Monday, 14 January 2013

Best Supporting Actor 2012: Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook

Robert De Niro received his seventh Oscar nomination for portraying Patrizio "Pat Sr." Solitano in Silver Linings Playbook.

Robert De Niro has spent over ten years being in random films many of very poor quality, and he himself giving performances of no note. If De Niro had given more decent performances recently he very well might not have been nominated for this film which has been considered a return to form, although this seems to be to soon as his upcoming films in no way suggests he is going to stop being in mediocre to terrible films. Anyway though this being his best performance in years really does not say a lot considering the sort of performances he has been giving lately.

In this film Robert De Niro gives a very supporting performance in this, in that he is mostly there for support. He portrays Pat Sr. the father of the troubled Pat Jr. (Bradley Cooper). The main aspect of Pat Sr.'s character is his constant attention to football games and his favorite team the Philadelphia Eagles. He is always very concerned about things that create the necessary Karma for a game victory, especially since he is always gambling on the games as well. De Niro honestly does not really get any scenes to himself, and his moments are always at least someone else especially Bradley Cooper who is almost in every scene of the film.

De Niro is weaved throughout the film in the scenes as both a helpful and hurtful factor for Pat Jr. in basically equal measure. De Niro really just takes a realistic approach with his part. He combines well the various factors that weigh on Pat Sr. when it comes to his interactions with Pat Sr.. Importantly De Niro does show the proper warmth and love in their scenes together. De Niro is very understated about it, but he does successfully portray it with a great deal of effectiveness. When Pat Sr. fights with Pat Jr. for Jr's sometime very violent behavior, De Niro does not portray it with any hatred just rather as a gut reaction from Pat Sr..

Where Jennifer Lawrence as troubled young widow Tiffany who befriend Pat Jr., and Bradley Cooper as Pat Jr. are quite diagnosed about their mental problems De Niro's Pat Sr. play really an not identified obsessive compulsive. De Niro takes mostly downplays this even partially playing it for a little bit of humor. It is not that De Niro portrays it in any sort of parody actually, instead he just sort of plays in a lighter fashion which shows it as something that most certainly affects him, but in a manner that does not seem problematic for the most part. De Niro handles it well by having it just natural part of Pat Sr. than it almost hidden as him just being too intense of a football fan.

De Niro moves through the film well in the variations of Pat Sr. caused by his problems with his son or his problems with his gambling. He is very good by hitting the randomness of it all, and realistically conveys how quickly how Pat Sr. can be trying to be friendly to his son and the next moment be chewing him out. The two biggest moments of his performance are these two pulls one being when he lashes out at Pat Jr. for supposedly messing with his Karma, and later encouraging Pat Jr. to do the right thing. Both times De Niro plays them well, they are short moment, but De Niro makes them sweet through his honest depiction of Pat Sr.

This performance by De Niro is not on the same level of his work in the 70's by any measure. It is really a lesser work from an actor that can make far more of an impact in a film than he does here. That being said though he does fulfill the role of Pat Sr. the best he can. This is not a performance that steals scenes but instead it appropriately adds to them. He is likable when he needs to be, he is unlikable when he needs to be, he is charming when he needs to be, he is mean when he needs to be. He absolutely succeeds in all aspects of the character even if that is not all that much overall it definitely is a performance I liked that adds nicely to his film.


RatedRStar said...

I thought he was fine, but only fine, nothing more lol, ohh im very interested in what you will think of Hoffman and his stoned colleague =).

Anonymous said...

I thought he would fare better, since he won a lot of awards for this performance. What did you think o Jackie Weaver? Did she deserved the nomination?

Louis Morgan said...

I honestly think he probably would not have gotten any award notices if the film was less popular, and he had been in better films for the last ten years.

Weaver was fine technically speaking, but she was regulated to the background at all times. She did not deserve the nomination as there just is not anything substantial about her work.

Michael Patison said...

I agree that neither he nor Weaver really deserved nominations. What'd you think of the film? Or are you gonna say that on Cooper's review?

Anonymous said...

Everything in your review describes why I love this performance, oddly enough. I never understood why an actor has to "steal scenes"to be good. This is a perfect example of a SUPPORTING performance, and that's why he works so well. Plus he has one incredibly moving scene that works entirely because of him.

moviefilm said...

Just saw the film and I liked him. But nothing sort of amazing. Just very decent performance. What did you think of Jennifer Lawrence? I guess you didn't like her performance very much... :)

Louis Morgan said...

Michael: That's what I was planning, but I might as well say I loved it.

moviefilm: I did like her performance actually.

RatedRStar said...

Best Actor 2012 will probably be a bit trickier as it could be a three way battle for who will get highest Louis rating out of Day Lewis, Jackman and Cooper.

If anybody really thinks that Phoenix or Washington will win, then ur drunk =D.

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

Phoenix will win. Watch.

RatedRStar said...

=D we will see, if im wrong ill eat my own words as it should be like with Gerard Depardieu when I said hed win for 1990 and Louis gave him a 2.5 lol ( good times eh)

Michael Patison said...

The only Lead Actor-nominated performance I haven't see is Denzel, and I don't understand how anybody could beat DDL. He gives by far the most restrained of his nominated performances and is, in my opinion, his second-best performance after My Left Foot (it's my #1 ever). He creates a remarkably compelling character and even imbues his with issues of fallibility that frankly weren't there to begin with. Just astonishingly brilliant work in my opinion. I'd rate the 4 I've seen as follows:
1. Day-Lewis: 5 (my thoughts are above)
2. Cooper: 4.5 (he could have gone overboard with this despite his mental illness not being a developmental one like Hoffman or Hanks, case in point Nicholson's OCD, but he doesn't, every moment is true and his outbursts are incredibly believable; I actually fluctuate between a 4.5 and a 5)
3. Jackman: 4.5 (truly great work here; he is aided since the film was recorded live allowing him to actually act; it's a hard part since his transformation scene really only happens over 2-3 scenes, but he really nails it; it's only a 4.5 because I just felt it was lacking something I couldn't put my finger on, but that may just be the inherent difficulty with acting effectively in musicals; honestly, though, his singing contains so much emotion rarely present in musicals)
4. Phoenix: 3 (some parts of his performance are good; his eyes convey a monumental amount of powerful emotions, but his facial (mainly mouth-related) expressions are distracting, as is his manner of walking; it also doesn't help that I really didn't like the movie since it promised to pose this difficult question like all of PTA's films do so that the viewer can ponder them, but then the film never actually asks anything; honestly the only redeeming qualities were Anderson's amazing direction, which made his surprisingly terrible screenplay bearable, Hoffman's great performance, Adams' Performance to a certain degree, the absolutely gorgeous cinematography, and Jonny Greenwood's great and ignored score)

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

How I'd rank them:

Phoenix: 5
DDL: 4.5
Washington: 4.5
Cooper: 4.5
Jackman: 2.5

RatedRStar said...

@koook160 im surprised but intrigued of course by the 2.5 of Jackman =D what didnt you like?

koook160 (Robert MacFarlane) said...

He was technically fine, but the awful direction muted any emotional impact he might have had. Either Waltz sshould have been moved up to lead or Logan Lerman should have ogt his slot for The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Anonymous said...

If Hoffman gets 5 then the chances of Phoenix getting 5 is highly likely considering both performances play off each other.

joe burns said...

I really like him actually!! I think there are times when you have a soft spot for these kinds of roles/performances, and this is one of them for me!!

What did you think of Lawrence BTW? How would you rank the Best Actress nominees you've seen so far?