Crying at movies is natural, despite what even the hardest of hearts will tell you. And at the end of director Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, it was that big old softy Alec Baldwin who was weeping moviegoer tears, and for a pretty valid reason: we’re probably never going to see the film’s dream team work together ever again.
During a recent conversation surrounding the Netflix awards contender, Baldwin described his experience with the film’s ending as only a true fan could:
I was very emotional. I got like a tear in my eye at the end… And I watched the film, and I thought, ‘We’re never gonna see these guys do this again. This is it.'
With Scorsese finally delivering his long anticipated adaptation of Charles Brandt’s biography, “I Heard You Paint Houses,” the life and times of mob hitman Frank Sheeran made their way to the silver screen with a cast that was difficult to pull together for one last hurrah.
Keep in mind, The Irishman had long been touted as the movie that would finally team Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino in a narrative worth watching, as well as the film that would bring Joe Pesci out of retirement. Throw in fellow Scorsese alum Harvey Keitel into the mix, and you’ve got a once in a lifetime group of talent that feels like a perfect cast list come true.
Anyone who’s a fan of Martin Scorsese’s filmography, as well as any cinephile worth their salt, knew that The Irishman was a hard prospect to pull together in the first place. So hearing that Alec Baldwin was crying during the end of the lengthy mob epic that could be Scorsese’s final film in the director’s chair makes a lot of sense.
Continuing to explain his reaction during an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Baldwin painted those initial thoughts with these details:
It made me sad, man. It made me sad. Think of all the pleasure. Think of all the moments. Because Scorsese, in his documentary about American film, says, ‘If you remember the plot of a movie, it’s not a great movie. You remember moments.’ And how many moments do we remember with these guys? You just cry.
Alec Baldwin’s reflections on The Irishman feel like the perfect reaction to the sort of film Martin Scorsese was trying to make with that very picture. As a meditation on life, family, and the golden age of the mob, Scorsese tells a tale of regret upon further reflection of one’s past.
In its own symbiotic way, that message is even sadder when you think about how much more awesome it would have been to see the legendary director work with this crew in an earlier, younger era. But, as Joe Pesci’s Russell Buffalino reminded us oh so pointedly in The Irishman, albeit in a much different context, “It is what it is.”
Whether you cry because it’s over, or smile because it happened, film fans of all stripes can take comfort in the fact that The Irishman exists. Though, for the sake of maintaining peace, let’s hope Terry Gilliam doesn’t meet up with Alec Baldwin to discuss the film’s ending anytime soon.