THE IRISHMAN (2019, Streaming on Netflix)
The Irishman is based on the 2004 True Crime book; I heard you paint houses by Charles Brandt. The movie recounts the life of mob hitman Frank Sheeran (played by Robert De Niro) and his involvement in the 1975 disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa as well as the unsolved murder of “crazy Joe” Gallo outside Umberto’s Clam House in New York City’s Little Italy.
Martin Scorsese’s mobster movies like Goodfellas and Casino, have an interesting connection in which they all become a type of intense, all-out analysis of the Italian American underworld and their golden years. The Irishman is no exception, although the pacing its a lot slower than Scorsese’s previous mobster films, which is a good thing. I actually felt like the movie needed more time to expand on certain things and individual characters, but that is just me. The acting is legit. It is serious acting, and we don’t get those type of films anymore. Joe Pesci returns to movie acting by playing Russell Bufalino, the Mob boss of the Bufalino crime family out of Northern Pennsylvania. Pesci is excellent here. Al Pacino Plays Jimmy Hoffa, this is one of his best roles in recent years.
The whole de-aging thing is impressive, but my only critique is that the characters didn’t seem to have youthful movements, they still moved around as older men. Harvey Keitel plays Angelo Bruno the Mob boss of the Philadelphia family. Stephen Graham plays Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano, a capo in the Genovese crime family based out of New Jersey. Tony Pro had become enemies with Hoffa, and he was considered to be a suspect in Hoffa’s disappearance. Stephen Graham is phenomenal here; he is making a career out of playing Italian mobsters as he did in Boardwalk Empire, where he brilliantly played Al Capone.
When some of the mobster characters are being introduced to the audience, you see a quick caption pop up on the screen with their names and how they ended up meeting their demise. That was cool and different, but I would have liked to see them meet their end on film and maybe see how their death was tied up to Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance. Perhaps they were just loose ends, or maybe their killing was unrelated to Hoffa. Anna Paquin plays Peggy Sheeran in an outstanding non-dialogue performance, she delivers just one line in the film, and it is epic.
The Irishman will be one of those movies that will continue to be talked about and over-analyzed in years to come. There are a bunch of “easter eggs” throughout this film related to classic Scorsese films and even a wink to the Godfather movies. I wonder if there is even a more extended director’s cut coming out at some point. Watch it a few times; it is excellent.
Five out Five Popcorn Bags 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿