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'Being Flynn' Trailer: Robert De Niro Plays a Deadbeat Dad (Video)

Focus Features' drama centers around a like-father-like-son tale of two writers.

The trailer for Focus Features’ upcoming drama, Being Flynn, which is based on the novel Another Bullsh*t Night In Suck City written by Nick Flynn, features a couple of tortured artists who also happen to be father and son.

Robert De Niro stars as an eccentric writer, Jonathan Flynn, who becomes homeless. His son, Nick, (played by Cowboys & Aliens actor Paul Dano) works at the homeless shelter where De Niro’s character ends up. While papa Flynn was never around while younger Flynn was growing up, Dano’s character has followed in the footsteps of his father and become a writer.

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For being a deadbeat dad, De Niro’s character seems to bestow plenty of thoughtful advice onto his estranged son. In just the trailer, viewers witness this exchange:

Jonathan Flynn: “I’m doing the same thing here as you are – gathering material.”

Nick Flynn: “This is my life.”

Jonathan Flynn: “Life is gathering material.”

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Among the other nuggets of wisdom that Jonathan Flynn shares in the trailer:

“America has produced only three classic writers: Mark Twain, J.D. Salinger and me.”

“What I am is an artist.”

“Of course, writers, especially poets, are particularly prone to madness.”

“From one writer to another, I don’t care about how good of a writer you are, you can’t kill someone with words.”

“We were put on this Earth to help other people, Nicholas. It’s a wonderful life, it’s a masterpiece.”

The film, which also features Julianne Moore, is set for a Spring 2012 release.