Critics & Fellow Filmmakers Hail Scorsese’s The Irishman as a Masterpiece
Martin Scorsese’s return to the world of crime is being hailed as a masterpiece. The legendary director’s The Irishman, which recently had its world premiere at the New York Film Festival, has been screened now by festival-goers, critics and some of Scorsese’s contemporaries. The reactions thus far are ecstatic.
Scorsese’s film is centered on Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) and spans much of Sheeran’s life as he looks back on his career as a driver and hitman for the mob. The film utilizes cutting-edge technology to render the cast many years younger then they are now. Sheeran was a World War II vet who found his way into the employ of Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci), the head of the Bufalino crime family. Sheeran eventually becomes a trusted hitman for the mob and, thanks to Bufalino, eventually gets connected to the legendary Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). Hoffa famously disappeared, never to be heard from again. It’s widely believed he was murdered, but no one has ever been convicted and his body has never been found. The Irishman is based on Charles Brandt’s book “I Heard You Paint Houses,” in which Sheeran had claimed to have killed Hoffa in 1975.
So there’s your bare-bones outline. Now let’s take a brief stroll through the early reactions:
An epic gangster drama that earns its extended runtime, #TheIrishman finds Martin Scorsese revisiting familiar themes to poignant, funny, and profound effect.
— Rotten Tomatoes (@RottenTomatoes) September 28, 2019
Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman:
— Variety (@Variety) September 28, 2019
Time‘s Stephanie Zacherek:
Review: Martin Scorsese’s masterful “The Irishman” is a moving portrait of betrayal and regret https://t.co/v6tmFUFUF1
— TIME (@TIME) September 28, 2019
Slate‘s movie critic Dana Stevens:
Scorsese’s epic mob saga The Irishman combines the energy, thrills & humor of Goodfellas with the contemplative maturity of Silence. It’s 3 hours & 20 minutes long & I can hardly think of a minute I’d want to lose. https://t.co/hRYbmQD9PU
— Dana Stevens (@thehighsign) September 30, 2019
The New York Times A.O. Scott:
“The Irishman,” Martin Scorsese’s latest long-form crime story, is a monumental, elegiac movie that looks back on a legacy of violence and waste in midcentury America. Read our review by @aoscott. https://t.co/GysyJrZ10A
— New York Times Arts (@nytimesarts) September 28, 2019
And finally, director Guillermo del Toro went on a must-read 13 Tweet thread about the genius and scope of Scorsese’s achievement:
1/13: 13 Tweets about Scorsese’s The Irishman: First- the film connects with the epitaph-like nature of Barry Lyndon. It is about lives that came and went, with all their turmoil, all their drama and violence and noise and loss… and how they invariably fade, like we all do…
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) September 30, 2019
The Irishman is in theaters on November 1 and streams on Netflix on November 27.
Featured image: THE IRISHMAN (2019). Joe Pesci (Russell Bufalino), Robert De Niro (Frank Sheeran). Courtesy Netflix.