The Irishman is in a class all by itself. There are mediocre movies, good movies, great movies, and then we have The Irishman. Everything about Mr. Scorsese’s latest film embodies excellence. The performances in the film are remarkable. The set design was exquisite and meticulously crafted. The pacing for a three and 1/2 hour movie was terrific ( the film doesn’t lag at all). Now on the surface, one could look at The Irishman as another mob movie from one of the best directors of our generation, but upon further review, the film is much more than that.
The Irishman is one of the more reflective pieces that Scorsese has ever directed. The film centers around the life of Frank Sheeran (De Niro) as he reflects upon the choices he has made (working for Russell Bufalino (Pesci) and his crime family) and the impact it’s had on his life. His life is full of exciting twists and turns and characters he grew close with, such as Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). However, the one thing he can’t come to grips with seemingly (even after killing so many men ) is how those choices have wrecked his children.
Pacino, De Niro, and Pesci are sure to be serious award season contenders in their respective acting categories with Pesci standing the greatest chance of winning. What I did find most appealing about the narrative (other than some obvious moments that most have seen in the trailer) is how silence was used in the film. It was almost as if it were a separate character in this epic tail. It’s used in various ways when discussing death, business, and as a show of anguish during Frank’s most trying times. By saying less, it gives these characters a soul even as they commit heinous acts.
The Irishman focuses on the humanity that these mobsters had with a specific slant of how conflicted at times they indeed are. It was a fantastic film to watch and a joy to experience. When it hits Netflix at the end of November, make it a priority! If you are lucky enough to live in a city that is screening it, then do so. Brillance like this demands to be seen, and these days are scarce.