Jon?’s review published on Letterboxd:
masterclass filmmaking. masterclass acting. may run a bit too long, or perhaps drag at times, but that’s a very small complaint. we don’t get a lot of epic crime sagas anymore, let alone ones from filmmakers of Scorsese’s caliber. so for that reason alone, it’s worth cherishing. of course, that’s not the only reason to appreciate ‘The Irishman’. what I mainly want to talk about are two things:
1. the absolutely beautiful and devastating final 20 minutes. this is dark, somber, and elevates the film so much so that I’m starting to think four stars is underrating it. the consequences of his actions, the wear-and-tear done on his body and psyche, all come crashing down. it may not end with a physical death, but it’s a true finality nonetheless. plus it had Action Bronson as a casket salesman, incredible.
2. Anna Paquin. an unfortunate downside of social media (twitter, in this case) is that you get exposed to a lot of shit takes on any and every subject. there’s been some takes in the past few days that Paquin’s character, because she is mostly silent and is there so briefly, was a victim of supposed artistic misogyny (and if you’re someone who believes this then congrats on your ignorance...Scorsese didn’t write the film). this take shows that anyone believing this clearly misunderstood her role here. Paquin’s character, because of her silence, because of her limited but immense actions, speaks louder than anyone or anything else in the film. she is the moral compass in 210 minutes of crime, murder, and decay. how else can one react in a world like this? do people want her to have had a big emotional blowup? the silence, the stares, the muted words...it all speaks volumes. her role, her performance, it’s brilliant. I might write more on her role alone some other time.
the masters only live forever through their art. folks, cherish Martin Scorsese while we still have him. but at least we’ll always have the films.