In an interview published in the November issue of GQ magazine, legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola expressed his disappointment with the choices that actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Jack Nicholson have made in their careers. “I don’t feel that kind of passion to do a role and be great coming from those guys, because if it was there, they would do it!” he said. “I don’t know what any of them want anymore.” Coppola’s first film in 10 years, Youth Without Youth, hits theaters in December.
What the commentators said
Good for Coppola for having the guts “to say what has been so obvious in Hollywood for quite some time,” said the blog Celebrity Smack. Coppola “exposed” De Niro, Nicholson, and Pacino “for what they really are . . . or have become.” Hollywood is a joke now. You don’t have to be a great actor or actress anymore in order to “still reap the same rewards.” The trio Coppola referred to are spoiled, and “they’ve gotten lazy, unappreciative and uninspired.”
It’s obvious that Coppola is just taking his own problems out on these guys, said the Guardian Unlimited’s Arts blog. “He’s had a bad time of it lately, losing $20 million in a lawsuit with Warner Bros. over his proposed Pinocchio film, and having to set aside his ill-conceived Megalopolis project.” When he fondly recalls the "young and insecure" Pacino and De Niro, “isn’t he really pining for a time when the power dynamic was more clearly defined?” Not to mention the fact that “he has always been a master of his own PR”—his new movie Youth Without Youth is coming out soon.
It’s hard not to view Coppola as somewhat of a hypocrite, said Jeremy Smith in Chud.com. “After all, where does the director of Jack get off criticizing anyone’s creative torpidity?” As sad as it is, “the man who exploded the possibilities” of film “in the 1970s is never coming back. And no one is more aware of this than Coppola.” He may not be happy about it, but it seems like he has “finally embraced obscurity with his forthcoming ‘experimental’ feature, Youth Without Youth.”