The Irishman

The Irishman ★★★★★

There's so much to say about this film that I'd be here all day if I just gushed, but the one I want to focus on right now is the absolute absurdity of discussions around Paquin's character that came up on twitter when this was released. She's the fucking lynchpin of this entire thing- without her, absolutely nothing about the last hour of the film works. Simply counting up her lines does such a disservice to Paquin's performance and her role in tying up the entire thing, where she delivers one word- "Why?"- and expresses her entire character, shows she knows everything, and it means everything to Frank the rest of the film. She's the bridge from the rollicking early going to the elegiac finale, aching and haunting and so, so moving, and she drives home what exactly Frank has done more than anything else ever could.

This is all to say nothing about Scorsese's exciting, so very modern stylistic flourishes, the title cards, the freeze frames, the jump cut, the music, the silence, the tracking shots, the empty frames. In a career full of perhaps the most deeply spiritual films ever shown to a mainstream audience, this just might be the capper, an anxious, sad, desperate, and lonely howl at regrets and at God, and a bone-deep fear that regretting something isn't enough to make it right. What a piece of work.

"I'm going to church. Don't laugh. You'll see."

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