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The Irishman Is Streaming On Netflix Now And It’s A Masterpiece

De Niro, Pacino, Pesci, gangsters… The Irishman is definitively Scorsesian, but uncharted melancholic power lies in its twilight maturity.  Through the opening tracking shot in a nursing home under The Five Satins’ In the Still of the Night, there’s a twinge of nostalgia. While Goodfellas‘ iconic parade through the Copacabana relished the gangster lifestyle, his

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The Irishman Is Streaming On Netflix Now And It's A Masterpiece Robert De Niro Joe Pesdci Al Pacino Martin ScorseseNetflix

De Niro, Pacino, Pesci, gangsters… The Irishman is definitively Scorsesian, but uncharted melancholic power lies in its twilight maturity. 

Through the opening tracking shot in a nursing home under The Five Satins’ In the Still of the Night, there’s a twinge of nostalgia. While Goodfellas‘ iconic parade through the Copacabana relished the gangster lifestyle, his latest film is about the moral vacuum it induces.

It’s both everything and nothing we’ve seen before: there’s a harsh coldness to the glitz and glam, a Silence-like solemnity to its mobster dealings, fit with backseat garrotings and Castro cigars.

Check out the trailer for The Irishman below:

With more than 60 years under its narrative belt, The Irishman was a passion project. Years of gestating development saw the project change hands a number of times. Who wants to see a Scorsese all-star epic in this day and age?

Paramount were said to be taking the lead for some time, but as the ‘youthification’ ballooned the budget, they bowed out. Fortunately, the bottomless pockets arrived – Netflix picked it up, giving it a limited theatrical release before letting it loose on the streaming platform.

Back in the 1950s, Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) was ‘more famous than Elvis, bigger than The Beatles’. As the former Teamsters leader, he was the face of the working man, and his urgent calls of ‘solidarity’ ring eerily prescient in today’s political climate.

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But this isn’t Hoffa’s story: it’s the decade-spanning saga of Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran (Robert De Niro), Hoffa’s body man and mob hitman during the tumultuous period pre and post-Kennedy’s presidency.

It’s through his elderly, chair-ridden musings we’re told the tale, like Casino but with a shivering emotional bankruptcy punctuating its history.

Sheeran was long touted to be behind the disappearance of Hoffa. Although he was declared dead, his vanishing is one of the America’s most infamous unsolved cases. But that’s not the prime focus of the movie. Scorsese is more concerned with the hushed conversations leading to explosions, painting an elaborate, breathing criminal world where codes are as respected as gravity.

The Irishman Review 4Netflix

Coming out of World War II (where he learned two crucial abilities: fluent Italian and the dispassionate murder of prisoners), Sheeran has a chance encounter with Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) that sees him welcomed gently into the mafia as a sort of handyman.

At this point and time, Hoffa and Bufalino’s interests are aligned. But as the former demands more control over his union (it’s his, make sure you don’t forget that), Sheeran’s loyalty to his two masters is tested.

There’s an absolutely stacked cast: Harvey Keitel, Bobby Cannavale, Stephen Graham, Jesse Plemons and Ray Romano, to name but a few. Scorsese has always been focused on the ethos of his underbellies, not the happenings. Every figure is finely sketched, from the sleazy to the wild-card to the Saul Goodman-esque lawyers.

The Irishman Is Streaming On Netflix Now And It's A MasterpieceNetflix

The film is based on Charles Brandt’s I Heard You Paint Houses, with the title pervading the opening frames of the film. It’s an old mob euphemism – if someone hears you paint houses, you paint them with the marks insides. But, unlike the gung-ho bloodlust of Goodfellas‘ Tommy, here it’s a grimly domestic last resort – introducing a complex relationship with the (ir)reverence for life.

In The Irishman, the only direct answer one gets is a bullet. Everything else is offhand comments layered in sinister subtext, bosses don’t own their desires, it’s always ‘for a friend’. A city can be brought to its knees by mundane adages, like: ‘It’s what it is.’

For the three headliners, it’s a tour-de-force turnout. Unbelievably, it’s the first time Pacino and Scorsese have teamed up, and it’s the perfect tool to hone The Godfather legend’s late-career fire.

The Irishman Review 3Netflix

Wildly belligerent, uncomfortably arrogant but brimming with charisma, Pacino paints his Hoffa (once played by Jack Nicholson in Hoffa) with an unexpected tenderness. The actor has cut loose in recent performances, but here it’s welcomed. The perfect cocktail of unwise machismo, humanity and fierce respect for punctuality; no more than 10 minutes late, ever.

It’s quite possibly Pesci’s most considered performance. Long gone are the days of his ‘Funny how?’ kettle-boiler rapport – he never, ever loses his cool as Bufalino. Again, it’s his tenderness that’s a rather interesting thread, a recurring issue of Sheeran’s daughter being afraid adds a layer of real sadness to him.

Although, in his businessman, effortless demeanour, he electrifies every scene – completely calculated, welcoming but burrowing fear, whether chatting with De Niro or warring with Pacino.

The Irishman Review 2Netflix

It’s De Niro’s best work in years, inspiring a different kind of abhorrence compared to his grotesquely-cut rapist in Scorsese’s earlier Cape Fear. In one scene, he takes on that old gangster ferocity in a grocery store assault. But his multiple hits are very procedural – he takes no joy in them, nor any disgust.

He describes it aptly: ‘It’s like the army: you follow orders, you do the right thing, you get rewarded.’ For Sheeran, it really is as simple as that – he’s a cog in a larger machine, with almost no attachment to anything apart from a sense of purpose.

Throughout, all the filmmaking components are pitch-perfect: Rodrigo Prieto’s ornate, low-key cinematography (with the odd Scorsese flourish) plays beautifully against the romantic selection of music. And, of course, Thelma Schoonmaker’s invaluable cutting skills concoct the hulking running time’s free-flowing energy. Never has a three-hour-plus film felt so tragically short.

The Irishman Review 1Netflix

Scorsese’s screenwriter, Steven Zallian (Gangs of New York) lends the cliche vibe it sometimes needs (count the cocksucka’s and come on’s), but assists the director in crafting a much maturer drama. Less razzmatazz, more self-assured.

As the finely-tuned Sunday drive through a life of crime reaches its final stop, with Sheeran’s daughter (Anna Paquin) cutting deeper through her dad’s steadfast guise, all the themes come full circle in a crash of emotions.

If this was Scorsese’s final film, it would make sense, it feels like the grand summation of his ambitions and plights over the years. The gangster beats are there, but as a loving, desperately moving look at mortality, guilt and how time endlessly, irrepressibly moves on, it’s truly extraordinary.

An impeccable, near-perfect epic: The Irishman is Scorsese’s defining masterpiece of the millennium.

The Irishman is in cinemas and available on Netflix now.

Al Pacino

Al Pacino’s Girlfriend Meital Dohan Ends Relationship Due To 39-Year Age Gap

Israeli actress Meital Dohan has ended her relationship with Al Pacino, as ‘it’s hard to be with a man so old’.  Rumours of the 79-year-old’s split from Dohan, 40, had been circulating ever since he attended the 92nd Academy Awards alone two weeks ago. The pair were together for two years, and while the actress

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Al Pacino Meital Dohan RelationshipPA Images

Israeli actress Meital Dohan has ended her relationship with Al Pacino, as ‘it’s hard to be with a man so old’. 

Rumours of the 79-year-old’s split from Dohan, 40, had been circulating ever since he attended the 92nd Academy Awards alone two weeks ago.

The pair were together for two years, and while the actress maintains that it was ‘an honour’ to be with The Irishman star, their 39-year age gap proved too difficult in the end.

Al Pacino Meital DohanPA Images

Dohan, known for her role in Weeds, took part in an interview with Israel’s LaIsha magazine as theories continued to brew concerning the couple’s status (they were last seen together back in October, at the Los Angeles premiere of Martin Scorsese’s latest Oscar-nominated epic).

As per The Times of Israel, she told the outlet: 

It’s hard to be with a man so old, even Al Pacino. The age gap is difficult, yes. I tried to deny it, but now he is already an elderly man, to be honest. So even with all my love, it didn’t last.

When asked about their relationship and any gifts The Godfather legend had bought her, Dohan laughed off the suggestion their relationship was benefited by material purchases. ‘He only bought me flowers. How can I say politely that he didn’t like to spend money?’ she said.

Al Pacino Meital DohanPA Images

The pair reportedly met at a Hollywood after-party back in 2018, and started dating soon after. While they had a fight recently and their relationship came to an end, the actress hopes she remains good friends with Pacino, and is glad to have been part of ‘his legacy’.

Dohan explained: 

I had a fight with him and left him recently, but of course I really love and appreciate him, and I was glad to be there for him when he needed me, and to be a part of his legacy. It’s an honour for me. I’m glad this relationship happened between us, and hope we remain good friends.

Pacino previously dated Argentine actress Lucila Solá for more than a decade (whose daughter Camila Morrone has been in a relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio since 2017).

Camila Sola, Al Pacino, Lucila Sola attending the 'Manglehorn' premiere at the 71nd Venice International Film Festival on August 30, 2014./picture alliancePA Images

The actor has three children from previous relationships, including 18-year-old twins Olivia and Anton with actress Beverly D’Angelo, whom he dated from 1996 to 2003. He also has a 30-year-old daughter, Julie Marie, with his former acting coach Jan Tarrant.

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The Irishman Named Best Film Of 2019 By The National Board Of Review

There has been a wealth of great movies released in 2019 but Martin Scorsese’s latest creation has eclipsed them all at the last minute, as The National Board of Review has named The Irishman the best film of the year.  Scorsese’s gangster epic was released on Netflix last Wednesday, November 27, and since then the

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The Irishman Named Best Film Of 2019 By The National Board Of ReviewNetflix

There has been a wealth of great movies released in 2019 but Martin Scorsese’s latest creation has eclipsed them all at the last minute, as The National Board of Review has named The Irishman the best film of the year. 

Scorsese’s gangster epic was released on Netflix last Wednesday, November 27, and since then the movie has received some brilliant reviews.

At three hours and 30 minutes long the filmmaker has certainly managed to pack a lot in as he tells the story of Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran (Robert De Niro), body man and mob hitman to Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) during the tumultuous period pre- and post-Kennedy’s presidency.

The Irishman Netflix 2Netflix

The Irishman was in the making for some years but the drawn-out process eventually paid off as the film earned itself a score of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as a wealth of praise from Netflix users.

Though there were a few people who complained the film was ‘boring’, the National Board of Review (NBR)  has definitively marked the film as a success.

With awards season fast approaching, the NBR was one of the first to announce its winners as it revealed The Irishman to be the best film of 2019. The awards body also named The Irishman as the Best Adapted Screenplay and awarded the NBR Icon Award to filmmaker Scoresese and stars Di Nero and Pacino.

Speaking about the awards, NBR president Annie Schulhof said:

We are thrilled to award The Irishman as our best film – Martin Scorsese’s masterful mob epic is a rich, moving, beautifully textured movie that represents the best in what cinema can be.

We are also excited to be presenting Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino with our inaugural Icon Award – they are the true definition of cinematic icons, each with their own exceptional body of work, and all in top form in The Irishman.

The NBR was formed in 1909, making it one of the oldest awards bodies, and is made up of a ‘select group of film enthusiasts, filmmakers, professionals and academics’.

Previous winners of the best film award include Green Book, The Post, Manchester by the Sea and Mad Max: Fury Road, all of which went on to receive a nomination – and in the case of Green Book, a win – for Best Picture at the Oscars in their corresponding years.

The announcement suggests The Irishman is a big contender this upcoming awards season, and if it follows in the footsteps of its predecessors we might see the film pop up at the next Oscars. If that’s the case, Netflix could find itself going home with its first-ever Oscar for Best Picture.

The Irishman Is Streaming On Netflix Now And It's A MasterpieceNetflix

However, with other big bodies yet to announce their results we’ll just have to be patient when it comes to seeing whether Scorsese’s latest earns him any more wins.

The Irishman will be celebrated at the National Board of Review’s awards gala, hosted by Willie Geist, in New York early next year.

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How To Watch The Irishman As A Miniseries

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you will no doubt have heard the hype surrounding The Irishman. A Martin Scorsese masterpiece, the film brings together the formidable talents of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. The epic gangster drama is an absolute must see for those who

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How To Watch The Irishman As A MiniseriesNetflix

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you will no doubt have heard the hype surrounding The Irishman.

A Martin Scorsese masterpiece, the film brings together the formidable talents of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. The epic gangster drama is an absolute must see for those who have long loved Scorsese’s meditative takes on the crooked and ruthless mobsters who have found their way into American history.

Unsurprisingly, it’s a stunning film with a stellar soundtrack and the sort of cast most directors could only dream of pulling together. However – at a leg-crossing 209 minutes – it’s also pretty bloody long.

You can watch the trailer here:

Now on Netflix, fans can enjoy the film at their leisure; with the pause button and a fridge full of subsistence to hand.

However, in this box set hopping age, such a lengthy film is a pretty big ask, even one as monumental as The Irishman.

Fortunately, one clever fan has got you covered; chopping the grand, sweeping story up into four digestible bites; a make-shift mini-series to enjoy at your leisure.

Swedish-based entertainment journalist and self-proclaimed movie lover Alexander Dunerfors has created a viewing guide for all those who get fidgety a couple of hours into a film. And it’s pretty perfect.

Dunerfors has entitled the first episode ‘I Heard You Paint Houses’, and has advised viewers to watched from the very start up until the 49:00 minute mark.

‘Episode 2’ has been christened ‘Hoffa’, and spans 49:00 to 1:40:00. By this point, you’ll be half-way through your season and will be ready to order your takeout before – let’s face it – bingeing onward.

From 1:40:00 to 2:47:30, viewers can catch the third episode, called ‘What Kind of Fish?’, followed by the fourth (‘It Is What It Is’) which will take them right up to the finale.

Cleverly constructed to fit around key moments of the film, the mini-series version of The Irishman may well make for more considered watching; with viewers given the time and space to reflect on each phase of the movie.

The Irishman Review 2Netflix

Plenty of us would love to spend over three hours basking in front of this absolute belter of a movie, however with jobs, kids and various adult responsibilities, many do not have this luxury.

Although some cinema purists have recoiled in horror at Dunerfors’ butchery, many others have thanked him for enhancing their viewing experience.

One person tweeted:

Movies this long used to have intermissions. People need a break for a variety of reasons. Also the reason why bookmarks were invented for books.

Another said:

Thanks for this! I love film and would totally watch it in it’s entirety, but being a single parent that works full time and has to help my parents I’m lucky if I get two hours of free time in a week. Let alone three and a half in one night.

The Irishman Netflix 2Netflix

Next week Dunerfors will reportedly be taking his editing knife to Ben-Hur which – at a comparatively snippy 212 minutes – is still an absolute behemoth of movie.

No doubt his chipping and chopping will raise the heckles of those who insist breaks ruin the pacing of a film. However, speaking as someone with a bladder, I’m personally all for it.

The Irishman is available to stream on Netflix now.

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