• Joshua Buck

The Irishman (2019) Review

Hitman Frank Sheeran looks back at the secrets he kept as a loyal member of the Bufalino crime family. This Scorsese film is another added to his long catalogue of movies and one that is exceptionally crafted and directed that really shows what the Scorsese films are about but The Irishman also shows how this Scorsese film slightly changes and puts a modern spin onto his style of movies.

Now let’s get the one big issue with this film out of the way. It is runtime is 3 and a half hours long. Is it worthy of that runtime? In my opinion I am very mixed on whether the runtime is justified. On one end of the spectrum I think this runtime is completely justified because the world of this movie seems so massive that it needs the run time to fully establish everything that is going on. However, on the flip side I think it is a bit too long for my liking and could’ve been shortened as it did seem like too big of a commitment to sit and watch.

One a positive note however this film was shot so well especially the night scenes in New York. It almost had a film noir feel and felt very nostalgic of other Scorsese films such as Goodfellas. This nostalgic feel made for beautifully crafted cinematography. However, on the flip side I also felt like some of the cinematography just felt a bit bland and wasn’t that exciting and didn’t make me go wow enough. It could be counter argued though that this fits the style of the story as for example the shallow depth of field is to show that this is because Frank Sheeran is thinking back through his past so it would be the perfect choice for some of the scenes to help tell the story.

At the time of writing the nominations list for the Golden Globes have just been announced and I am not surprised at all to see that Joe Pesci has been nominated for Best Supporting actor as his role in this movie is so captivating and so believable. If anything with the de-aging technology I was expecting to be kicked out of the movie and be distracted by it. However, this wasn’t the case for Joe Pesci I fully believed his performance more so than De Niro’s. In my opinion, Pesci’s performance was more convincing than De Niro’s as I caught myself stop being fully invested in De Niro’s performance as the de-aging tech took me out of it. However, De Niro’s performance was very good but not as good as Joe Pesci’s.

I thought this was Martin Scorsese’s most experimental film in a long time and the way it was edited with flashbacks to explain things briefly in a short space of time. The editing to me was also reminiscent of his 1967 short film ‘The Big Shave’ and it was this element of the movie that I really enjoyed and am glad is being bought to a mainstream audience.

Overall, The Irishman was a very good film that show the progression of Scorsese as a filmmaker exceptionally well and he is showing that he is still learning but executing exceptionally well. Combined with great performances and an intriguing story. However, the runtime was a bit too long in my opinion. Not Scorsese’s best feature but a decent one to add to his catalogue of movies.

I rate this 4.5/5

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