A brilliantly understated epic! Scorsese delivers an epic mob story that is profoundly delicate, and technically perfect. Go and see this in cinemas if you can. It really does demand it.
It’s nothing short of amazing, the feeling you get seeing these colossal actors back on the big screen with Marty calling the shots. De Niro is the best he’s been in years, even decades. To see Joe Pesci back is really a pinch yourself moment. I can’t believe he was asked over 50 times by Scorsese to do this. Pacino is Pacino, and that’s always a good thing, but in his first-ever film with Marty (I can’t believe it), it’s pitch-perfect. Then there’s the slew of other great actors in what feels like cameo after cameo. Bobby Cannavale, Jesse Plemons, Stephen Graham, Harvey Keitel, Anna Paquin, Ray Romano, Sebastian Maniscalco, the list goes on and on.
The story has the feeling of something extremely personal. The Irishman is a reflection of the past. It’s about family, religion, regrets, and so much more. This is an older and wiser Scorsese, and he splatters his life lessons all over the screen. It’s a rich tapestry of nostalgia, and at the same time, this is a master filmmaker at the top of his game using a new subtle approach.
The 3hr29 runtime was always going to be a bit daunting for me, and I’m sure others. I would say that a film like this really needs and would benefit from an intermission. A chance to stretch the legs, grab a wine, and quickly reflect for 10 minutes with your friends on what has been witnessed so far.
If you can, see this in the cinema. For the sake of your experience, and for the sake of films like this. I can only hope these masterpieces made by streaming services, get more cinema releases in the future.