. 14, 2012 at 4:15 p.m.RECOMMENDED3

JBHorenGreenacres, FL
The closing "generation" is meant to be understood; obviously, you did not. Perhaps that's the difference in generations.
In reply to Nov. 14, 2012 at 4:15 p.m.RECOMMENDED3

SixofoneThe Village
"For a person of my generation, it pretty much goes without saying that Robert De Niro is the finest screen actor of his."


The NY Times used to employ the finest copy editors of their generation. Where are they now? Lead sentence. Wow.
Nov. 14, 2012 at 4:18 p.m.RECOMMENDED3

BillWest Orange, NJ
That is not a typo. The "his" is an adjective modifying "generation" in the same way "my" does. The reader understands based on parallel structure. It is like saying, "You eat your lunch and he'll eat his." .
In reply to Nov. 14, 2012 at 4:14 p.m.RECOMMENDED3

Harry LimeNew York, NY
The article's first sentence doesn't have a typo; it's just awkwardly written.
Like A.O. Scott, I practically worshiped DeNiro's performances in the 70s and 80s but he lost me with those idiotic Focker movies and what appears to be a tendency to phone in the performances in truly mediocre movies. He used to be more selective. He used to act.
I had an opportunity to go to Silver Lining Playbook at MoMA and passed because the prospect of Bradley Cooper+Focker redux seemed like a waste of time and there isn't that much left, as DeNiro himself said.
Nov. 14, 2012 at 2:46 p.m.RECOMMENDED3

Kim ZigfeldNew York
There's a ghastly typo in the opening paragraph of this article. The copy editor should be fired.
Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:24 p.m.RECOMMENDED3

KenBBrooklyn USA
Thanks. Got to see "Silver Linings..." the other night at MoMA, knowing very little in advance about the film. Great performance by De Niro! Finally, a script and a film worthy of his prodigious talent--I'm one who also questioned his choices for the past several years. Gotta be a lock for critics associations' and Academy recognition--along with screenplay, direction...not to mention Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence's knock-out work. The movie was VERY well-received by the MoMA crowd.

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