The Irishman

The Irishman ★★★½

A marquee that displays The Three Faces of Eve hints that it’s 1957. This decade hopping film takes us through the early 2000s. With almost every introduction to a new character, we get a slug of who they are, along with an explanation of when and how they died. Italian American actor Robert De Niro plays “The Irishman” Frank Sheeran who “paints houses”. He did a pretty good job and so did the makeup artist. Joe Pesci plays Sheeran’s BFF, Russell Bufalino. Let me just say this…

Let me just say this…

I LOVE JOE PESCI.

His reactions. His acting style. It’s perfect. Give him all the Oscars. Give him all the love. Give him more work. Just give him everything.

“Nobody keeps ALL the money.”

The movie’s 3.5 hours, okay? I wasn’t looking at my watch, but the movie’s about Jimmy Hoffa and he (Al Pacino) doesn’t appear for quite awhile. But when he does, it’s like, insane. Pacino tears the roof off yelling and screaming; the volume is set at eleven. Later in the film, he amazingly dials it down to the point where he’s almost whispering. Okay, so, I love Al Pacino too.

“Whenever anyone says they’re a little concerned, they’re more than a little concerned.”

There are tons of mob hits. After all, De Niro’s Sheeran “paints houses”. When one guy is whacked, the camera avoids actually showing it and the camera pans to flowers. We’re not always so lucky, though. Sheeran shoots a ton of people and sometimes stomps on their hands. If you’re not into violence, you’ll want to avoid this film like the plague.

"Are you looking at my ears?"

Martin Scorsese drags us through the story until everyone’s bladders are about to burst (THE IRISHMAN is slightly more gracious than a 4-hour long Frederick Wiseman documentary). At the end, we get a heavy-handed treatise from Scorsese and/or screenwriter Steve Zaillian (SCHINDLER’S LIST, SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISCHER) shouting through their vessel Frank Sheeran: that the young’uns have forgotten about historically important people like Jimmy Hoffa and listen to your granddads, even or especially, if they’re rotting away in an old folks’ home. Because they’ve lived through TIME and have PERSPECTIVE.

“Yeah right. Oh yeah.”

Maybe norms were different back then, but after watching this film, I know that I’m never going to wear shorts to a meeting and I sure am not going to be late to one.

“Think about it.”

Winks and nods to the Trump presidency:
-A character opens fire around Columbus Circle with 5,000 spectators
-Hoffa disparaged his opponent for playing golf

“It’s my union.”

PLUSES:
-Taxis scene
-Harvey Keitel

MINUSES:
-Jerky camera movements and choppy cuts (with all due respect to Thelma Schoonmaker - I’m going to place 90% of the blame on the DP, Rodrigo Prieto, and the remaining 10% on the actual length of the film - they must have been shooting too fast to get proper coverage)
-Jack Huston does not look like Robert F. Kennedy

WTF:
Tree shredder scene à la Fargo

Vegan points:
-Watermelon
-Animal lover saved a cow from becoming a steak

Vegan alert:
-Reference to fish being transported in the back seat of car and subsequent reference to packing fish
-Meat trucks full of dead flesh
-Chicken’s throat slit (implied)
-Huge slabs of meat in freezer
-Steakhouse
-Reference to butcher
-Tons of ice cream sundaes
-Fair Furriers shop
-Chili dogs steamed in beer at Lum’s
-Reference to pork store

Allison M. liked these reviews

All