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De Niro Steps out – a Man About Town

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Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are everywhere.  Since it’s basically, or seemingly, a wide open race this has put the campaigns into hard core overdrive. Robert De Niro got his footprints in cement at the Mann’s Chinese theater in Hollywood. They’re having a De Niro tribute at the Aero theater in Santa Monica, a hotbed of Academy activity. They’ll be showing Taxi Driver and Mean Streets.   And the actor also broke down in tears in a moving interview.

For his part, Bradley Cooper too has been everywhere, too.  The idea here is that Silver Linings Playbook is not a romantic comedy but a film about mental illness, about finding a silver lining.  That is up to the audience to decide but a guy I know who works at a hospital told me that the film reminded him of many people he sees coming in and suffering from bi-polarity.  Nonetheless, it’s Oscar season and there are awards to be won. I expect to see much more of this over the coming weeks as Oscar ballots are sent out on February 8th.  The pressure, the pressure!

32 Comments on this Post

  1. Everyone’s everywhere. Chastain and Jackman were both on Leno tonight.

  2. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Well there’s publicity and then there’s mental health advocacy as publicity – a little different wouldn’t you say?

  3. while I don’t have a particular horse in this race (I loved “Lincoln” – seen it 3 times – “Pi”, “ZDT” and, especially “Amour”), I do have to say one thing: I have been suffering from clynical depression for 15 years (with some REALLY low lows – btw, Sasha and Ryan, I don’t even know if you remember a particularly misguided post I released here some years ago and I would once again like to thank you for deleting it and, most importantly, for your touching private words of support during such a tough time). Over the last year, like Cooper’s character, I spent some time at an institution – left shortly after arrival, still drop by for occasional treatment sessions – had my family and friends look at me as a ticking time bomb and saw their disappointed faces everytime I went off. though I was voluntarily committed to the hospital unlike Cooper’s dude, and I have never been an aggressive man either, I could still closely relate to his character. in fact, the mental illness angle (especially when you analyse the more understated way other people’s illnesses are depicted) seemed to me like it was by far the film’s biggest focus, much more so than the romance part (which, though, I will admit, was quite prevalent as well, though not disrupting to me at all). I quite liked the film and felt, yes, understood, and hopeful by its end. I think it’s a very good/maybe even great film. it has a lot of directorial dazzle at times and great work with actors.

    but it is not my best of 2012 =)

  4. and any advocacy for better care of the mentally ill is fine in my book. 2 years ago a friend was having panic attacks on a daily basis. I’m quite the expert on those and told him “Bruno, you should see a psychiatrist, or at least a psychologist over all this”

    his reply:
    “NO! why would I see one of those doctors, I’m not crazy!”

    to which I said:
    “I take 3 different types of meds and go to a shrink every week. I also have a hands-on, high-paying job and (I had one at the time) a thriving social life. So, am I ‘crazy?'”

    he had nothing to say to that.

    people need to see that these things are nothing to be ashamed of.

  5. Antoinette

    Well people do that stuff all the time. Affleck was in Washington not that long ago pushing something. I guess it was the Congo thing. I would also guess that Patrick Kennedy probably asked them to do it.

    From what they’ve said in interviews people are coming up to them saying that SLP was so great to them because they relate to the mental health issues in the film somehow. So sometimes I think when people do that it sort of guilts actors into taking a stand or lending their time. I think they end up feeling responsible. And then if they have those issues themselves or with family members I can see how they’d advocate for it if asked.

  6. Pierre de Plume

    I’m not a big fan of SLP, and I understand that appearances like this are done to publicize a film, but it’s still a good thing to bring any aspect of mental illness out in the open and into the conversation.

  7. Bball_Jake

    Silver Linings Playbook all day every day! SLP takes picture, director, screenplay, actress, supporting actor and film editing. Fuck it, this year is so hard to predict, I’m just going to predict what I want to win!

  8. I don’t see SLP can push it for the big win. I just don’t. They might however do enough campaigning to make De Niro win. He’s in a wide open race with no real front runner. Tommy Lee Jones is not playing his due card (if he even has one), PHS is not campaigning at all, Waltz won recently and so did Arkin. The “Argo” may be strong, but not that strong to make him win for probably the weakest performance nominated. So that leaves De Niro. Hasn’t won in a long time. Is a living legend. Feel good movie, father figure. That’s all very baity. One might argue that, if he’s got all of that going for him, why didn’t he win the SAG? Well, I dunno, but I know this. If the BAFTA for Supporting Actor doesn’t match either the Globe of SAG, De Niro wins at the Oscars James Coburn style.

  9. Johnny Kalesonny

    Agreed, DeNiro wins an Oscar.

  10. There is a big difference between Coburn and De Niro.
    I checked 1998 and yes, it was all over the place, but the Academy went with the veteran BUT why would they give a third Oscar to De Niro? They could very well do it in the future. But right now it would be an Oscar for a performance that’s not really Oscar-worthy and given to somebody who has 2 Oscars already. And at the same time it would be a third Oscar (the most for a living actor!) for somebody who spend the last 20 years starring in shitty movies most of the time. He could have won a sentimental Oscar after being snubbed for great work, but he was doing mediocre films and now he does an okay job in an okay film and he wins a third? Meryl won her third after nearly 30 years of terrific work. Nicholson won his third after 15 years of mostly terrific work. And De Niro wins just for being De Niro?! Had he been terrific, okay, but the idea of him beating TLJ and Philip Seymour Hoffman is insulting!

  11. I’m not saying he deserves to win. I’m just saying he, out of all the nominees, has the biggest chance to play the sympathy/due/veteran card. That counts like hell when you don’t have a front runner in the race. He might have done lesser work in recent years, but he never stopped being popular and liked by the industry. I don’t think anyone would object giving a third one to De Niro.

  12. Playing the veteran would be hard because of that work. The Academy usually loves its traditions and they wouldn’t be way too eager to present two actors with their third Oscars in a single year. And I disagree that the race doesn’t have a front-runner. He didn’t win the Globe and the Critics’ Choice but he won the SAG Award after losing both the Globe and the BFCA and I believe it will make TLJ the winner. And De Niro isn’t a BAFTA nominee. Above all in his case a SAG would have made sense. A legend with no SAG wins, a big campaign etc. And he lost. Actually did he win anything? Of course an upset could happen, but I think supporting actor isn’t that wide open.

  13. As far back as SAG reach there were only three times the SAG, BAFTA and GLOBE went to three different people. Two out of that three times a fourth actor won the Oscar.

    1996: Globe – Pitt, SAG – Harris, BAFTA – Roth, Oscar – Spacey (Spacey wasn’t nominated for BAFTA)
    1999: Globe – Harris, SAG – Duvall, BAFTA – Rush, Oscar – Coburn (Coburn with no BAFTA or Globe nods)
    2006: Globe – Clooney, SAG – Giamatti, BAFTA – Gyllenhaal, Oscar – Clooney

    Everyone knows that Clooney won not only for Supp. Actor, but also for GNAGL. I think if BAFTA goes for PHS or Arkin (he got the BAFTA that eventually snatched the Oscar away from Murphy) or even Bardem (don’t laugh, that also might happen) I think the Academy might just play it safe and give it to good’ol Bobby. On the other hand if BAFTA goes TLJ way, then he’s winning the Oscar, no doubt about that. If they go for Waltz? Fuck, I don’t know, that would be a real shocker. I actually wouldn’t mind seing him win, that would stir shit up :).

  14. The J Viewer

    (Andre, thank you for sharing.)

    Congrats to Bob. Good for him.

    Thanks for the link, Sasha (and KT). The full clip was too long for me so, as suggested by KT, one of the readers, in another article in light of those emotional moments, I jumped on to the 2*-min+ point. That was quite emotional. And I believe it was genuine.

    Been watching De Niro’s thesp efforts originally from mid-80s or so — anything before that, I got to watch later in my life though — I particularly loved his own version of the revamped Cape Fear’s Max the villain and I really enjoyed the whole movie as well.

    [PR] It’s natural […] during this time of the year though.

  15. Oh fuck, sorry, I forgot aboout one year

    2000: Globe – Cruise, SAG – Caine, BAFTA – Law, Oscar – Caine

    Well, this statistic of mine is looking weaker and weaker :)

  16. The J Viewer

    “2000: Globe – Cruise, SAG – Caine, BAFTA – Law, Oscar – Caine”

    That year’s (Oscar) supporting actor category was amazing. They needed another spot or two for the sixth and seventh place, namely for Bentley and Cooper, both from the most favorite of mine American Beauty (that year).

    I’ve spent a lot of money watching films I loved that year. And I loved it.

    PS: Cruise’s Jerry McGuire (another year) was fabulous too; perfect casting, perfect guy for the role.

  17. IDK why everyone is calling Anne Hathaway the most desperate person this award season when everyone including her knows she’s winning, while we’ve seen more outright vote-begging in their acceptance speeches and interviews from Chastain and the entire cast of SLP, and arguably even Hugh even though he knows it’s DDL’s to lose. Thankfully Chastain has chilled because she knows she’s not winning.

  18. “Well there’s publicity and then there’s mental health advocacy as publicity – a little different wouldn’t you say?”

    No question, Sasha. This is where the campaigning gets dicey as the studios present the importance of the subject matter over the actual quality of the movie.

    How can one not support the importance of mental health, the political process that overthrew slavery, the morality of war and torture, or have empathy for a couple facing the ravages of old age?

    The contest becomes one of causes over the actual works that argues for or against them, and things get very muddy. That these issues get a public face is important in every case, but that should not be what the vote is about, imo.

  19. Joao Mattos

    Since the anouncement of the nominations I put De Niro as the winner in my poll, and I will stay with these hunch.

  20. Film Fatale

    ZACH, exactly what “outright vote begging” has Chastain “chilled” from? There is no evidence of any such thing in any of her interviews or gracious acceptance speeches. Obviously you don’t favor her but she has won more awards this season than any other Best Actress contender (deservedly so) and may still well take the BAFTA and the Oscar is anything but decided at this point.

    The vote begging came from Harhaway in the season’s most embarrassing line:

    “I will use this (Golden Globe) as a blunt object against self-doubt.”

    Utterly horrific and could not have been more rehearsed or juvenile.

  21. @Koles, I know you’re just doing Supporting Actor, but the most memorable example of us not really knowing what would happen was 2007 Supporting Actress: BFCA – Ryan, Globe – Blanchett, SAG – Dee, BAFTA – Swinton.

    De Niro isn’t even up for the BAFTA, and they liked the film. I think if Lawrence wins, De Niro only wins if they really, really love the film (and they might, based on the nominations). But with Lawrence winning, there’s no argument that De Niro is the Tilda Swinton sole win to its Michael Clayton. (And I’m not sure they even loved that film so much, even if it was a BP nominee. I think they wanted to withhold another win from Blanchett, Ryan wasn’t a big enough star, Dee couldn’t win for that performance, Ronan was too young, and sure, Swinton was in a movie everyone saw and liked and she was due for a win after working with some of the industry’s best.)

    If TLJ wins BAFTA, TLJ wins Oscar.

    But I suspect Waltz (European + they love Tarantino) repeats, in which case…TLJ still wins Oscar.

    If Arkin wins, hell, we’ve got ourselves a Swinton argument.

    If PSH or Bardem wins (doubtful), I still see TLJ taking Oscar. PSH is like Blanchett this year: he may be a critical darling and worthy of another win in the future, but there isn’t enough love for this film.

  22. Will never get used to nor accept the THL Chinese Theatre. It’ll always be Grauman’s. Breaks ones heart that they felt the need to change the theatre name. :(

  23. Yes, many of Anne’s sound bites are cringeworthy and laughable.

    Chastain’s Globe acceptance speech put me off though: I’ve been knocking down doors for years trying to break in. (Translation: I am more due and need this more than Lawrence. Don’t give it to the girl who fucks!)

    Don’t worry, I don’t favor EITHER of them, but I’m just calling it as I see it. Obviously she’s really popular right now, but when the Academy already doesn’t favor your film, if you come off too sanctimonious or needy, you can go the way of Viola Davis last year! (And yes, there were obviously other factors at play, such as Meryl + Meryl as Thatcher + Meryl being overdue + Weinstein.)

  24. TCL, not THL.

  25. The Dude

    If De Niro didn’t win the SAG, despite the fact he never won it, he won’t take the Oscars. Not gonna happen.

    And it’s a good thing, to reward him for one decent performance in 15 years or so would be ridiculous.

  26. Evelyn Garver

    How great to see De Niro, a national treasure, with a good role again. Movie careers are strange journeys. In the last decade or so this living legend has made some real stinkers [anyone see RED LIGHTS?] However, one review of his best, like the one on CBS Sunday morning last weekend, and you remember why movies are better for his presence. One of my favorite De Niro scenes is his wordless observation of his sick child in GODFATHER II.[he's standing in a doorway, arms folded] He conveys with facial expressions and body language what most actors could not get across with a lengthy speech.

  27. richrard crawford

    right now…very tired of De Niro. his boxing movie, dear M S, ruined his body…he was wonderful before that one…

  28. Congrats to DeNiro getting on the Walk of Fame! Overdue! And Weinstein did say that he delayed the wide release to accommodate the stars schedules so they would be open to campaign/promote it just seems like they are just following their plan.

  29. Well, he cried on Katie, so there’s hope for him yet.

  30. Pierre de Plume

    The contest becomes one of causes over the actual works that argues for or against them, and things get very muddy.

    So true, so true. And yet this is how the world works.

  31. richrard crawford

    There you are, Pierre…! I am not a fan of SLP eider or eidder, and edder you are or eidder you are not. I AM a fan of Bling Ring. HUGE, GIGANTIC, FAN.

  32. Antoinette

    There was a massive segment on SLP this morning on the Today Show. It was all about the mental health stuff.

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