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November 21, 2013 5:58 pm
Action-comedy The Family stars Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer hiding from the mob in rural France under the watch of the hapless FBI. Beefy, clumsy and smug (and a flop in the US), it can only depress the hell out of us, even though we are long used to De Niro’s post-Meet the Parents comedy-buffoon decline. There was a time when De Niro seemed so ungraspable, so brilliant, it was as if he had some secret access to acting that nobody else could fully understand. Maybe in the end we asked too much of him. Maybe thinking one actor might save an art form from drowning is too great a pressure for any genius and he just came to not like us very much, inflicting movies like this on us with bitter, self-justified impunity. Even Shakespeare, in the end, retired into a gloom.
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