The Irishman

The Irishman ★★★★

It feels like many of the films by beloved filmmakers this year are steeped in nostalgia. As I'm aging myself, I feel I appreciate it more on a "I really get it" level than I'd like.

For instance, in this film, the first time Pesci appeared on screen, I felt my heart ache to see him with De Niro again. This was also the best acting I've seen Pesci do, maybe ever. His one on ones with De Niro were master classes in show, not tell acting. It was wonderful to see him not be the loud crazy one and find subtlety in every arched eyebrow.

I wish there'd been more Keitel, but even so, how not to thrill to his presence? Or hasten back to Mean Streets? That sense of the longevity of relationships hung over the entire film. This included the sadness of knowing it was Thelma's last, and the delight in discovering Robbie Robertson (The Band) did the score/music supervision. If you haven't seen The Last Waltz, I urge you to do so.

Then, of course, there was the excitement of the new with Pacino finally (How did it take this long?) being directed by Scorcese. Plus, doing so while in many many scenes with De Niro. This is a film about friendship, choices, following orders, and dealing with the consequences of each. But for me, it felt most like an extended goodbye from men I've alternately revered and been disappointed by since the 70s.

The melancholy of the ending echoed my own sense that we will never be together again. 😥

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