Guillermo del Toro tweets 'masterclass in analysis' about The Irishman — read his beautiful review
Sometimes the most interesting reviews of a work come from fellow artists. That’s become the case with Martin Scorsese‘s new film The Irishman following its premiere at New York Film Festival last week. While lots of film critics have been publishing glowing reviews of the movie (you can read EW’s own B+ review, courtesy of Leah Greenblatt, here), one of Scorsese’s fellow Oscar-winning directors is also celebrating the Netflix release.
Guillermo del Toro, who won multiple Oscars in 2017 (including Best Director) for his star-crossed fantasy romance The Shape of Water, saw The Irishman last week. Despite not being a film critic himself, del Toro often posts thoughts about movies he’s seen and why people should check them out. He surpassed himself on Monday with a 13-tweet thread praising Scorsese’s movie, analyzing its thematic elements, beginning with a comparison to Stanley Kubrick’s film 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,” del Toro wrote in his first tweet.
Based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses, The Irishman focuses on Frank Sheehan (Robert De Niro), a mob hitman who may have been behind the 1975 disappearance of legendary Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). By the end of the nearly three-and-a-half-hour runtime, Sheehan has aged into an old man with a high body count and more than a few regrets. A sharp awareness of mortality runs through the whole film, from the de-aging technology used on De Niro, Pacino, and Joe Pesci (who plays Philadelphia mob boss Russell Bufalino) to the fact that every minor mob character appears with a caption saying how they eventually died (usually in brutal circumstances).
“It’s the anti-‘My Way’ (played in every gangster wedding in the world),” del Toro wrote in a later tweet, invoking the classic Frank Sinatra song. “Regrets they had more than few. The road cannot be undone and we all face the balance at the end. Even the voiceover recourse has De Niro trailing off into mumbled nonsense.”
Del Toro wasn’t even the only filmmaker who saw The Irishman last week and had thoughts. Ava DuVernay was at the same screening, and also had a lot of praise for Scorsese’s film.
“Just out of The Irishman. Running time is 3 hours and some change. For me, it flew by,” DuVernay wrote in her own tweet. “And if I could go in and see it again right now, I would in a heartbeat. A film made by a filmmaker who feels free. Who has all the tools. All the time. All the talent. And lives up to it. Wow.”
The Irishman will be in limited theatrical release beginning Nov. 1 before coming to Netflix Nov. 27.