You may recall the mild controversy a few months back when Francis Ford Coppola inadvertently berated former colleagues Al Pacino and Robert De Niro for selling out, or selling short, or whatever. "They all live off the fat of the land," he said, then later retracted the statement when the magazine hit stands. The Los Angeles Times critic Patrick Goldstein has written a piece that tackles Coppola's remark in light of recent events. Goldstein says he initially thought Coppola "was being cranky," but now, with the universal revulsion expressed at the release of Pacino's 88 Minutesas De Niro's What Just Happened?remains without a distributor, Goldstein concludes that Coppola "was right on the money."

First things first: What Just Happened? doesn't deserve the hideous trainwreck slot that 88 Minutes has been alloted. It's simply not that bad. De Niro puts on a nuanced, frequently amusing performance as a frustrated Hollywood producer incapable of keeping his professional and personal lives in check. He still has the uncanny ability to melt into his roles; even Analyze This, where he clearly mocked his own persona, allowed the actor to bring a certain degree of emotional fragility to the performance. Pacino is a different story.
categories Movies, Cinematical