All posts tagged: Actor

My 5 Favorite De Niro Performances

If you asked me who my favorite actor is I’d proudly proclaim ROBERT DE NIRO, along with thousands upon thousands of other fans across the world. In each role he fills, De Niro engages, scares, surprises, and connects. He is a bonafide legend, and the depth, tone, subtlety, and intensity he is able to create within each of his characters is nothing short of awe-inspiring. In honor of his 72nd birthday, here are my five favorite Robert De Niro performances, in no particular order. What are yours? Jake La Motta – Raging Bull (1980) Raging Bull is one of my favorite films for numerous reasons, including Robert De Niro’s mesmerizing performance (for which he won the Academy Award), the stunning cinematography, and the truly moving soundtrack. In Raging Bull we see the destruction of a man’s world, as his anger and jealousy corrodes the relationships in his life. It’s one of those films and performances that one can never do justice to when discussing – it simply must be watched and enjoyed. Michael – The Deer Hunter (1978) The Deer Hunter provides an examination of the Vietnam war and its impact on American …

Remembering Robin Williams

Today marks the one year anniversary of Robin William’s death, an utter and complete tragedy. Despite never knowing Williams personally, through his performances and interviews I felt like I was given a piece of his brilliant spirit. We all were. Whether comedic or dramatic, his performances always felt deeply entwined with his quick creative spark and remarkable intelligence. It’s truly astonishing just how many lives Robin Williams touched. He is greatly missed, and will be remembered forever as a great American icon. In memory of Robin Williams’ expansive career and beautiful soul, here are stills from some of his greatest performances.

Suggested Reading: In Defense of Vin Diesel

My reading recommendation for the week is an article by Joey Eschrich for Slate’s Brow Beat entitled Vin Diesel Is Not a Macho Lunkhead. He’s So Much More. The article spoke to me because, like many others, I had a few preconceived ideas about Diesel based on the hyper-masculine characters he often plays. But by learning more about him both as an actor and filmmaker, I am reminded that one should not judge a book by its cover. Vin Diesel may have big muscles and a deep voice, but that does not equate a lack of intellect or talent. Have you always assumed Vin Diesel is a simple-minded meat-head? Read the article and let me know if it changes your idea of him in any number of ways.

Quentin Tarantino on Good Ideas, Hollywood & Filmmaking

Some love his work, others hate his work, but all know his work. I happen to belong to the first group, so today, in honor of Quentin Tarantino’s birthday, I’d like to share a few of my favorite Tarantino quotes. “If you just love movies enough, you can make a good one.” “The good ideas will survive.” “To me, movies and music go hand in hand. When I’m writing a script, one of the first things I do is find the music I’m going to play for the opening sequence.” “I steal from every movie ever made.” “I’m not a Hollywood basher because enough good movies come out of the Hollywood system every year to justify its existence, without any apologies.” “I couldn’t spell anything. I couldn’t remember anything, but I could go to a movie and I knew who starred in it, who directed it, everything.” “All of my movies are achingly personal.” “If I wasn’t a film-maker, I’d be a film critic. It’s the only thing I’d be qualified to do.” “Movies are not …

Standout Performances of the Year

In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite performances of the year based on what films and television shows I watched in 2014. What performances stood out to you this year? Chadwick Boseman (Get on Up) → Although Get on Up had its flaws, Chadwick Boseman’s performance as James Brown was practically flawless. I believe he deserves an Oscar nomination, but unfortunately that’s not likely to happen. Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel) → Ralph Fiennes is delightful as Mr. Gustave H. I could watch The Grand Budapest Hotel an infinite amount of times and never get tired of his dapper and charming character. Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”) → Kevin Spacey is Kevin Spacey, so he’s basically amazing in anything and everything, but there’s something special about his role as Frank Underwood. When he breaks the fourth wall and talks to you in that smooth southern accent, it’s awfully scary and spectacular. Reese Witherspoon (Wild) → Reese Witherspoon is a great actress and truly takes the audience somewhere deep and personal in Wild. Matthew McConaughey (“True Detective”) → Rust Cohle is possibly the most dark …

Scorsese + DiCaprio

This summer I posted behind the scenes photos of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro working together on their many collaborations – from Mean Streets to Casino. With two birthdays in November, I thought it would be a great time to post photos with Scorsese’s other common collaborator, Leonardo DiCaprio. Enjoy! Gangs of New York – 2002 The Aviator – 2004 The Departed – 2006 Shutter Island – 2010 The Wolf of Wall Street – 2013

My Top 5 Favorite Ryan Gosling Performances

5. Crazy, Stupid, Love Though Ryan Gosling is most well-known for his dramatic roles, he proves to be a great comedic actor in Crazy, Stupid, Love. As Jacob Palmer, Gosling perfectly portrays a shallow hunk who re-discovers his heart after falling in love with someone other than himself. His razor sharp attitude and quick-witted remarks make for a hilarious performance. And have you seen how good he looks in dress clothes? Wow. 4. Lars and the Real Girl Lars and the Real Girl is about a shy and depressed young man who develops an emotional relationship with a blow up doll. As Lars, Gosling is gentle and serene, keenly playing a hurt soul who finds acceptance in a doll who can neither judge nor desert him. Lars and the Real Girl is both heart warming and distinctly unique. 3. Half Nelson In Half Nelson Gosling plays Dan Dunne, a school teacher who’s hiding his crack addiction. Though he lights up in front of his class, behind closed doors Dan is troubled and lonely. Through a relationship he forms with one of his students (Drey played by Shareeka Epps) we …

Julie Andrews on Life & Love

“The thrill of being in front of the camera remains exactly the same.” “I was raised never to carp about things and never to moan, because in Vaudeville, which is my background, you just got on with it through all kids of adversities.” “Sometimes opportunities float right past your nose. Work hard, apply yourself, and be ready. When an opportunity comes you can grab it.” “All love shifts and changes. I don’t know if you can be wholeheartedly in love at all times.” “I would be a fool to deny my own abilities.” “I have always wished I could learn to be a potter. I love collecting ceramics; it would be so fulfilling to create something lovely.” “Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.” “A lot of my life happened in great, wonderful bursts of good fortune, and then I would race to be worthy of it.” “All careers go up and down like friendships, like marriages, like anything else, you …