The Irishman

The Irishman ★★★★★

My favorite thing any of these guys—Scorsese, De Niro, Pesci, Pacino—have done since 1995. It is a remarkable thing to see actors I grew up admiring, from their work that was often twenty or thirty years earlier, give their most thoughtful, emotional performances, if not their best at such a pivotal moment for me. It’s lovely to see Pesci return with a grace and menace quite unlike anything he’s had the chance to do before. The fact that he refused to do the film for so long makes it all the more rewarding to watch. The performance that really shook the earth though was Pacino’s, vibrating with an uncharacteristic warmth and actorly sophistication. 

As always though, the true star is Scorsese, whose pacing and methodical form demonstrate a wintry overview of previously callous subject matter. The conclusive ending cements Scorsese’s final stance on street criminality and his filmography of gangster epics. (It should be noted that Scorsese’s gangster films or even his films with De Niro are not his entire filmography. If you look further you’ll see that this is not a comment on his entire oeuvre but the texts that made him iconic in popular culture.)

I’ll have more to write (I want to write everything) when I see it again. I’m glad I got to see these guys in theaters, especially in a packed house at 10 am on a Sunday with my dad. A very personal moment for me. As ironic as Scorsese and Netflix’s partnership is, it’s more ironic that one of the best movie theater experiences I’ve ever had is thanks to Netflix. It’s highly unfortunate that underprivileged or rural fans will not be afforded this same experience.

I hope De Niro and Pacino don’t fuck this up by appearing in What the Focker You Doing with Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller or some shit.

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