Written by / 3/31/2012 / No comments / , , , ,

BEING FLYNN

DeNiro verses Dano as Dad and Son
title: BEING FLYNN
year: 2012
cast: Robert DeNiro, Paul Dano
rating: ***

There are familiar characters within Robert DeNiro’s Jonathan Flynn. For starters, he’s a closed-minded TAXI DRIVER. And he’s in his own world and fancies himself a famous author – much like THE KING OF COMEDY dreamt of being a famous comedian. But this Flynn only pretends to be narrating a true story as he, after being thrown out of his apartment and losing his job, wanders the streets in the freezing cold New York City nights. It’s his son Nick, a twenty-something who had grown up with a single mother (Julianne Moore in sporadic flashbacks) with only dad’s letters and pictures, with a legit narration guiding us.

Nick resides in a closed-down strip bar and works at a homeless shelter where his father, a barking, opinionated bully, eventually resides. The inter-workings of the shelter gives the viewer an involving, realistic yet somewhat watered-down experience of how the other half lives. But when Nick, played with dependable pathos by Paul Dano, morphs into a cocaine habit... strung-out one minute and clean the next... the real story sidetracks. It's the relationship with pop that keeps the movie grounded and interesting. And for DeNiro fans, while this isn’t one of his top-shelf performances, it far exceeds the mediocre grimacing cop roles he’s sleepwalked through for the last decade.
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