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The Hollywood Film Awards Series: Robert De Niro is a veteran actor once again in the awards hunt

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Late last week, word spread throughout the industry that legendary actor Robert De Niro was going to be the latest recipient of the Hollywood Career Achievement Award at the 19th edition of the Hollywood Film Awards. This marks just the latest in a long line of honors for De Niro throughout the course of his time as an actor. A two time Academy Award winner, he’ll also be in contention once more this year for Oscar love as part of another David O. Russell ensemble, this one being the upcoming film Joy. With this tribute coming his way, I wanted to do the same today as the first installment of the Hollywood Film Awards Series.

De Niro is probably best known for his actor/filmmaker relationship with Martin Scorsese, which resulted in an Academy Award for Best Actor going De Niro’s way for Raging Bull. The partnership began with Mean Streets, then continued through Taxi Driver, New York New York, the aforementioned Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, and Casino. A total of eight films were made together, with the vast majority of them being instant classics. Both are who they are today in part because of the other one. In a way, any award going to De Niro is partly a pat on the back to Scorsese, and vice versa. Often you’ll see this too, the greats having at least one filmmaker who they just seem to share a bond with. Scorsese clearly brought out the best in De Niro, that more or less goes without saying.

He has been repeated cited with awards and nominations over the years, which befits a top tier thespian like De Niro. A two time Academy Award winner (Best Supporting Actor for The Godfather: Part II and Best Actor for Raging Bull), he’s a seven time Oscar nominee overall, with eight Golden Globe nominations (and one win for Raging Bull), including the Cecil B. DeMille Award, to his credit. That doesn’t even include a half dozen BAFTA nominations, three Screen Actors Guild nominations, and two previous wins at the Hollywood Film Awards (Best Supporting Actor for Everybody’s Fine and Best Supporting Actor for Silver Linings Playbook) to round things out.

This year, we’ve already been able to see De Niro show off his light comedy chops with The Intern, and as previously mentioned, he’ll have a part to play in Russell’s upcoming Joy as well. This is his third go around with Russell, after his Oscar nominated turn in Silver Linings Playbook as well as pseudo cameo in American Hustle. If not his partnership with Scorsese, Russell has proven to be another director he can get on the same page with easily. Legends don’t always pick up new partners in the third act of their careers, but De Niro seems to have, and that only furthers the praise that you can heap upon him.

Whether it’s his myriad collaborations with Scorsese, his comedic work later on his career, or his wonderful directorial outings A Bronx Tale and The Good Shepherd, De Niro has proven to be a singular talent throughout the decades. Without question, the Hollywood Career Achievement Award being bestowed upon him by the Hollywood Film Awards is an incredibly justified citations. Few have achieved in their careers what he has, with plenty more still to come. De Niro is nowhere near the end of the road, so this career, one of the all time greats, could still grow in stature before all is said and done…

For those wondering, these would be the ten best performances of De Niro’s career, according to yours truly:

10. Everybody’s Fine
9. A Bronx Tale
8. The Deer Hunter
7. Awakenings
6. Mean Streets
5. Goodfellas
4. The Godfather: Part II
3. Raging Bull
2. The King of Comedy
1. Taxi Driver

Honorable Mentions: Cape Fear, Casino, Cop Land, Heat, Jackie Brown, Meet the Parents, Once Upon a Time in America, Silver Linings Playbook, The Untouchables, and Wag the Dog

Be sure to check it out when De Niro receives the Hollywood Career Achievement Award at the 19th annual Hollywood Film Awards on November 1st!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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