Martin Scorsese's new movie The Irishman reunites the accomplished director with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. These three men together have made memorable films more than once, but it sounds like this most recent effort might actually top them all. Those that have seen The Irishman appear to have been legitimately blown away by the experience, and you can count director Guillermo del Toro among them.
Del Toro recently took to Twitter and posted a thread that covers 13 tweets in order to fully express his feelings about the new film. He starts out by comparing it to a masterwork film by another of our greatest directors, Stanley Kubrick...
First- the film connects with the epitaph-like nature of 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…
The Irishman is a movie that tells a story that lasts decades. We've seen some images of Robert De Niro having been de-aged via digital effects in order to play his younger self. Clearly, these characters are going to experience a lot, but in the end we know where they're going. They're going to the same place we all are. The movie is about witnessing that they were once here.
Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese have made eight feature films together before The Irishman. Whether or not the new film is truly the best one will be a matter of debate to be sure, but Del Toro seems to feel that this was a movie that perhaps could only have been made by these men after they themselves had been through everything that came before.
I remember, in a documentary about Rick Rubin- he explained how Johnny Cash singing “Hurt” (having lived and lost and gone to hell and back) gave it a dimension it could not have in the voice of a -then- young Trent Reznor (even if he composed it). This film is like that.
Guillermo del Toro's feelings on The Irishman certainly give you an understanding of what the movie is. At the same time, it's clear that nothing here is really a "spoiler." The film is based on some real events and it seems clear that exactly where the movie is going is never in doubt. We know what's going to happen. That's part of the point. It's the journey that matters.
Film has the inexorabie[sic] feeling of a crucifixion- from the point of view of Judas. Every Station of the cross permeated by humor and a sense of banality- futility- characters are introduced with their pop-up epitaphs superimposed on screen: “This is how they die”
The Irishman doesn't have a single negative review according to Rotten Tomatoes. While relatively few have seen it, those that have all adore it. People are calling it a masterpiece. That may be true, but Del Toro believes that the film's true power will only come after time. This is a movie people will need to consider, and come to terms with, long after it's over.
This film needs time- however- it has to be processed like a real mourning. It will come up in stages… I believe most of its power will sink in, in time, and provoke a true realization. A masterpiece. The perfect corollary [to] Goodfellas and Casino.