The Irishman

The Irishman ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.


Martin Scorsese, with The Irishman, offers the audience nothing of pleasure in relation to what is needed - a sorrowful, punishing reminder of the toils of time. Forget the horrors of witness protection and 'Disneyland Vegas', and toss out any hopes of exhilarating coked-up codas and rock 'n' roll swagger. Scorsese rips the facade off cold, and the result is a sudden reckoning, by turns acutely artificial and frail. This is certainly representative of Scorsese's recent style, both for its technological achievements and his fascination with the physical degradation of the body. Watching this movie is like stumbling onto a funeral ceremony while wandering in a graveyard - a memory of what's all around us, and the choices that create the aura of our final moments. What is warm and inviting is fleeting, a construct of a failing reality. The Irishman luxuriates in the meaning of its alternate title, I Heard You Paint Houses, as a refusal of accepting mortality's path. A monumental film which still finds itself aching within the reverb of the little details - the taste of ice cream, sharing bread and wine with a friend, leaving the bedroom door slightly ajar as you fall asleep.

More to come after a second viewing, but yeah, heavy shit.

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