The Irishman

The Irishman (2019)

Dir. Martin Scorsese


Melancholy is an idea that Scorsese has been playing with throughout his career, when reality breaks in and interrupts the dream that Scorsese’s characters it doesn’t feel right, like the characters in “Goodfellas” and “Casino,” the audeince gets caught up in the lavishness of life and the idea of “living above the law” becomes the truth for a while. If “Goodfellas” was a gangster movie for a young adult, and “Casino” is one for middle age, then “The Irishman” is Scorsese’s gangster film for the final years. A film that takes the violence that comes with a gangster film and makes it as mean and shocking as such violence would be in real life. The glamorization of gangster life is only found briefly here, before reality comes in. Even early on, showing that Scorsese is making these characters come to judgement for their actions. 

Bringing back Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel already signifigied the importance “The Irishman” had, before bringing in Al Pacino, an iconic actor within film and the gangster genre, but had never worked with Scorsese before and bringing him in to portray Jimmy Hoffa only raised expectations. In short, “The Irishman” is the crowing achievement of Scorsese’s career that compliments his previous works in the genre. While still analyzing the specific actions of De Niro’s Frank Sheeran, Pesci’s Russell Buffalino, and how these men make decisions that ripple throughout their families and cause rifts within their own relationships because of the presence of Pacino’s Hoffa. It’s a elegiac tale on the consequences of choosing work over family in the gangster genre, acting as a coda on Scorsese’s mark on the genre.