Road To Oscars: The Irishman

The Irishman is Martin Scorsese’s latest masterpiece. The movie has a total of ten Academy Award nominations and those are Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing, and two Best Supporting Actor (nominations for both Al Pacino and Joe Pesci). And… it’s a Netflix Original, released in November 2019.

This movie was one of my most anticipated of the year since I’m a huge Martin Scorsese fan. I was excited to see him return to mob movies after so long. I was excited to see that he’d compiled an  iconic cast that had somehow never worked together before. The film is an adaptation of the non-fiction novel I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt.

Throughout the film, we learn of Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (played by Robert De Niro): the right-hand man of the famous mob lord, Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) and the events that led Hoffa’s mysterious disappearance. I’ve always been curious about Jimmy Hoffa’s history. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn about him, especially when directed in the right hands.

This movie has caused a lot of buzz and I can narrow it down to two things. For one, the run time is 3 hours and 30 minutes. The second thing is that since it’s a long movie, it covers over thirty years of the character’s lives, and instead of hiring other actors to play the young versions, they used de-aging technology to make the actors look the part. The use of this technology made the budget skyrocket to $159 million. To me, the de-aging technology looked a little weird at first, but as the movie progressed it looked a lot better or maybe I just got used to it. Obviously the run time is… a lot and not for everyone. Even though it was endless, I found it to be such an experience. I can’t say every minute is necessary, but it all amounted to spectacular film. It was a reminder of why I love Martin Scorsese and his work.

I don’t consider The Irishman to be his best film, it’s definitely one of his standouts and it’s mostly due to the talent involved. Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino elevated the movie to entirely new levels. It was awe-inspiring, what else can you expect from such talents? From the moment Al Pacino appeared as Jimmy Hoffa on screen and said, “I heard you paint houses”, I’d say it was one of the best moments of 2019 cinema. 

At first, I thought that this movie had every Oscar in the bag. As we’ve gotten deeper into awards’ season it seems as if it’ll be going home empty-handed. I do think that it is worthy of some awards, but as time has passed, I've realized that there are much stronger movies. I’m sad at the large possibility of it going home empty-handed, but I’m happy that this movie exists. Still, when the category for Best Editing is announced I will be rooting for Thelma Schoonmaker because her editing is always flawless. Schoonmaker and  Scorsese are an excellent team. If you’ve got four hours of your day available, feel free to check out The Irishman on Netflix!

Now, watch the trailer, watch the film and make your own opinion!

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