This film is a big ask of people (Three and a Half Hours Long), but I really wanted to gauge people’s responses to it. I watched this in one sitting when it came out, and while I was thought it was pretty good on an immediate reaction, it has stuck with me for a few days as I think about the 2nd act and last 30 minutes. Also that Action Bronson cameo. Holy shit.
I enjoy Martin Scorsese’s films. I know that they’re typical ‘dad movies’ and now face the brunt of scrutiny when people point out how dated a lot of them are. I understand that criticism and respect it, but they’re just comfy background films for me now, as weird as that sounds… A lot of MS’s films are bad people doing bad things for 2+ hours, and that can be a lot to ask of people. But there was something about how this movie seemed to be a response to the glorification of mobsters in his own films that really stuck out to me. I know MS can be introspective. His work on Silence really seemed to be a self-analytical introspection of his own faith, as well as the characters in that film. This feels like MS is reflecting on his work in creating some of the most important works in the ‘mob film’ genre. It also feels like a film created by someone who hates Goodfellas.
While Goodfellas treats murder of important characters like a joke, (Joe Persi’s character basically going, ‘Oh fuck.’ before being shot in the back of the head.) Irishman instead takes a whole third of the movie to linger on the murder of Jimmy Hoffa. From the inklings of the idea being passed around at Frank’s party, to the preparation stages, to the actual act itself. The whole affair felt hollow, cold, and gross… because despite the true story of Jimmy Hoffa, you really like Pacino’s take on him. He’s a really likable character.
The last 30 minutes are risky as well. Instead of cutting to Henry Hill standing outside his house in a bathrobe, we spend 30 minutes with a man who’s family hates him, is slowy getting his affairs in order, and who is realizing that all of the friends and colleagues he protected and cared about over the years are dead. My grandmother is going through the final stages of her life, plus how I had to watch my Dad go through getting his affairs in order in his last months with cancer last year, and this last act really stuck with me. Especially the final shot of the open door into his room. It’s a FANTASTIC final shot.
Well, what did you all think?