The Irishman (2019)
November 29, 2019 9:46 AM - Subscribe

Martin Scorsese's 3.5-hour long gangster film, released on Netflix this week and in a small number of theaters across the USA earlier this month, uses digital "de-aging" to follow the life of Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), who claimed on his deathbed to have been a mob hitman responsible for many murders, including that of labor boss Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino).
posted by mediareport (40 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have mixed feelings about this one but will leave them to simmer for a bit. I did find the de-aging effect mostly unconvincing and often in the uncanny valley, especially for the scenes of Sheeran in his 30s. For folks interested in the question of historical accuracy, there was a good back-and-forth in August between Slate writer Bill Tonelli and the publisher of Charles Brandt's book I Heard You Paint Houses:

The Lies of the Irishman
The Publisher of I Heard You Paint Houses Responds to “The Lies of the Irishman”

Tonelli replies to the reply at the end of the 2nd link.
posted by mediareport at 9:54 AM on November 29 [3 favorites]


More distracting than the de-aging were those cloudy eyes they gave DeNiro. There was an article about "The Crown" recently on how they were originally going to CGI color Olivia Coleman's eyes but they decided against it because that would be crippling her acting performance. I feel the same way with DeNiro. If his eyes were clear, the CGI would be a lot less problematic for me. As it is, the cloudy eyes make him even more manequin-like in a lot of scenes.

And bar none the funniest/most embaressing thing in the movie was DeNiro's 30ish character giving a character a beat down about 30 minutes in. It's clearly a 70ish old man's body what with the lackluster stomping and the crooked way he held his arms while he did it. I know Scorsese had his reasons, but given that Sheeran enters and then exits the shop, they should have seriously given DeNiro a body double to swap out with for the single take.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 2:09 PM on November 29 [8 favorites]


Having said all that, it's still a damn good movie.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 2:20 PM on November 29 [2 favorites]


The boys are pretty long in the tooth for much of the movie. Even with whatever cgi they cooked up, I wasn't really buying it. Aside from that, it was a good way to spend a lazy post-Thanksgiving afternoon.
posted by 2N2222 at 3:03 PM on November 29


It was weird, but I liked how the movie would pause every now and then and show a caption for some random dude--who doesn't even have a spoken line--and let us know that he was shot to death in his parked car in 1981.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 6:35 PM on November 29 [8 favorites]


I for one loved it. I know that, like Goodfellows, I’ll be watching it again and again for years to come.
Also, If you let the 7 minutes long credits run to the end, Netflix serves you an Easter egg conversation with the guys.
posted by growabrain at 11:43 PM on November 29 [4 favorites]


The CGI didn't really bother me. I *was* knocked out pretty hard by a strange cut right when Frank makes the phone call to Jo Hoffa, but I assume that's Netflix's fault.

The last ~hour of this movie drags pretty bad and by the time it ended I was relieved.

Thinking about it, the first problem is that the buildup to killing Hoffa takes too damn long. After it's over, there's just not much in the rest of the movie because Frankie is like an empty glove, so the emotional things they put him through, like talking to the daughter or confessing to the priest don't really feel like they have any heft. Tbh whole deal with Peggy feels pretty ham handed the whole way through this movie.

I like the main drama. It's tough when your Ice Daddy tells you that you have to kill your Fire Daddy so you can freeze to death together instead of everyone burning to death. But the ending just gets so biopic-y and doesn't feel like it connects up to me. And it feels like there's a lot of it.
posted by fleacircus at 12:53 AM on November 30


Oh, I also noticed that strange jump at the phonecall, I assumed it was an error on my end, guess not.

I didn't really feel most of this movie although the last hour or so and especially the last half hour is a decent emotional payoff.

The CGI does get uncanny valley in the beginning (mostly on DeNiro's face) but it stopped bothering me after about 45 minutes or so.
posted by KTamas at 2:56 AM on November 30 [2 favorites]


I'm kind-of-sort-of interested in watching this, but I've just become so bored with Scorsese and his endless obsession with mobsters and violence, that I'm not sure I want to try and invest 3.5 hours in more of it. Is there really anything amazingly different here (other than DeNiro playing an Irish gangster) that would make the time investment worth it, or does it just boil-down to more of the same?

(Sorry if that came off flippant. I didn't intend it that way. It's just that Scorsese has become really difficult/frustrating for me to appreciate anymore.)
posted by Thorzdad at 5:40 AM on November 30 [3 favorites]


but I've just become so bored with Scorsese and his endless obsession with mobsters and violence

Friendly reminder that most Scorsese films are not about mobsters! His last movie was a Bob Dylan thing, and before that was Silence about Christian missionaries in Japan and before that was the one about Wall Street greed and before that was Hugo ...

That said, The Irishman is about mobsters, but it’s very different in tone and sentiment from, say, Goodfellas. I regret the de-aging technology and I don’t know if it’s true, as Scorsese claims, there was no other way to tell the story. But he got the performances, which are mostly career-best, somehow, in spite of the cartooning. The script is amazing, meaningfully structured and studded with those moments when two guys try to nail something down in conversation without quite saying what they mean, to hilarious and/or chilling effect. The editing — I’m not sure what that distracting cut is people are complaining about up-thread because I think I was holding my breath during that scene. It’s a moment, for sure. And the last hour or so is, in my mind, undeniably magnificent filmmaking. But I’m a Scorsese fan.

If you’re bored with Scorsese, then I would still warn you away from it, since it is so great at being that thing you are bored with. But this is late-period Scorsese, and an old man’s movie, and it is in some ways very different from those films you may be thinking of.
posted by Mothlight at 6:17 AM on November 30 [10 favorites]


And the last hour or so is, in my mind, undeniably magnificent filmmaking.

I'm curious, genuine question, what was magnificent in the ending? What moved you?
posted by fleacircus at 7:35 AM on November 30


I'm a huge fan of Scorsese mob movies, and this felt like I was watching Goodfellas or Casino for the first time, I just loved it. Fantastic performances from de Niro, Pacino, Pesci and everyone else. The easter egg conversation is also worth watching.
posted by ellieBOA at 7:41 AM on November 30 [4 favorites]


Oh, I also noticed that strange jump at the phonecall, I assumed it was an error on my end, guess not.

For folks who want to see the botched edit, it's just after Jo Hoffa says "Hello" on the phone call Frank makes after his daughter asks him why he hasn't called her yet. About 2:51:30. And there's another weird botched edit earlier, with a cut interrupting a static shot of someone talking in a way that feels jarring in a way that doesn't serve the story at all. Not huge deals, just odd mistakes to encounter as you watch.
posted by mediareport at 8:33 AM on November 30


Thorzdad, I don't typically care much for Scorsese films or gangster films, so I'm doubly not-into Scorsese gangster films, but I quite enjoyed this. Despite the long run-time, I didn't even fiddle on the internet or drift away while watching --a rarity for me when watching feature-length anything. If you're in the mood for a period-set biopic (and if you don't feel invested over whether the material in said biopic is all Definitely Accurate And True), you might enjoy this a lot. Despite the material, it doesn't feel very gangster-y at all. Also, Pesci's performance is just excellent. It gave me a new appreciation for his skill as an actor, since I tend to think of him as fairly one-note.

I was surprised by how little the CGI bothered me. I did watch it on a smallish, not-great screen, with a non-HD, not-great connection, so the general lower quality of my Netflix streaming experience may have insulated me from any uncanny-valley effects. The disjuncture between face-age/character-age and the actors' body movements did become noticeable at times, but in some ways the subject matter helped me with that. The characters generally lived pretty hard lives, and went through a fair bit of wear-and-tear; at one point, Frank has a line about how driving trucks gave him bursitis, which made some of the stiffness or slowness actually seem marginally in-character rather than a problem, after I thought about it. (Not to mention all the smoking -- that'll prematurely age a person)
posted by halation at 11:03 AM on November 30 [4 favorites]


I felt the first three hours were a warm up to the last half hour so I’ve been really surprised to see a number of reviews that say the end drags.
“Scorsese only makes gangster flicks” is obviously far from the truth but closer would be “Scorsese only makes films about sin and redemption” and through that lens the closing of the film is very powerful.
Something else, I felt De Niro’s role and performance pitched more towards Travis Bickle than Jimmy Conway and I’m surprised there hasn’t been more made of that in the write ups, instead of knee jerk comparisons to Goodfellas.
posted by chill at 12:21 PM on November 30 [2 favorites]


It was weird, but I liked how the movie would pause every now and then and show a caption for some random dude--who doesn't even have a spoken line--and let us know that he was shot to death in his parked car in 1981.

It was especially weird when a caption came up to identify Robert Kennedy and it pointedly did not mention that he was shot to death.

I thought this, like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, was generally enjoyable but overlong and too self indulgent. Could this story really not have been told in 2.5 hours?

And Scorcese may not consider Marvel movies to be cinema, but even the worst of them gives the women characters something to do and more than a couple of lines.
posted by ejs at 2:02 PM on November 30 [4 favorites]


From the direction and cinematography to the casting and acting, this is a solid movie just not as great as Scorsese's previous ones. I also feel it was disjointed in a way I've never seen Scorsese before, like the movie was missing proper connective tissues between scenes.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:14 PM on November 30


I'm curious, genuine question, what was magnificent in the ending? What moved you?

So for me the whole tone of the film really changed around the time Frank realized he was going to kill his beloved friend Jimmy. It's a pragmatic decision, of course, like all those other pragmatic decisions in Frank's life. By taking out Jimmy himself, he may well save the guy from a much worse fate at the hands of much worse gangsters. It's what it is.

Frank is sort of stunningly amoral, and he never seems to reckon with the gravity of his sins until after the Hoffa hit. At one point someone asks him if he's called Hoffa's wife, Jo, and he says he hasn't. And that's when his daughter, Peggy (played as an adult by Anna Pacquin), speaks for what I think is the first time in the movie to ask "Why?" It catches him off guard. "Why haven't you called her?" So he freshens up his drink and goes upstairs to call Jo. And she watches him with a look of restrained horror on her face, like she's finally realizing that the suspicious feelings she's had all of her life are correct -- there's a monster in the house. Frank himself seems to start to realize what he's done when he's on the phone with Jo. The absurdity of him, of all people, making a comforting phone call to the widow. (He says it later, to the priest in his nursing home: "What kind of man makes a phone call like that?")

And of course more of these realizations come with senescence. I appreciated the scene where Frank shows up at the bank where Peggy works in an effort at some kind of reconciliation and she just nopes on out of the picture without regrets or apologies. It bothers Frank; it eats at him. He understands why she always seemed to fear him, but now in his senescence he expects a rapprochement. But Scorsese doesn't give it to him. Even the scene where the FBI visits him to try to get him to spill his guts is really about reminding Frank that he has nobody left -- his friends are dead, his family has abandoned him.

That final scene in the nursing home, where De Niro is surprised to learn that it's Christmas, is a killer. His priest, trying to force him to come to terms with his past, leads him in a prayer: "Lord, we ask you to help us see ourselves as you see us." As we hear that in voiceover, we see a photograph of Peggy that Frank is looking at. Frank may not be capable of seeing himself as the lord sees him, but he knows how Peggy sees him — and she is far past the point where she can bear to look. In a religious context, I think that line is meant to be a source of comfort: we see ourselves as God see us, and we know that we are loved. But in this context, the view is bleak. As chill points out upthread, Scorsese makes films about sin and redemption, and Frank is an abject sinner. There is, there simply can be, no path to redemption. It's what it is. As the priest leaves him for the final time, and tells him he'll be back sometime after the holidays, Frank asks him to leave the door to his room ajar. "Don't shut the door all the way. I don't like that." Kindly, dutifully, the priest leaves the door standing open a few inches. And then we cut to the reverse view, from the hallway outside, so that we're peering back in at Frank through those last 12-18 inches of open space. Frank is staring back at us. And then we cut to a medium shot of Frank. And then back to the view from the hallway. And Frank adjusts his gaze, ever so slightly, so that he's just staring off into the middle distance again rather than watching the gap in the door. After all, there is nobody there. And nobody is coming. He is damned. I wouldn't like that, either. We watch him sit like that for a couple of moments, and then the screen goes black.

I mean, I was devastated. Even recounting it here is making me tear up. Yes, Frank was a despicable person. Somehow, Scorsese makes us empathize with him. We don't forgive him, exactly. Nor do we feel sorry for him, not really. In important ways, he gets what he deserves. But he is human, and the oblivion that waits for him -- the presence of which we feel so strongly, so overwhelmingly in the last 15-20 minutes of this film -- waits for all of us. I found it unsparing. Someone I follow on Twitter said that after he saw the film, he walked across the street and got in his car and sobbed openly for about 20 minutes before he felt like he could make the drive home. That struck me as a little dramatic when I first read it, but having seen the film I believe he was absolutely telling the truth. This movie shook me; it's as big as anything. I've hardly stopped thinking about it since Wednesday night.

I admit that it helps that I've been following Scorsese's career since the 1980s; this is a film that really benefits from a familiarity with directorial themes and predilections, as well as with Scorsese's collaborative relationship with De Niro and Pesci. But, you know, that's the (much-maligned these days) auteur theory for ya.

For folks who want to see the botched edit, it's just after Jo Hoffa says "Hello" on the phone call Frank makes after his daughter asks him why he hasn't called her yet. About 2:51:30.

Just checked that out again. Man, I vaguely remember that cut, but I was so engrossed at this point that I didn't give it a second thought. You know what it looks like? It looks like a kind of temp cut made in the editing room to splice together two bits of De Niro's performance, with the plan to merge them later through a bit of VFX work. I find it hard to imagine a cut like that would slip past the post department in this day and age, but Scorsese has said he was preoccupied with the de-aging stuff for the last six months of post, so maybe?

And Scorcese may not consider Marvel movies to be cinema, but even the worst of them gives the women characters something to do and more than a couple of lines.

I hear this a lot, but surely Peggy is one of the most important characters in this movie? She's the moral linchpin of the whole thing. And she gives a great performance. That look of barely constrained revulsion that crosses her face in the "Why?" scene I described above is fantastic work on Paquin's part. She's not going to get the credit she deserves from people who think acting requires talking, but this is a great role and Paquin is great in it. It would have been easy to give her more lines, but I can't think of a way that a version of the movie where Peggy talks more would be better than the version we got. Your mileage may vary. I guess if representation is really important to you this would be a dealbreaker.

But, I mean, if you want evidence that Scorsese cares about women's stories, take a look at Joanna Hogg's very interesting The Souvenir from earlier this year. That's a film that she made with Scorsese as executive producer; he signed on to the project after someone sent him a copy of her earlier film The Archipelago and he decided he wanted to help her get more projects made. I'm not trying to be snarky about this, but Scorsese really is involved (and has been, for a long time) with helping unknown and marginalized filmmakers find a larger voice for their personal stories. I mean, I've been reading Marvel Comics since the 1970s and I bought my ticket to Avengers: Endgame along with everyone else and I liked it just fine, but I think both The Irishman and The Souvenir are obviously a completely different mode of filmmaking.

Does anybody read these long comments to the end?
posted by Mothlight at 4:51 PM on November 30 [39 favorites]


And that's when his daughter, Peggy (played as an adult by Anna Pacquin), speaks for what I think is the first time in the movie to ask "Why?"

Peggy, when she's being played by the child actress, gets a whole speech in front of her class where she talks about Jimmy Hoffa. I found it odd that Frank would sit there grinning at his daughter talk about someone who isn't her father on what I believe was a fathers appreciation day event in her classroom. You could chalk it up to Frank being so fond and proud of Hoffa himself that he didn't mind if she was too. Or maybe his amorality is to an extent that he didn't even notice that she didn't offer to talk about him instead. Hell, it can be argued that Joe Pesci's character was more obsessed with her liking him than Frank was.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:20 PM on November 30 [7 favorites]


I did enjoy this much more than I expected. I saw it in a theater, and I didn't even look at my watch until Frank was in the nursing home.

Sadly, this movie totally failed the Bechdel test.

Does anyone have any idea what was going on with the fish in Hoffa's son's car? Was it a mafia cultural practice?
posted by monotreme at 10:08 PM on November 30 [2 favorites]


Mothlight, I read and appreciated the whole comment!

AlonzoMosleyFBI, it was a career day at school rather than father’s day.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:32 PM on November 30 [1 favorite]


I just finished watching it, and I thought it was great. A couple of criticisms: I did feel like De Niro's eyes were in the uncanny valley a bit. And, I also figured out pretty early on that Frank is probably not only lying but borrowing from others' tall tales was when he is sent on his inexplicable side mission to what seems to be the staging ground for the Bay of Pigs fiasco, where he meets not only E. Howard Hunt but "a fairy named Ferrie"; if that seems familiar, it's because it's David Ferrie, one of the characters in Jim Garrison's wacked-out JFK conspiracy, and played in Oliver Stone's JFK by... wait for it... Joe Pesci. Although it later gives Frank a bit when he's watching the Watergate hearings, it probably could have been cut for length and credibility, unless Scorsese left it in for a tell that he was a bit dubious about some of Sheeran's tall tales as well.

But, overall, I thought that it was a great companion piece to some of Scorsese's previous mob tales, a devastating illustration at how decades of moral corruption could corrode Frank from within and leave him completely hollowed out; by the time he murders Hoffa, the facade that he and Russell and their wives are putting up are just about all that's left of them. Pesci is likewise excellent, almost the polar opposite of Tommy in GoodFellas. Peggy's stone-faced resistance to Russell trying to befriend her had me wondering if we'd find out that Russell had been sexually abusing her, but by the end of the film I realized that she hated him because she recognized how he'd groomed her father into a lifetime of passively following Russell's orders. Hoffa may have had his own power-lust and hypocrisies, but I think that Peggy might have adopted him as a surrogate father of sorts because he at least seemed at times to be the man he pretended to be all the time.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:15 AM on December 1 [5 favorites]


Does anybody read these long comments to the end?

I do! Thanks for answering.

Obviously I don't have the same interpretations, though I think it's interesting we agree on the significance of the same things. For example I liked the door open at the end, but I read it as optimistic. (After all, Frank eventually tells his story, so he doesn't actually go into silent isolated nothingness. (Which made the late FBI interview scene feel kinda pointless to me.)) The open door calls back to Hoffa's open hotel room doors. Frank stared at them significantly because he was so deeply resigned to being on the outside, that the doors represented represented hope, advancement, connection.

Maybe Russel can put a big gold ring on him, but the ring doesn't do anything, he's not "brothers" to anyone, and Russel makes all the decisions. Whereas the open door to Hoffa's bedroom can lead to going from sleeping on the pullout to sleeping side by side like equals. So even though by the end he's a useless husk w/o any leader to follow, keeping the door open means not quite giving up on the world.
posted by fleacircus at 12:31 AM on December 1 [2 favorites]


I was distracted by the CGI de-aging at first but then I decided to pretend that DeNiro and Pesci and Pacino are all actually still 40ish and it was actually really fantastic old man make up for the old guy scenes.
posted by ian1977 at 5:32 AM on December 1 [1 favorite]


I thought it was odd to hire Oscar and Golden Globe-winner Anna Paquin to do almost nothing except scowl. It's got to be the single most underwritten female character in a Scorsese film. It was also odd to hire a 37-year-old actor to play someone in their late teens, but Scorsese doesn't seem to care about how old anybody is anymore.
posted by maxsparber at 7:40 AM on December 1 [3 favorites]


She's not going to get the credit she deserves from people who think acting requires talking, but this is a great role and Paquin is great in it.

Funny thing, Paquin’s Oscar-winning breakout role was in a movie for which Holly Hunter won Best Actress without speaking a single word.

My concern with Peggy is that her role could basically be replaced by a lamp with the words “you’re a bad man” taped to it. Yes, Paquin did a good job with what she had, but she didn’t have much.
posted by ejs at 4:59 PM on December 1 [3 favorites]


And, I also figured out pretty early on that Frank is probably not only lying but borrowing from others' tall tales was when he is sent on his inexplicable side mission to what seems to be the staging ground for the Bay of Pigs fiasco, where he meets not only E. Howard Hunt but "a fairy named Ferrie"; if that seems familiar, it's because it's David Ferrie, one of the characters in Jim Garrison's wacked-out JFK conspiracy, and played in Oliver Stone's JFK by... wait for it... Joe Pesci. Although it later gives Frank a bit when he's watching the Watergate hearings, it probably could have been cut for length and credibility, unless Scorsese left it in for a tell that he was a bit dubious about some of Sheeran's tall tales as well.

I think it's quite the opposite. Sheeran sees the "big ears" guy we met much earlier on television, at the Watergate hearings. We see his look of surprised recognition. There may be an element of Forrest Gump to all of this, but I don't have any reason to believe the film is casting doubt on Sheeran's claims. If we cast doubt on them, that's fine. That's a separate thing. Like, I know The Conjuring (based on a true story!) is a load of bullshit, because I have common sense and I've also read about what famous con artists its protagonists were in real life, but the movie isn't framing it that way.

The de-aging mostly worked for me (I agree with the person who said the scene where DeNiro beats up the shopkeeper is derailed to some degree by how obviously DeNiro's posture is that of a much older man), but I don't entirely understand why we couldn't have had one (or two) actors playing the part, over time. Given that DeNiro began his career by playing a young Don Corleone, you'd think...well, you know.

Overall, I think it's an excellent film, and it's one I'll be thinking about it for a while. I'm a little sorry I watched it at home rather than at the theatre, but only a little -- that's a lot of movie at one time.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:51 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]


Not at all what I had expected and so different from any earlier of his gangster films. I was a little disappointed at how relatively pedestrian the direction seemed at first without his normal flourishes but feel like he's trying to rip down a lot of what he built with the earlier movies. These gangsters are really just thugs and their crimes aren't grand plots, they're just quick and dirty shots to the head. Henry Hill was evil but at least he was fun; these guys are just dull and hollow apparatchiks in an organization without any redeeming qualities.

Even at 3-1/2 hours, I feel like I need to go through it again with different expectations.
posted by octothorpe at 8:25 PM on December 1 [3 favorites]


My concern with Peggy is that her role could basically be replaced by a lamp with the words “you’re a bad man” taped to it.

She's deeper than that. If you turn around the lamp there's another note taped on the other side that says, "... And now you have betrayed the best part of yourself and I am irretrievably disappointed in you."
posted by fleacircus at 10:57 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]


So who is Frank talking to in the nursing home when he's talking to the camera? The author of the book? The priest? Or just us in the audience?
posted by octothorpe at 4:53 AM on December 2


Kinda the audience and the book author at the same time. It sort of transitions from voiceover to seeming-interview as he talks.

Not the priest tho, I guess, because he can be seen sitting down with someone else as the camera enters the nursing home and walks through it.
posted by fleacircus at 5:42 AM on December 2


I guess the conceit that this is all the ramblings of a dying man gives them some deniability over the veracity of Sheeran's story.
posted by octothorpe at 7:02 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]


Some of the CGI face stuff, especially DeNiro’s blue eyes, is hella distracting.

I appreciated the verrrry sublimated script beats tying Hoffa to Castro from a character motivation perspective.

Otherwise I am unsure about the film, leaning toward not caring for it.
posted by mwhybark at 8:46 PM on December 6


With Paul Herman as Whispers
posted by growabrain at 3:49 PM on December 7


Is there really anything amazingly different here (other than DeNiro playing an Irish gangster)

DeNiro played an Irish gangster in Goodfellas. It's kind of a big deal in the movie.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:44 PM on December 7


I saw the movie as an elegy for and reappraisal of a genre that Scorsese has spent a lot of his career in, like Clint Eastwood did with Unforgiven. The effects on the families and the moral cost of the killings is as important as the narrative.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:47 PM on December 7 [3 favorites]


So I liked the flash of names and cause of death to drive home the point how brutal this life could be. But on a whim I looked up Allen Dorfman and Wikipedia said he died in '83 but the movie said '79? And it seems like there's some confusion on his actual death?
posted by Carillon at 8:58 PM on December 7


I was thinking about how this movie reminded me of Barry Lyndon and Googling found that
Guillermo del Toro had the same idea. It's long, slow and deliberate and about a totally amoral man who despite all of his efforts, ends up with nothing at the end. I know that Scorsese is a big fan of Kubrick's movie and those little obituaries flashed up for each mobster feels like his version of the epitaph at the end of Lyndon. And, they're both about Irishman.
posted by octothorpe at 5:42 AM on December 8 [6 favorites]


So I just finished viewing it for the second time, and I think it's one of Scorsese's very best films. The last 40 minutes, albeit slow, are fantastic, and Joe Pesci deserves an Oscar for this roll.
It will be sad if these four will not work again with each other, but I wish all of us will be going out on such a note.
posted by growabrain at 12:28 PM on December 8


The Lonesome Irishman
In many ways, the world built by our grandparents looks very attractive now that material prosperity and a meaningful life are harder and harder to obtain. The left yearns for the labor radicalism and solidarity of the 1930s, while the right longs for a return to the family values and stability of the 1950s. While we can recognize the pervasive racism, sexism, “toxic masculinity,” and homophobia of the past, there exists the dream that we could do it all again “clean,” symbolically represented in ideas like the Green New Deal. But The Irishman makes one wonder how possible that would really be, as Scorsese’s opus shows us the superficiality of anti-Boomer politics and the tragic limitations of the supposed Golden Age into which they were born. After all, Boomers are the way they are for a reason.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:57 AM on December 10 [1 favorite]


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