The Irishman

The Irishman ★★★★

Martin Scorsese might complain about the streaming services, but at the end of the day you go where the money takes you, and he went to Netflix because they were willing to give him $250m, and why he's gone to Apple+ for Killers of the Flower Moon, because they're more interested in the prestige behind owning a Scorsese film, than they are in what it costs or what the return is.

There's something else too, which I have no doubt played into his decision, the length of the movie. It's my guess that Netflix simply didn't care how long it was, in fact it may be a case of 'the bigger, the better', you're getting more for your money. I highly doubt a studio would have released the film theatrically at anywhere near 209 minutes, I don't object to allowing directors to make the exact film they want to make, but sometimes there's nothing wrong with reigning them in.

So does this film need to be three and a half hours long? No, it's not a sweeping epic like Once Upon a Time in America, it's a film about one man, Frank Sheeran, and even then, when you boil it down it's really only about his relationship with Jimmy Hoffa.

Having said all that, it's an easy watch, and the living room is the perfect location to allow yourself to sink into it because, and yes, I do know this is heresy, but you can take a break and split it into two halves, treat it like a Roadshow.

With that out of the way, let's get to the other big talking point, the de-aging, and the question, just because they could do you think that they should?

I have no doubt that De Niro, Pesci and Pacino are the men for the job, or at least that they were the men for the job, when this film ought to have been made with them in the starring roles, which is to say 30 or so years ago.

It's easier to make young men look old than the other way around because, while what they've done here works to a certain extent (although Joe Pesci often looks like a refugee from The Lord of the Rings), you can't disguise the fact that these are old men when they are called upon to walk around, you can smooth out the face, but you can't unhunch those shoulders. And it's distracting. It gets less so as the characters get nearer to the actual ages of the actors, but early on De Niro is supposed to be in his thirties, and no amount of computer power is going to convince me of that.

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