Who is the best actor of the last generation? Is it Al Pacino? Or should the late, great Marlon Brando take the crown? Perhaps Daniel Day Lewis is worthy of a mention, especially for his work in some of the world’s most recent critically acclaimed movies.
While all of these individuals can claim to be the best depending on your precise criteria, if you were to judge actors solely on the depth and diversity of their body of work then Robert De Niro would take the plaudits. Renowned as the creator of method acting and a skilled exponent of portraying even the most intimidating characters, De Niro has put his name to some of the most memorable films in living memory.
Before Ed Norton’s stellar turn in Fight Club, Robert De Niro delivered a similarly engrossing and disturbing performance in the late 1960’s hit Taxi Driver. Playing the role of the emotionally disturbed and savagely violent loner Travis Bickle, the authenticity and intensity of De Niro’s performance earned him a Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards. It also put De Niro on the map, and set the scene for similarly compelling roles such as his reprisal of boxer Jake LaMotta in the hit film ‘Raging Bull’.
While many have been dazzled by the stellar cast and glamour of Martin Scorsese’s hit film ‘Goodfella’s’, the follow-up ‘Casino’ is arguably a better-paced and more compelling film. It certainly proved a more fitting vehicle for De Niro’s talents, as rather than dwell in the shadows of Joe Pesci he played the lead role of casino owners and Vegas legend Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein. Incredibly tense throughout and punctuated by acts of gruesome violence, De Niro’s menacing presence makes you thankful that free casino games are now available online!
Hide and Seek
‘Hide and Seek’ is a more recent film that showcased a different side of De Niro and his acting ability. Playing a father who is troubled by his daughter’s behaviour following the suicide of her mother, De Niro becomes embroiled in a sinister web of mystery that is tinged by the supernatural. The quality of acting is key to the success of the film, which otherwise would have been just another run-of-the-mill if engaging thriller.