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The Irishman - Martin Scorsese, with Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino

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great review rubberjohnny. Wiseguy Forrest Gump is exactly what it is.


All of Scorceses films are personal. Thats what makes it a Scorcese film.

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I lost interest in this in it's final third, for whatever reason it didn't pull me into it's world and I didn't really care about the characters. My housemate seemed to have the opposite experience, he was busy on his laptop at the start and got pulled in toward the end. At some point he got excited about someone betraying someone and I realised I didn't care. 

 

Probably didn't help I had two quite big gaps to cook and clean.

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I am down with the worst man flu I can ever recall having and watched this in one go yesterday afternoon - the leisurely pace and runtime were actually a bonus when watching in this condition when I wanted something that wasn't hard to follow and was going to fill some time.

 

Have to say I really enjoyed it - even if if felt like a tribute act to movies most of them have made before. Can see the value to Netflix in funding such an endeavour, and why the studios didn't think it was worth funding as a traditional cinema release.

 

Surprisingly the CGI de-aging works brilliantly, and it was never that which took me out of a moment (though every now and then the eyes look a bit odd) - the uncanny valley we're all so trained to spot came in other ways, as is mentioned a lot its the old men movements in young bodies, but then on top of that the hands often looked untouched and odd (its not just a Cats thing) and most odd to me was 2 characters eating. Pacino ate ice cream like an 80y old with really sensitive teeth, and the way Joe Pesci went at bread reminded me of Mary Berry and her dodgy teeth eating cake on bake off straight to the molars.

 

Overall though the scope this offers for this type of movie with actors playing the same character over a full lifetime is very interesting as its certainly not ruinous. 

 

Other random thought, what was the point of casting Anna Paquin to say 2 lines and just stand around looking concerned a bit ?

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Funny how de-ageing CGI works so differently for people. I thought this was OK, my wife found it really jarring. Marvel’s Sam Jackson she thought was flawless and I found it super uncanny valley. 
 

As for the film itself. I enjoyed it. I enjoy most of Scorsese’s stuff. I mean it’s high quality filmmaking 99% of the time. However, this wasn’t a patch on his other mob movies. The age of the actors really didn’t work for me. I understand the themes and the acting is great mostly but it just felt a bit fan service getting the guys back together for one last swan song. Having said that I’m pleased they did! I think the film was long enough that they could have cast younger actors to play the earlier years a la Godfather 2. 
 

I thought Pesci was superb and Stephen Graham steals the show. Pacino was Pacino (spittle and all) and De Niro was De Niro...it’s just a bit unfortunate his acting face now comes across as almost a parody of his own face. If you know what I mean. 
 

Also, the whole Peggy thing was just too on the nose and she didn’t ‘earn’ the right to be the only offspring that seemed to matter. 
 

Overall a lower tier Scorsese for me. 

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If it didn't have Scorcese's name on it, it would be a great film but we expect better from him. He's a very old guy now. Given that, to do this at the age of 77 and to be even 75% at his best is phenomenal. The energy and drive to make this from someone close to 80 is incredible.

 

We'll miss him when he's gone.

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16 hours ago, Gotters said:

 

Other random thought, what was the point of casting Anna Paquin to say 2 lines and just stand around looking concerned a bit ?


She's the silent witness. The beating heart of the whole film. She sees everything he does and knows what he is.

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11 hours ago, kerraig UK said:


She's the silent witness. The beating heart of the whole film. She sees everything he does and knows what he is.

 

sounds suspiciously like luvvie speak to me - 'darling, saw you in Marty's latest, of course at the cinema not on TV, I had to drink in his vistas. What you did with your eyes, you were the beating heart of that whole film. BTW, I have a part for you in my next feature, would you be interested ?'

 

I of course got that she saw him for what he was and was the only one that acted on that, just seemed undercooked to me in such a lengthy film where time wasn't really a problem.

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On 04/01/2020 at 08:38, Gotters said:

 

sounds suspiciously like luvvie speak to me - 'darling, saw you in Marty's latest, of course at the cinema not on TV, I had to drink in his vistas. What you did with your eyes, you were the beating heart of that whole film. BTW, I have a part for you in my next feature would be interested ?'

 

I of course got that she saw him for what he was and was the only one that acted on that, just seemed undercooked to me in such a lengthy film where time wasn't really a problem.

 

Whereas I thought executing it silently was a thousand times more powerful then her calling him out or turning to drugs or whatever. The way she warmed to Hoffa but not to Pesci's character I thought was excellent character work. Opinions, eh.

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14 hours ago, kerraig UK said:


She's the silent witness. The beating heart of the whole film. She sees everything he does and knows what he is.

 

So the character could have been played by anyone with a face. 

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Have you lost the thread of the conversation already?

 

On 03/01/2020 at 07:50, Gotters said:

what was the point of casting Anna Paquin to say 2 lines and just stand around looking concerned a bit ?

 

15 hours ago, kerraig UK said:

She's the silent witness. The beating heart of the whole film. She sees everything he does and knows what he is.

 

44 minutes ago, Chadruharazzeb said:

So the character could have been played by anyone with a face. 

 

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1 minute ago, Chadruharazzeb said:

Have you lost the thread of the conversation already?

 

 

 

 


As far as I can tell, Anna Paquin has a face. 

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9 minutes ago, JohnC said:

Is there some reason it can't be her? Seems an odd complaint that a character is played by an actor.


Exactly. If it was Michelle Williams the question would be "why Michelle Williams?". Its such a weird question.

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Can’t help but feel you’re both being a bit obtuse - she is an award winning and I assume highly expensive actress.

 

They don’t often get cast, or accept, such small parts with so little to say or do. Especially if that is spread across several days of filming and locations as this appeared.

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Yet she did. She may not have taken the part if it was Len Wiseman or someone but Scorcese directing may have played a part in her decision.

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10 minutes ago, Gotters said:

Can’t help but feel you’re both being a bit obtuse - she is an award winning and I assume highly expensive actress.

 

They don’t often get cast, or accept, such small parts with so little to say or do. Especially if that is spread across several days of filming and locations as this appeared.

 

I understood your evidently baffling question, and I don't understand a damn thing normally. 

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1 hour ago, Gotters said:

Can’t help but feel you’re both being a bit obtuse - she is an award winning and I assume highly expensive actress.

 

They don’t often get cast, or accept, such small parts with so little to say or do. Especially if that is spread across several days of filming and locations as this appeared.


It's a Scorcese picture dude. She's not a particularly big star and he's one of the most respected directors on Earth. I really don't see the issue.

Also, her character is the moral centre of the whole film. To the point where the narrative wouldn't really work without her. 

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And acting is far more that just saying lines.  So saying she only got a couple is kind of a weird thing to point out.  It’s a small but important role.

 

One thing not mentioned so far is I was glad to see it was edited by Thelma Schoonmaker, just thought I’d mention as it was her 80th birthday yesterday.

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I did expect a bigger role from her, like it keeps cutting to his daughter watching him sneak out, or being suspicious about what he's doing and I thought "Ooh they're spending a lot of time setting this up, I wonder what her future role in this is going to be".

 

Spoiler

Then she disappears from the film

 

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3 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:

I did expect a bigger role from her, like it keeps cutting to his daughter watching him sneak out, or being suspicious about what he's doing and I thought "Ooh they're spending a lot of time setting this up, I wonder what her future role in this is going to be".

 

  Hide contents

Then she disappears from the film

 

 

The entire third act is about her though.

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I watched this today, felt like the right thing to do with the kids not being at home for the first time in three weeks. I actually really enjoyed it, was expecting to struggle due to the run time but aside from pausing twice to make a brew it wasn't too bad, I can't normally watch 3 episodes of a TV show in one sitting without nodding off so make of that what you will.

 

I've got alot more to say about it though, but I'll be saving that for a post on my blog/website later in the week, I'll post a link up here and leave it to you guys to decide whether to read or not.

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2 hours ago, wev said:

I watched this today, felt like the right thing to do with the kids not being at home for the first time in three weeks. I actually really enjoyed it, was expecting to struggle due to the run time but aside from pausing twice to make a brew it wasn't too bad, I can't normally watch 3 episodes of a TV show in one sitting without nodding off so make of that what you will.

 

I've got alot more to say about it though, but I'll be saving that for a post on my blog/website later in the week, I'll post a link up here and leave it to you guys to decide whether to read or not.

I\ve jus watched it for my fourth time and cannot read enough opinions on it. Its not as good as Goodfellas or Casino but it is rewatchable all day.

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Finally got round to watching it last night and loved it. It's the type of film we really don't get anymore and it had a real melancholy feeling about it. Still letting it settle but a couple of things really stood out. Total Scorsese with the repeated long tracking shots. I think the first scene of the film in the care home is a very obvious nod to the club scene in Goodfellas but immediately subverts our expectations when it settles on the frail figure of De Niro in a wheelchair. 

 

It just wouldn't have worked the same with younger actors without the long careers. In one scene I noticed there was a cinema with "The Shootist" displaying in the background. This isn't accidental. Both films are a swansong and reinforce the idea that icons are not immortal. Everything ends. Like Johnny Cash singing "Hurt" this is one of these moments where art transcends boundaries. 

 

I note that much has been made of the running time. For me it wasn't an issue at all. It was a film about a entire "career" so needed to be long and I didn't feel any of the runtime was wasted. I'm usually the first to call out a bloated run time but this film entirely justifies it with the storytelling. 

 

I thought the de aging was astounding and apart from the kicking scene, I thought it was the best example yet of technology being used in a good way without being distracting. I note others found the Samual L Jackson effect in Captain Marvel better, but personally I found it jarring and too uncanny Valley for me. The fact that for the most part I didn't even think about it in this film is amazing. 

 

I will finish my initial thoughts with Stephen Graham. Always a great actor and the fact that he isn't overshadowed by De Niro and Pacino reinforces that he is one of Britain's finest. 

 

 

 

 

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