We now live in a day and age where we can watch some of the worlds best actors, appear in a film made by one of the worlds best directors on our home screen. Mindblowing. I woke up this morning, had some breakfast, a cup of tea and then figured. You know what. Im going to turn on my television and watch the $159million dollar film The Irishman directed by Martin Scorsese, and starring Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Stephen Graham, Harvey Keitel, Anna Pacquin and many more. Times have changed, a few ears ago, id have had to take a trip to the local multiplex to check out this epic, but now I can watch it whilst wearing my slippers (If I wore slippers)
Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (played by DeNiro) a former labor union high official and hitman, now looks back on his life and the hits that defined his crime career This is where the film begins and over the next 3 and a half hours, we are taken into Franks world where we meet Jimmy Hoffa (played by Al Pacino) and Russell Bufalino (played by Joe Pesci)
Now with those names along for this journey, all film critics eyes are on The Irishman, but is it any good? Well quite simply yes. It does feel strange to be watching The Irishman at home, as it feels massively cinematic, its epic scale and the decades it covers, the set design , customs design has Oscar all over it and does feel strange to be on a streaming service, but thats just the old film fan part of me that isnt quite used to seeing films of this scale in my living room.
If there is a downside, its the downside of us, the audience. We enter into this film thinking ‘Right Marty (Scorsese), guve us Goodfellas, Give us Casino, Give us Gangs of New York) but Marty gives us The Irishman, whilst of course set in the crime world that Pacino, Keitel, and Pesci are familiar with in their acting roles, is still a very different film to the aforementioned Scorsese titles. The Irishman feels more like A Bronx Tale than Goodfellas (and Im fine with that A Bronx Tale is a great film) more like a One Upon A Time In America, than Casino (and Im okay with that too) with performances as great from the cast as youd hope and ‘expect’
So whilst the world of the internet film critic might seem to moan and complain about every film out there nowadays, think about how you paid a few dollars a month for your Netflix subscription, and can wake up to the new Scorsese film on there for you, ready and waiting. It might be a strange thing for film fans who had to leave their home to watch a film this epic. But being a film fan is an exciting time.
There are many highlights to this film from the re teaming again of DeNiro and Pesci, the re teaming of Pacino and DeNiro and watching one of my favourite UK actors Stephen Graham going to to toe with Pacino, oh yes and of course any new Scorsese film that includes this cast, is a highlight in itself. Do check out The Irishman, and with the added bonus of being able to hit that pause button if you feel the need to spring to the bathroom without missing a single line of dialogue or slick camera move.
The Irishman, definitely is cinema, but in your own home.
As an added note. Several hours after I had finished watching The Irishman, I realised just how special this film is and was, never again will I (for the first time) see the teaming of DeNiro, Pesci and Pacino with Scorsese. I truly had watched a very special motion picture one that will stick with me for a long time.