Aaron Hostetler Staff Writer
If you are familiar with the acclaimed filmmaker Martin Scorsese, then you have probably heard of or seen some of his films like “Goodfellas,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and “The Departed.” The legendary director has also made himself famous in recent weeks with his public criticism of Marvel’s films changing the film industry. Among this, he has been around for decades and has made countless movies that match his talents with that of Steven Spielberg. Now that he is reaching old age, Scorsese has gathered some of the best actors from older critically-acclaimed movies, and has created a much more mature film that pays homage to all of the classics of the past. His newest film is “The Irishman,” and is now streaming on Netflix.
“The Irishman” is based on the book “I Heard You Paint Houses” by the homicide investigator Charles Brandt. It tells the true story of World War II veteran Frank “the Irishman” Sheeran, who is an old man looking back on his life in the Italian mafia, as well as his long friendship with the labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa. Sheeran eventually becomes involved with a series of mob hits that change his life. The movie was premiered at the New York Film Festival in September, and then had a limited theatrical release. It held a high rating of 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of its release, and it now holds a rating of 96 percent as more reviews have come in since its recent streaming. The amount of praise it has been receiving means that it will most likely be nominated for some Oscars due to how incredibly well made it is.
This movie has been highly anticipated by many, due to the fact that this is the first time that the three famous actors, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino, are all sharing the screen together. The three have all been in countless movies throughout the years that have made each of them famous. De Niro is well known for starring in “Joker,” “Taxi Driver,” “Goodfellas,” and “Casino;” with him sharing the screen with Joe Pesci in the latter two. Joe Pesci can also be remembered for his performance in the Christmas classic “Home Alone,” as the idiotic burglar Harry. Al Pacino is very well known for his outstanding performances in “The Godfather” trilogy, and “Scarface.” This is the first time that Scorsese is able to work with Pacino, and is glad to finally have the opportunity after so many years.
It is almost a dream come true to see these three legends all come together for the first time. All three of them are nearly eighty years old now, and are still giving performances at the top of their game. It is also very entertaining to see De Niro return to the spotlight, and to once again see Pacino cursing up a storm.
The actors’ faces were also de-aged in some scenes using computer generated imagery. This was one thing that people were worried would detract from the film itself. It also took a lot of time during post production to get the faces just right. However, it is very impressively done and if you notice it, you are likely to forget about it after a few scenes once the plot gets heavier.
It is also good to point out that this film may not be for everybody. It is a fantastic film about old age, betrayal, and regret. It has some of the best acting that has been seen in a long time and it is clear that everybody in the movie is giving their best performance. However, the three-and-a-half-hour runtime may be a problem for some. This is one of the benefits of having the film available on Netflix, as it allows people to exit and resume the film at their own discretion. Scorsese even prefers that people do this, rather than feeling burdened at having to watch this long drama all in one sitting. He also prefers that people don’t watch it on their phones, as it will detract from the viewing experience. This is a great example of a famous director using the streaming services of our generation to his advantage.
If you want to see a heavily complex drama that has some violent sequences, and a deep emotional weight, especially in its final scenes, then you should definitely check out “The Irishman.” It is definitely something special and much deeper than many of the mainstream popcorn flicks that we are used to nowadays. It is a culmination of Scorsese’s works and will probably be one of the final major performances by De Niro, Pesci, and Pacino, that will be talked about for years to come, and possibly for the rest of their lives.