Special Academy Awards: The Irishman

We continue with our special, this time with the production of Martin Scorsese.

Oscar statuette and frame of the movie 'The Irishman'.

Oscar statuette and frame of the movie 'The Irishman'. / Photo: Pxhere / Composition: LatinAmerican Post

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Rodríguez Pabón

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Leer en español: Especial Premios de la Academia: The Irishman

We continue with our special category for Best Film of the Academy Awards. This time it is the turn for The Irishman, perhaps one of the most anticipated films of 2019. Directed by Martin Scorsese, The Irishman becomes a new classic of gangster movies almost automatically after its premiere in movie theaters and in the Netflix streaming platform.

Read also: Academy Awards' Special: Little Women

What's the Irishman about?

The film follows the life of Frank Sheeran, The Irishman, played by Robert De Niro. We see the young and old protagonist in different stages of his life because he is the voiceover narrator who guides us through the tangles of organized crime in New York City during the second half of the twentieth century. We see an old Sheeran at a nursing home reviewing how he started "painting houses" to become the right hand of union leader Jimmy Hoffa.

It is a gangster movie like many of those directed by Scorsese. The entanglement of organized crime counted from the eyes of the first driver and then hitman and swindler Frank Sheeran is effective but tangled. It is a story of crime and betrayal, dangerous friendships and criminal cunning. It is set in the New York of the fifties, so visually it is interesting in terms of gangster aesthetics, which Scorsese had already explored in other of his productions.

Read also: Academy Awards' Special: Marriage Story

A critic

The film has an excellent cast: Robert De Niro in all its forms playing Frank Sheeran; Al Pacino plays union leader Jimmy Hoffa; Joe Pesci plays Rusell Buffalino, who will betray Hoffa; and Anna Paquin plays Peggy, Frank Sheeran's rebel daughter. However, it is somewhat repetitive to see a Scorsese movie again with a mostly male cast that tells a mostly male story. The film also lasts three and a half hours and is a story of betrayals from one side to the other difficult to follow. Although excellently directed and acted, it is impossible not to think of other Scorsese productions, such as Casino, in which I had already explored these themes that are played here in a more organic and synthesized way.

It is also a bit tiring for the viewer to see Al Pacino once again yell at his subordinates as he did at Scarface. All actors do it masterfully but they feel comfortable in the roles they play since they are the same characters they have played throughout their career. There is no exposure of the actors or a risk. Thus, The Irishman is the same good old movie. Good, but the same.

It is available on the Netflix streaming platform and represents the first time (with Marriage Story) that a web production is nominated for the Best Film category at the Oscar Awards.