Glenn Kenny did a first-rate job of analyzing the life and work of Robert De Niro in that Cahiers du Cinema book he wrote which came out last summer. But the book-publishing world can be a brutal, dog-eat-dog one, and now, alas, it’s time for Glenn’s tome to take a farewell strut and defer to Shawn Levy‘s “De Niro: A Life,” which came out yesterday — Tuesday, 10.28. I haven’t even skimmed through Levy’s biography yet. It was lying on my doorstep when I returned last night from Savannah. But I know his Jerry Lewis and Paul Newman bios, and whatever’s there Levy tends to uncover. Plus he’s an eloquent writer. On the other hand…De Niro again! What is new to say or learn? Same story, same trajectory — Mean Streets/Godfather Part II breakthrough, peaking into the mid to late ’80s (Raging Bull, True Confessions, Falling In Love, Cape Fear), resurgence in the early to mid ’90s (Goodfellas, Casino, Heat), and then the late 90s-post millenial sell-out downturn. I’ll read Levy’s book this weekend.
(l.) Shawn Levy’s “De Niro: A Life“; (r.) Glenn Kenny‘s Phaidon/Cahiers Du Cinema’s “Anatomy of an Actor” book about Robert De Niro, which came out last July.