“The ones that really leave me breathless are books that when you finish reading them and everything that follows them, you wish the author was your friend for life and you could call him on the phone, whenever you want.” Words by J. D. Salinger ne Young Holden they fit perfectly Robert DeNiro, 80 years today. His films have firmly entered our lives, tattooed before our eyes, etched into our memory so much that we feel like a little “your best friend” so that we can wish him a happy birthday and give him back a piece of good that you are his done with their monumental interpretations.
THIS IS A NICE GUY
De Niro is simply one of the greatest actors of all time, living or dead. Acting art monument. For 60 of his 80 years, he has given life to memorable characters who defy the law of time and place themselves on Olympus, which we continue to admire with open mouth, with wide open heart.
Brash and rude Johnny Boy in evil streets, the first of his many collaborations with Martin Scorsese. Young Vito Corleone de godfather 2 which gave him his first Oscar. Travis Bickle from Taxi driver when he’s 27 and becomes the king of New Hollywood. Then Jake LaMottawild bullOscar), Rupert Pupkin (King of Comedy), Al Capone (Untouchables), Jimmy Conway (These good guys): all sparkling shards of multi-faceted and brilliant talent, skillfully sculpted facets of a diamond of innumerable carats.
We all know Robert De Niro, but the truth is, many of us suffer from blurred perspectives when we look at his existence. When it comes to his real life, we form a distorted picture because he is so immersed in his characters that we confuse what’s on screen with what’s off screen.
The surname immediately misleads us. Italy sings that De Niro is so homegrown. However, he is a mixture of nationalities including German, Dutch and Irish. And it’s inevitable to think of the “mythical Bob” as a product of the hustle and bustle of Manhattan’s Little Italy, given that he achieved fame through evil streets AND The Godfather – part 2both are installed (and partly removed) between these streets.
But in fact, his childhood was spent a few blocks north on Bleecker Street, and then on 14th Street. The environment in which he grew up was not the stereotypical Italian-American family with crowds of relatives, hearty pasta dinners and the dual dominance of the Catholic Church and the mafia. He was more of a Greenwich Village bohemian child, more familiar with the scent of oil paint thinner than marinara sauce. Robert De Niro first appears on stage at the age of ten in a school play. Wizard of Oz where he plays a cowardly lion.
His parents soon separate, and he feeds on a world dedicated to aesthetic exploration and escaping social taboos.
DE NIRO’S INCREDIBLE MYSTERY
The first characters often have something in common. They are almost always gangsters. Some have a fiery temper. They come from a difficult life, they crave success, even in those cases when they achieve it, as if it were an unrelenting hunger. In this sense, his Don Vito is symbolic. Behind his gaze, long after he began wearing tailored suits and took over the reins of his “family,” haunting memories of public housing and Ellis Island continue to stir. Gangster yes, but with incomprehensible depth. A mystery that, like a lucky transfusion, comes from the veins of actor De Niro into the body of a character who interprets.
At 1.75m, De Niro has the hypnotic ability to appear taller or shorter, depending on the role. Thanks to the “method”, he gains weight and loses impressively in wild bull; really drive a taxi far and wide in a big apple for Taxi driver and learn to play the saxophone New York, New York.
“I treat every role as a mathematical problem,” the actor says in an interview with the publication. John Parker for the book Robert DeNiro. Portrait of a legend – The character on the screen is the solution. I visualize the end result and then go back to the beginning to find out how it came about.”
And then the mystery dissolves
And with wild bull in 1980, De Niro reaches the pinnacle of his “chameleon riddle”. And where he takes his work to the extreme, turning his own body into a malleable material that can be used as a tool to dissolve into the character. After his formidable Jake LaMotta, who dances giant in the stylistic ring created by Scorsese in a state of grace, he has made a series of extraordinary films over the decade that solidify and solidify his image as a complete actor. As Shawn Levy writes in his biography dedicated to the actor: “When did he start acting? Once upon time in America, Robert De Niro was, almost without a doubt, the most powerful and convincing actor in world cinema. This is a big statement considering that at the time, acting titans like Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Jon Voight, Robert Duvall and Gerard Depardieu were still on the rise and old masters like Jack Lemmon were still on the rise. were in the game. Paul Newman, Max von Sydow, Peter O’Toole, Michael Caine, Marcello Mastroianni and even Laurence Olivier and (when it bothered him) Marlon Brando. But Robert De Niro in 1982 stood out even among such a prestigious and versatile company. In the spring of 1981, he received his second Academy Award in six years for his performance in Raging Bull, a performance that was instantly hailed as one of the greatest films ever made, one of amazing physical transformations and raw, heartbreaking emotions. “.
IN Once upon time in America Sergio Leone from 1984 gives us a character who depicts the passage of time through aging not only of the body, but of the whole soul. Then Brazil Gilliam a year later, intense Mission 1986, the perfect Al Capone de Untouchables (1987) and, finally, a play played in subtraction by James Conway. These good guys he rounds off his Scorsesian gangsters with style and a touch of melancholy. De Niro is 46 years old and truly a sacred monster.
As the next decade rolls on, inspiration wanes, the mystery loses coherence, and we see a progressive impoverishment of the model built in previous decades, beginning a troubled period that continues to this day.
DE NIRO DESPERATELY WANTED
A master of chameleonism and bold in his acting choices, he dives into his roles in a way that a “method” actor has never done before, to come out stronger, bolder, better. Its supernatural and mysterious air conveys danger, poetry, sex, loneliness, courage, tension, wonder and thrill. Such an exciting actor has not been seen since Brando and James Dean. His name on the movie poster is irresistibly attractive. But after thirty years, it’s sometimes hard to see De Niro’s early glory through what became the muddle of his later career. De Niro’s divine rise between the mid-sixties and the late eighties turns into the thunderous descent that marks the end of the last century, between increasingly sloppy and unfocused decisions, culminating in one of the biggest box office flops of all time: San Luis Rey Bridge (2004) with F. Murray Abraham, Geraldine Chaplin and Harvey Keitel, a period film with a large production effort that grossed less than $50k in the US market.
And all this, if you add about 70 films made from 1990 to the present day? Thankfully not, thanks in part to the two directors who brought De Niro to the pinnacle of his formidable talent: apparently Martin Scorsese who guides him into a tense and bright Cape Fear (1991), in luxurious Casino (1995), in cyclopean Irishman (2019) and finally in Flower Man Killers (2023), acclaimed at the latest Cannes Film Festival, and where he appears alongside the one everyone, including himself, calls him the true heir to the throne of the greatest: Leonardo DiCaprio.
Another author who in recent years has managed to pull out of the muddy waters of cinema “many per kilogram”, to which De Niro seems to have devoted himself, is David O’Russell. A keen observer of the bizarre and unpredictable details of human behavior, the New York-based director has lauded De Niro’s notorious meticulousness in character development over the past decade with four major films: Bright side, Joy, American Hustle: Looks can be deceiving and recent Amsterdam.
JUST DE NIRO
Robert De Niro is still Robert De Niro. Forever and ever. At 80 years old, his name continues to evoke the dream of cinema like very few others. It’s like a magic formula that makes us close our eyes and reconsider the projection of the streets, characters, places, jokes, lights and shadows of a world that transcends our own world in the back of our minds. She has always been a figure of great controversy in the film world: secretive from the press, but willing to participate in late-night talk shows and do comedy sketches, and especially willing to throw her own legend and her personality, like everyone else. Saturday night life and in television advertisements. But he was never ready to share even an innocent anecdote from his life, even with “masters of personal secrets” like David Letterman or Jay Leno. He often speaks in monosyllables or, comically and defiantly, does not speak at all. However, everyone realizes that his display of silent willfulness is in some ways more real, truthful, and memorable than any speech he could ever make.
De Niro may have tried hard not to reveal who he is, giving only hints and allusions in response to personal questions, but whenever he appears before us, regardless of costume, voice, name, story, there he is, naked and rough as it is. : worker, man of principles, man of ideals. In short, a complete person, clearly defined by the work he did (which made him a movie titan) and the life he lived.
Congratulations, Bob! And thank you for everything you have given us so far.