Counting down Robert De Niro's 10 best performances
As the actor celebrates his seventh Oscar nod, we round up his career highlights.
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9. Max Cady in "Cape Fear" (1991)
Another villain, and a considerably less manicured one, De Niro's Max Cady is a fascinating creation of a piece with Martin Scorsese's fascinatingly angular redesign of an already solid 1960s potboiler -- his take on Robert Mitchum's rough-edged psycho stylized and sexualized in many of the same ways as the film itself. It's a performance that's frightening when it's brutal, but all the more so when it's seductive -- as in his unshakeable schoolhouse duet with the brilliant Juliette Lewis -- and finally a steely physical feat, as the film's Grand Guignol finale takes this never-quite-human man into machine territory.
Nomination: Best Actor, Academy Awards; Best Actor (Drama), Golden Globes