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  • Don Ford

Don Reviews "The Irishman"

Here is something you may not know about me: labor unions have been a major part of my life. I grew up in a union family where my uncle was the president of his local railroad union, and even I was part of a union at the age of fifteen at my first job at a restaurant in high school. I was part of the union when I was a probation officer, and I am part of the union in my current job with the state. Unions can be a hot button issue, but they have done some good things in the past and been a part of things that have literally shaped and impacted this country. There was a time where there were mob ties to them, and Martin Scorsese takes this on with “The Irishman”.

With an all-star cast like Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Jesse Plemons, Anna Paquin, and Joe Pesci, this is the true story of Frank Sheeran (De Niro) and his dealings with Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). In the 1960s, Sheeran was a meat delivery man who ends up working for the mob, doing multiple jobs, but mostly as muscle. Once Frank ends up meeting Hoffa and ends starts both a business and friendship with him as Hoffa becomes the president of the unions, then it goes into his conviction and prison time, then into him trying to get back in power with the unions after his release from prison, and then finally his death.

The sets, the shooting locations and the props were pretty time period correct, showing many big cities in a good way during that time period. When it comes to the acting, let’s face it: there are some acting icons here, so it is pretty clear what to expect from this cast. Is there a chance where there may be some acting nominations next year? Possibly, but they may be in long shot list. But I really did not have any complaints in the acting.

I have to warn you, this film is three and a half hours long, and there are points where I felt it. I think an intermission would have been good for this film, and yes, there are certain parts that could have been cut out. The script is still good, but I have a little issue with the direction. When you have a movie that deals with the mob and put names like Scorsese along with De Niro and Pesci, there is a level of expectation, but it seemed like he was making another version of “Casino” or “Goodfellas,” and this time it fell short. I will still recommend this film as a rental so you can stop the film and take the much needed intermission whenever you want. It will also be available on Netflix at the end of the month if that works easier as well.

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