Robert De Niro
Robert Anthony De Niro Jr. is an American actor and director. He is a recipient of various accolades, including two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, the Cecil B DeMille Award, AFI Life Achievement Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom, has been nominated for six BAFTA Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards. De Niro was cast as the young Vito Corleone in the 1974 film The Godfather Part II, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, his longtime collaboration with director Martin Scorsese earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Jake LaMotta in the 1980 film Raging Bull. De Niro's first major film roles were in the sports drama Bang the Drum Slowly and Scorsese's crime film Mean Streets, he earned Academy Award nominations for the psychological thrillers Taxi Driver and Cape Fear, both directed by Scorsese. De Niro received additional nominations for Michael Cimino's Vietnam war drama The Deer Hunter, Penny Marshall's drama Awakenings, David O. Russell's romantic comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook.
His portrayal of gangster Jimmy Conway in Scorsese's crime film Goodfellas, his role as Rupert Pupkin in the black comedy film The King of Comedy, earned him BAFTA Award nominations. De Niro has earned four nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, for his work in the musical drama New York, New York, the action comedy Midnight Run, the gangster comedy Analyze This, the comedy Meet the Parents. Other notable performances include roles in 1900, Once Upon a Time in America, The Mission, The Untouchables and Casino, he has directed and starred in films such as the crime drama A Bronx Tale and the spy film The Good Shepherd. Robert Anthony De Niro Jr. was born on August 17, 1943, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, the only child of painters Virginia Admiral and Robert De Niro Sr. He is of Irish and Italian descent on his father's side, while his mother had Dutch, English and German ancestry. De Niro's parents, who had met at the painting classes of Hans Hofmann in Provincetown, divorced when he was two years old after his father announced that he was gay.
De Niro was raised by his mother in the Greenwich Little Italy areas of Manhattan. His father lived within walking distance and De Niro spent much time with him as he grew up, his mother was raised Presbyterian but became an atheist as an adult, while his father had been a lapsed Catholic since the age of 12. Against his parents' wishes, his grandparents had him secretly baptized into the Catholic Church while he was staying with them during his parents' divorce. De Niro attended a public elementary school in Manhattan, through the sixth grade, he went to Elisabeth Irwin High School, the private upper school of the Little Red School House, for the seventh and eighth grades. He was accepted into the High School of Music and Art for the ninth grade, but only attended for a short time before transferring to a public junior high school. De Niro began high school at the private McBurney School and attended the private Rhodes Preparatory School, although he graduated from neither. Nicknamed "Bobby Milk" for his pallor, De Niro hung out with a group of street kids as a youth in Little Italy, some of whom have remained his lifelong friends.
His stage debut was at age 10, when he played the Cowardly Lion in a school production of The Wizard of Oz. Along with finding relief from shyness through performing, he was fixated by cinema, he dropped out of high school at age 16 to pursue acting, he studied acting at HB Studio, the Stella Adler Conservatory, as well as Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio. De Niro's first film role came at the age of 20, when he appeared in Brian De Palma's 1963 film The Wedding Party, but the film was not released until 1969, he appeared in Roger Corman's film Bloody Mama. He gained popular attention with his role as a dying Major League Baseball player in Bang the Drum Slowly and began his collaboration with Martin Scorsese when he played the small-time criminal Johnny Boy in Mean Streets. De Niro had a pivotal role in the Francis Ford Coppola film The Godfather Part II, playing the young Vito Corleone. Coppola had remembered his previous auditions for the roles of Sonny Corleone, Michael Corleone, Carlo Rizzi, Paulie Gatto in The Godfather.
His performance earned him his first Academy Award, for Best Supporting Actor, although Coppola accepted the award as De Niro was not present at the ceremony. De Niro became the first actor to win an Academy Award speaking a foreign language. In this case, several Sicilian dialects, he and Marlon Brando, who played the older Vito Corleone in the first film, are the only actors to have won Oscars for portraying the same fictional character. After working with Scorsese in Mean Streets, De Niro went on to have a successful working relationship with him in films such as Taxi Driver, New York, New York, Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, Cape Fear, Casino, they acted together in Guilty by Suspicion and provided their voices for the animated feature Shark Tale. Taxi Driver was important to De Niro's career, his iconic performance as Travis Bickle catapulted him to stardom and forever linked his name with Bickle's famous "You talkin' to me?" monologue, which De Niro improvised. The role of Bickle earned him his first Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor.
His portrayal of Jake LaMotta
The Brave One (2007 film)
The Brave One is a 2007 American psychological thriller film directed by Neil Jordan from a screenplay written by Roderick Taylor, Bruce A. Taylor and Cynthia Mort; the film stars Jodie Foster as Erica Bain, a New York City radio host who along with her partner, is beaten by thugs, leading to the latter's death. Terrified for her safety, she buys a pistol. Armed with the gun, she undergoes a personality transformation and becomes a vigilante, shooting a number of criminals. Detective Sean Mercer investigates the vigilante shootings, which lead him closer and closer to Bain; the film features Naveen Andrews, Terrence Howard, Nicky Katt, Zoë Kravitz, Mary Steenburgen and Luis Da Silva in supporting roles. The Brave One was released in the United States on September 14, 2007; the film received mixed reviews from critics who acclaimed Foster's performance but criticized its execution and was a box office success, grossing $170 million on a budget of $70 million. At the 65th Golden Globe Awards, Foster received a nomination for Best Actress Motion Picture in a Drama.
As radio show host Erica Bain and her Malayali Nasrani fiancé David are walking their dog at night at Stranger's Gate in New York City's Central Park, they are attacked by three violent criminals who film the whole attack on their phones. David dies from his injuries, Erica, while injured, survives. Angry and traumatized, she attempts to purchase a gun. Terrified and unwilling to wait the month required to obtain a gun she buys a Kahr K9 semi-automatic pistol from a black market gun dealer; when she stops at a convenience store, a man comes in screaming at the female cashier for not allowing him to see his kids, shoots her. The killer hears Erica's cell phone ringer, while attempting to clear out the till, stalks her in the aisles. Just as the killer is about to find her, Erica is overcome with fear and shoots through the aisles and kills him. On another night, two men threaten passengers in a subway car; the passengers all leave at the next stop except Erica. When the men, amazed that she was not threatened enough to leave, take it as a challenge and threaten her with a knife, Erica shoots them both dead.
Another night, Erica attempts to save a prostitute by threatening the woman's pimp with her pistol. When he attempts to run them down with his car in retaliation, Erica shoots him in the head, causing his car to run over the prostitute; the prostitute is injured, but lives, is taken to the hospital. All the while, Erica attempts to track down the men, she strikes up a friendship with Detective Sean Mercer, investigating the vigilante crimes and, unaware of her role in the deaths. Erica, in trying to find out if the detective is close to solving her case, as well as the vigilante killings, pretends to want to interview Mercer. During the interview, the detective asks her, she replies that she did not, she had to become a different person from the one she was before. They talk several times after. Erica and her boss, enter an elevator together in their office building. In the elevator, she overhears two men talking about the vigilante killer. Erica's boss gets her to take calls on her radio show to solicit the public's opinion on the vigilante killings.
The various responses get her to confess to the killings, but once at the police station, she is unable to bring herself to do so. Mercer tells Erica about a criminal he has been pursuing for a long time, who has committed several murders, but Mercer is unable to bring him to justice; when Erica kills the suspect that Detective Mercer had long been after, Mercer comes to suspect her as the killer. He attempts to set a trap for Erica by taking her along with him to interview the prostitute she had saved before, but the prostitute does not let on that she knows Erica; when Mercer is able to interview one of the subway car passengers, he gets a description of the probable vigilante, learns that the person is a female rather than male as suspected. When the police bring in Erica to identify one of the suspects in her attack, she recognizes one of them, but does not identify him. After, Mercer meets Erica for coffee. Informed by the police that they found her engagement ring at a pawn shop, she manages to hunt down a name and phone number at the pawn shop.
With the phone number, she is able to track down one of the attacker's ex-girlfriends, who witnessed the whole attack via a video recording on a cellphone, but is too frightened to reveal information, fearing a similar reprisal. However, she forwards the video recording of Erica's attack to Erica's phone. Erica breaks down on seeing the video forwards it to detective Mercer. Erica, now armed with positive visual identification of all three attackers, is able to track them down. At the climax of the film, Erica confronts the men responsible for David's murder, she kills two and releasing her dog in the process and struggles with the third. Mercer arrives on the scene just as the third attacker had taken the upper hand and disarmed Erica, holding her in a choke-hold, attempts to arrest him. Erica retrieves her weapon and attempts to execute the attacker. Mercer persuades Erica to lower the gun, but after looking into her begging eyes, hands her his own for her to use a legal weapon to kill the last attacker.
The attacker begs to be arrested, insisting that it is Mercer's job to do so, Erica executes her attacker. Mercer insists that Erica should wound him to help frame the attackers as being behind th
George Fenton is an English composer best known for his work writing film scores and music for television such as for the BBC series The Blue Planet and Planet Earth. George Fenton was born in 1949 in Bromley, one of five siblings, his father was a mechanical engineer, his mother had been a dancer and dance teacher before becoming a nurse during the war. Both his parents were musical – his mother played the piano and his father the drums – but weren’t professional musicians. However, his great grandfather on his father’s side was a conductor, as a child had been a chorister and had sung at the funeral of the first Duke of Wellington. George Fenton sang in church choirs as a boy, but it was the electric guitar – a Rosetti Lucky 7 – that first won his heart at the age of 7. Fenton attended St Edward's School in Oxford, he has no further formal training in music. Fenton's involvement with St Edward's continued as an adult and he has been a governor of the school since 1998. Fenton worked as an actor, getting an early break in 1968 with a part in Alan Bennett's first West End play Forty Years On.
He had some success as an actor in the early 1970s appearing in the film Private Road, in Alan Bennett's first television play A Day Out directed by Stephen Frears, in the soap opera Emmerdale Farm. In 1969, Fenton tried his hand as a recording artist with a cover of The Beatles song "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and recorded piano for the folk group The Peelers on their Polydor LP "Banished Misfortune". In 1973 he dabbled in band management helping to get the folk-rock band Hunter Muskett a recording contract with Bradley's Records. While working as an actor Fenton was asked by directors to play an instrument and he decided on a career switch to composing music. In 1974, Fenton received his first major commission, as composer and musical director for Peter Gill's theatre production of Twelfth Night by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. Throughout the rest of the 1970s and early 1980s Fenton worked as a composer for theatre productions, he continued to collaborate with Peter Gill.
Between 1974 and 1981 Fenton composed for 9 of Gill's productions. During this period Fenton worked at the Belgrade Theatre, composing for 3 of their productions in 1976 and another 3 in 1978, in 1981 he collaborated with Adrian Noble on 3 productions at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, he continued to work with the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company composing for 4 of their productions between 1981 and 1985, working again with Adrian Noble on Anthony and Cleopatra in 1982, most with Othello in 1999 directed by Michael Attenborough. Since the mid 1980s Fenton's theatre work has become sporadic, just 7 productions since 1987, as opposed to over 100 television and film scores. From time to time he still composes for the theatre when working with long-term collaborators such as Richard Eyre, Nicholas Hytner, his most unusual theatre work occurred in 1992 when he wrote the music for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, a dinner theater show at Disneyland Paris which The New York Times described as a "fake-rodeo-cum-dinner-theater" and the "indisputable highlight in the live performance category".
In 2015, he teamed up with Simon Chamberlin, to compose the music for Mrs Henderson Presents, with lyrics by Don Black. Fenton wrote his first television score in 1976; this was a continuation of his collaboration with Peter Gill and it was for Gill's production of Hitting Town written by Stephen Poliakoff. By the late 1970s Fenton was working in television, becoming a popular choice of composer for dozens of television productions; these included Shoestring, a BBC crime drama which ran for 21 episodes in 1979–80, Bergerac, which ran for a decade from 1981 to 1991, for which he won a BAFTA in 1982. He composed the music for all six of the LWT television plays by Alan Bennett, which were broadcast during 1978 and 1979 and are collectively known as Six Plays by Alan Bennett, their collaboration continued with the TV series Objects of Affection in 1982. A year he composed the score of Bennett's TV film An Englishman Abroad, directed by John Schlesinger. Fenton composed for all of the episodes of Bennett's acclaimed Talking Heads series in 1988 and, a decade Talking Heads 2 in 1998.
During this period Fenton frequently collaborated with the director Stephen Frears, composing for his television productions of Bloody Kids, Going Gently and Saigon: Year of the Cat. By the mid-1980s Fenton was composing for big budget TV series including the multi BAFTA winning The Jewel in the Crown and The Monocled Mutineer. Fenton has composed for a number of notable wildlife television programmes collaborating with the wildlife broadcaster David Attenborough and nature documentary filmmaker Alastair Fothergill, he started on the BBC's long-running series Wildlife on One and Natural World, continued with specials such as Polar Bear. He has spoken of. In 2012 he said with reference to The Blue Planet: "The minute I heard the title I was sold. I just thought it was so great that I turned down the offer of doing another film in the States and flew straight back home."Since 1990 he has written the music for a number of big budget wildlife series. The
Michael Collins (film)
Michael Collins is a 1996 historical biopic written and directed by Neil Jordan and starring Liam Neeson as Michael Collins, the Irish patriot and revolutionary who died in the Irish Civil War. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival; the film opens in media res in 1922 after Michael Collins' death, as Joe O'Reilly, a long-time comrade of Collins, attempts to console a mourning Kitty Kiernan. The story shifts back to the closing years of Britain's rule over Ireland from its base in Dublin Castle, when Irish Republicans fight for Irish independence against Britain and its military and police forces. At the end of the Easter Rising in 1916, Harry Boland, Éamon de Valera, other besieged Irish rebels at the Dublin GPO surrender to the British Army; as the Dublin Metropolitan Police's G Division identifies leaders of the uprising, Collins tells Boland that next time, "We won't play by their rules, Harry. We'll invent our own." Multiple leaders involved the fighting die by firing squad at Kilmainham Gaol, but de Valera, an American citizen, is imprisoned, as are Collins and the others.
Following overwhelming victory in a general election, Sinn Féin establishes a breakaway government and unilaterally declares Irish independence, signalling the start of the Irish War of Independence. De Valera is elected President of the First Dáil, Collins is appointed Minister for Intelligence in the Cabinet while taking initiative training and arming the nascent IRA by raiding RIC barracks for weapons. In May 1918, at a local by-election rally speech campaigning for Joseph McGuinness, Collins is injured when the RIC break up the rally. While recovering on a friend's farm and Boland meet Kitty, who begins a romance with Boland. Several weeks Ned Broy, a sympathetic G Division inspector, observing Collins and Boland, tips Collins off that the Castle plans to arrest de Valera and his Cabinet. However, de Valera forbids anyone to go into hiding, stating that the ensuing public outcry will force their immediate release. Only Collins and Boland escape arrest and imprisonment, there are no protests.
Left in command, Collins seeks help from Broy to gather information on Castle informers. After issuing a statement that all collaboration with the British will be punished by death, Collins initiates a campaign of assassinations on agents and collaborators using recruits from the IRA's Dublin Brigade. Meanwhile, de Valera breaks out of Lincoln Gaol in England with the help of Boland. To Collins' reluctance, de Valera plans to travel to the United States to seek recognition from Woodrow Wilson and orders Boland to accompany him. Before they depart, Collins suggests to Boland his belief that de Valera fears being overshadowed by leaving them alone together; as the War of Independence intensifies, the British strengthen their military presence and assign Soames, a hardened SIS agent, to lead a new counter-intelligence team tasked to combat the IRA. Heeding Broy's warning of the new threat, Collins deploys a hit squad that assassinates Soames and agents under his command. In retaliation, the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries fire at an unarmed crowd at a Gaelic football match at Croke Park, killing many Irishmen.
While in hiding and Kitty bond intimately. Collins learns that Broy was tortured and killed after he was caught by Soames frantically destroying Castle documents. De Valera and Boland return from America empty-handed. Seeking improved leverage in peace talks with the British and citing Collins' guerrilla tactics as detrimental to the image of the independence movement, de Valera decrees that the IRA must act more like a regular army by launching a formal military attack on The Custom House, the centre of the British administration in Ireland. Collins protests that fighting conventionally will allow the British to win, but the Cabinet votes to support de Valera; the attack fails catastrophically, leaving six men seventy captured. In the aftermath, Collins declares to de Valera that the IRA can only hold out for a month, but in private, he tells Boland that the IRA will be lucky to hold out for another week. To his surprise, the British soon call for a ceasefire. De Valera orders Collins to go to London to participate in negotiations with the British on the future of Ireland, despite Collins's objections that he is not a diplomat.
The Anglo-Irish Treaty is subsequently signed in December 1921, averting an unwinnable war with Britain and granting Ireland the freedom to achieve the Republic in time, albeit with the state becoming a British dominion in the interim and at the expense of six of the nine Ulster counties, dividing the island between the British north and Irish south. De Valera, who sought unconditional independence, erupts upon learning that the terms have been published without his agreement. Following a tense debate at the Second Dáil, the Treaty is approved 64–57, prompting de Valera and his supporters to resign in protest; as events unfold, Kitty professes her rejection of Boland, Collins proposes to Kitty. Relations between Collins and Boland deteriorate; as Ireland begins its transition into a Free State, a people's vote on the Treaty follows the Dáil vote, with Collins and de Valera campaigning to sway people in their respective directions. Despite violence from anti-Treaty Republicans, the Treaty is backed by popular vote, a result that de Valera and his supporters continue to reject.
In June 1922, the anti-Treaty IRA seize the Four Courts in Dublin. Ordered by Arthur Griffith's Cabinet to retake the Four Courts, Collins is appalled having to fight former comrades, but obliges wh
Hoyt Wayne Axton was an American folk music singer-songwriter, a film and television actor. He became prominent in the early-1960s, establishing himself on the West Coast as a folk singer with an earthy style and powerful voice; as he matured, some of his songwriting became well known throughout the world. Among them were "Joy to the World", "The Pusher", "No No Song", "Greenback Dollar", "Della and the Dealer", "Never Been to Spain". Born in Duncan, Axton spent his pre-teen years in Comanche, with his brother, John, his mother, Mae Boren Axton, a songwriter, co-wrote the classic rock'n' roll song "Heartbreak Hotel", which became a major hit for Elvis Presley. Some of Hoyt's own songs were later recorded by Presley. Axton's father, John Thomas Axton, was a naval officer stationed in Florida. Axton graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1956 and left town after Knauer's Hardware Store burned down on graduation night, a prank gone wrong, he attended Oklahoma State University on a scholarship, he played football for the school, but he left to enlist in the US Navy.
After his discharge from the navy, he began singing folk songs in San Francisco nightclubs. In the early-1960s he released his first folk album, The Balladeer, which included his song "Greenback Dollar", it became a 1963 hit for The Kingston Trio. In 1966, Axton made his film debut in the movie Smoky playing the role of Fred Denton, the evil brother of actor Fess Parker. In 1979, Axton appeared on the PBS music program Austin City Limits during Season 4. Axton was released numerous albums well into the 1980s, he had many minor hits of his own, such as "Boney Fingers", "When the Morning Comes", 1979's "Della and the Dealer", as well as "Jealous Man". His vocal style featured his distinctive use of characterization. However, his most lasting contributions were songs made famous by others: "Joy to the World" and "Never Been to Spain". Axton sang a couple of duets with Linda Ronstadt, including "Lion in Winter" and "When the Morning Comes", his composition "Joy to the World", as performed by Three Dog Night, was #1 on the charts for six straight weeks in 1971, making it the top hit of the year.
He named his record label Jeremiah after the bullfrog mentioned in the song. He sang the jingle "Head For the Mountains" in the Busch Beer commercials in the 1980s. Axton appeared in a Pizza Hut commercial in 1985, in a TV ad for FTD Florists with Merlin Olsen in 1989. Axton first appeared on television in a David L. Wolper ABC production of The Story of a Folksinger, he appeared on Hootenanny, hosted by Jack Linkletter during this period. In 1965, he appeared in an episode of Bonanza followed with other TV roles over the years; as he matured, Axton specialized in playing good ol' boys in films. His face became well known in the 1970s and 1980s through many TV and film appearances, such as in the movies Liar's Moon playing poor-but-happy farmer Cecil Duncan, crushed to death when a stack of metal pipes falls on him, The Black Stallion as the main character's father, Gremlins as the protagonist's father. Axton was married four times, he had five children. Axton struggled with cocaine addiction and several of his songs, including "The Pusher", "Snowblind Friend", "No-No Song" reflect his negative drug experiences.
However, he was a proponent of marijuana use for many years until he and his wife were arrested in February 1997 at their Montana home for possession of 500 g of marijuana. His wife explained that she offered Axton marijuana to relieve his pain and stress following a 1995 stroke. Both were given deferred sentences. Axton never recovered from his stroke, had to use a wheelchair much of the time afterwards, he died at age 61 at his home in Victor, Montana, on October 26, 1999, after suffering two heart attacks in two weeks. On November 1, 2007, Axton and his mother were both inducted posthumously into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Among his best-known compositions are: "Greenback Dollar" covered by The Kingston Trio "The Pusher", by Steppenwolf on their debut album, 1968. K. a
Sean Justin Penn is an American actor and filmmaker. He has won two Academy Awards, for his roles in the biopic Milk. Penn began his acting career in television, with a brief appearance in episode 112 of Little House on the Prairie, December 4, 1974, directed by his father Leo Penn. Following his film debut in the drama Taps, a diverse range of film roles in the 1980s, including Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Penn garnered critical attention for his roles in the crime dramas At Close Range, State of Grace, Carlito's Way, he became known as a prominent leading actor with the drama Dead Man Walking, for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination and the Best Actor Award at the Berlin Film Festival. Penn received another two Oscar nominations for Woody Allen's comedy-drama Sweet and Lowdown and the drama I Am Sam, before winning his first Academy Award for Best Actor in 2003 for Mystic River and a second one in 2008 for Milk, he has won a Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for the Nick Cassavetes-directed She's So Lovely, two Best Actor Awards at the Venice Film Festival for the indie film Hurlyburly and the drama 21 Grams.
Penn made his feature film directorial debut with The Indian Runner, followed by the drama film The Crossing Guard and the mystery film The Pledge. Penn directed one of the 11 segments of 11'09"01 September 11, a compilation film made in response to the September 11 attacks, his fourth feature film, the biographical drama survival movie Into the Wild, garnered critical acclaim and two Academy Award nominations. In addition to his film work, Penn engages in political and social activism, including his criticism of the George W. Bush administration, his contact with the Presidents of Cuba and Venezuela, his humanitarian work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Penn was born in Santa Monica, California, to actor and director Leo Penn, actress Eileen Ryan, his older brother is musician Michael Penn. His younger brother, actor Chris Penn, died in 2006, his paternal grandparents were Ashkenazi Jewish emigrants from Lithuania and Russia, while his mother is a Catholic of Irish and Italian descent.
Penn attended Santa Monica High School. He began making short films with some of his childhood friends, including actors Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen, who lived near his home. Penn appeared in a 1974 episode of the Little House on the Prairie television series as an extra when his father, directed some of the episodes. Penn launched his film career with the action-drama Taps, where he played a military high school cadet. A year he appeared in the hit comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High, in the role of surfer-stoner Jeff Spicoli. Next, Penn appeared as a troubled youth, in the drama Bad Boys; the role jump-started his career as a serious actor. Penn played Andrew Daulton Lee in the film The Falcon and the Snowman, which followed an actual criminal case. Lee was a former drug dealer by trade, convicted of espionage for the Soviet Union and sentenced to life in prison, but was paroled in 1998. Penn hired Lee as his personal assistant because he wanted to reward Lee for allowing him to play Lee in the film.
Penn starred in the drama At Close Range. He stopped acting for a few years in the early 1990s, having been dissatisfied with the industry, focused on making his directing debut; the Academy Awards first recognized his work in nominating him for playing a racist murderer on death row in the drama film Dead Man Walking. He was nominated again for his comedic performance as an egotistical jazz guitarist in the film Sweet and Lowdown, he received his third nomination after portraying a mentally handicapped father in I am Sam. Penn won for his role in the Boston crime-drama Mystic River. In 2004, Penn played Samuel Bicke, a character based on Samuel Byck, who in 1974 attempted and failed to assassinate President Richard Nixon, in The Assassination of Richard Nixon; the same year, he was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Next, Penn portrayed governor Willie Stark in an adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's classic 1946 American novel All the King's Men; the film was a critical and commercial failure, named by a 2010 Forbes article as the biggest flop in the last five years.
In November 2008, Penn earned positive reviews for his portrayal of real-life gay-rights icon and politician Harvey Milk in the biopic Milk, was nominated for best actor for the 2008 Independent Spirit Awards. The film earned Penn his fifth nomination and second win for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Penn starred as Joseph C. Wilson in a film adaptation of Valerie Plame's 2007 memoir, he co-starred in the drama The Tree of Life, which won the Palme d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. In 2015, Penn starred in The Gunman, a French-American action thriller based on the novel The Prone Gunman, by Jean-Patrick Manchette. Jasmine Trinca, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance and fellow Oscar-winner Javier Bardem appear in supporting roles. Penn plays Jim Terrier, a sniper on a mercenary assassination team who kills the minister of mines of the Congo. Penn made his directorial debut with The Indian Ru