Martin Scorsese’s three and a half hour epic was unveiled to press this morning at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. The monumental achievement, a capping note to Scorsese’s amazing career, stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Bobby Cannavale. Thelma Schoonmaker did the editing.
After the screening, all the principals, including the producers, participated in a press conference. Out of respect for west coast critics, there’s a reviewers’ embargo until 8pm tonight, Eastern.
The story is based on the book, “I Hear You Paint Houses,” written by Charles Brandt and based on stories from Frank “the Irishman” Sheeran, who claimed to know what happened to Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. Yes, we already had a movie called “Hoffa,” starring Jack Nicholson, written by David Mamet and directed by Danny DeVito. But you can’t tell a good story too many times.
What did happen to Hoffa? No one will ever really know, and Sheeran’s story may or may not be accurate. It doesn’t matter. Neither does the infamous de-aging technology Scorsese used so his actors could play themselves all the way through Sheeran’s saga. It’s a small part of the movie, and you’ll get used to it fast enough.
What’s apparent right away is the scope and meter of “The Irishman,” how engrossing it is, and that the public’s appetite is there for a big, important film. Netflix will show it in theaters, where it must be seen, from November 1-27, and then it moves to the computer platform. Don’t wait. Don’t put it off. To be completely absorbed by this important work, you must see it in a proper venue — even if you have a 75 inch TV. The phone interrupts, the kids come in, someone has to go to the bathroom, get a drink, whatever. For “The Irishman” and Scorsese, it’s worth it to get in the car and go to the cineplex.