Left to right – Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Martin Scorsese, Harvey Keitel & Robert De Niro

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Joe Pesci, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Jesse Plemons and Stephen Graham

The film was released in Irish cinemas November 7th with a release to Netflix later in the month

Overview

The Irishman is the latest film from Martin Scorsese. The film follows Frank Sheeran (De Niro) as he rises through the ranks from lorry driver to hitman and Union leader in the 1950’s. Sheeran gets involved with Russell Bufalino ( Pesci) and his pensylvania crime family. The film follows Sheeran through his life and how he became the man who became so heavily involved in the world of organised crime. Sheeran also goes to work for Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino) who was a powerful teamster and Union leader in America at the time. The film is adapted from the Charles Brandt book I hear you paint houses that chronicled the true story of Frank Sheeran.

The film has a runtime of 3 1/2 hours and it is a slow paced and realistic representation of the time periods that it spans across.The film harkens back to filmmaking style in the 1970’s when Scorsese made some of the finest and most influencial films of all time. The pacing of the Irishman is similar to that of Chinatown and the Godfather trilogy.

The film production started its development stage back in 2007 so they finally got the film out and it’s been worth the wait.

Overall the film is a fantastic payoff of over 40 years of Scorsese’s, Deniro’s, Pacino’s and Pesci’s unbelievable career. If your a fan of Scorsese’s style and enjoy a gangster epic that’s gritty, real and visceral in many scenes then the Irishman is a must see on the big screen. The Irishman will also be right on Netflix later in the month which is really cool.

My Thoughts *Spoilers *

Let the show begin

I was so excited for this film. I’ve been anticipating it all year, I first heard about it something like 5 years ago and honestly never thought I’d actually get to see the film. Almost like it would be one of those oh what if kind of films and now that I’ve seen it, I loved it! It’s insane seeing such an amazing cast on the big screen. I’ll be honest I’m the biggest Scorsese and Co. Fan boy but goddamn if this film isn’t a masterpiece. from the opening shot you get the feeling and tone of the upcoming film. The rise of Frank Sheeran and how he became the hitman involved in the murders of infamous members of organised crime families to Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa.

Pacino ( Jimmy Hoffa) & De Niro ( Frank Sheeran)
Two giants of filmmaking back on screen again

Pacino and De niro are brilliant together. As soon as Pacino rocks into the movie he steals the show. He’s easily the most likeable and fun character in a film with many great but dark and stoic characters. The iconic pair have scenes together that are surreal when you’re watching them. Everytime I saw them I wanted to turn to my girlfriend like hey hey are you seeing this shit thats happening right in front of our eyes. I held it in til the film ended though. Pacino had me laughing in almost all of his scenes. This film does have the most shared screen time they’ve ever had and it’s a treat to watch.

Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Ray Romano

Ray Romano holds his own with the rest of the cast too he’s funny in his small role. Why was Harvey Keitel only in about 2 scenes as well I wanted more!

Frank Sheeran from WWII through to his 80’s

Alright the CGI looked weird at first. Like a Ps4 cut scene but once I settled into it after a few scenes I didn’t notice is as a bad thing and enjoyed the way it was used. It’s pretty spectacular being able to see a man in his 20’s right up until his 80’s.

Joe Pesci’s back

It was great to see Pesci back in action. From Raging Bull, Good fellas, Casino, my cousin Vinny and lethal weapon he’s been the best since forever. He plays a quiter more reserved character that he usually plays and he did it excellently. He’s got some great scenes in the film, him and Pacino together was a great fan moment for me. Despite being so old and such a quiet character he has a lot of power and all major decisions go through him. Including taking out Hoffa by Sheeran.

DeNiro really captures the violence of his hitman character

The scenes where people are getting assassinated are very shocking. They aren’t overly bloody or violent necessarily but they feel very real to life. Sheeran will approach someone engage in conversation by asking a question to who he’s there to hit and BOOM BOOM two shots to the head and another one or two just to make sure. The way he carries out these hits are so cold blooded and clinical. Sheeran murders so many including friends and is willing to murder a man in a crowded restaurant surrounded by his wife and children.

My what the FUCK moment with the film

Anna Paquin as Peg Sheeran confronting her father Frank Sheeran (De Niro)

Why the hell has Anna Paquin so little lines in the movie. She asks one question in the entire 3 and a half hour runtime. What the hell is that about she plays Sheeran’s daughter in the film so she has a unique perspective on what’s happening and how her fathers actions affected her growing up. She has 6 words to say in the entire film and her character is pretty much wasted. This was strange to me because Karen in Goodfellas and Ginger in Casino are well developed and memorable characters in 2 other great Scorsese epics. Paquin has been great in film and television before on particular the X-Men film so I don’t know what happened here and why her character was wasted and underdeveloped.

The Irishman is a great slow paced and excellently written, directed and acted. I’m already excited to have it in rotation with the godfather and Goodfellas. The film is very intense, dark and violent at times so the usual from a Scorsese gangster film but honestly it’s a beautifully crafted piece of art. The Irishman is a style of film making that we don’t see much any more it felt like a real event going to see this in cinema and aside from Once upon a time in Hollywood earlier this year.

The Irishman is a perfect send off for the era of Scorsese, Pacino, De Niro and Joe Pesci. It was about time Al Pacino worked with Martin Scorsese anyway.