The Irishman

The Irishman ★★★★★

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Does for Hoffa, in a way, what Once Upon a Time in Hollywood did for Tate — not just giving us a self-proposed alternate look at history, but also attempting to provide some categorical sense of closure. It was on this second viewing where everything really clicked into place for me; the CG de-aging doesn’t distract as much once you’ve gotten used to it, the performances all just gel together, the sense of tragedy is overwhelming by its end. That tragedy is almost Shakespearean, not just in length, but in the elegiac, time-turned way it looks at aging, empathy, loyalty, friendship, and loneliness. I also realized this time around the exacting blood relation between this and Tarantino’s Hollywood, in that the joy of the film revolves around the machismo energy of the male stars, but the heart is revealed in a subtle, devastating female performance (and it’s no surprise to me that both movies have been criticized for the lack of female characterization by the seemingly ultra-daft, reactionary public — can the point of a movie fly any higher over someone’s head?) They take place on opposite sides of the country, revealing a whole lot about where we are from east to west, and are just about the best movies to come out this year.

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