The Irishman Discussion (Spoilers): Is This Martin Scorsese’s Next Oscar Best Picture?

– [Mark] Hello Everyone, and welcome back to The After Show.
My name is Mark Ellis and one summer in
college I painted houses, not like they do in The Irishman. That’s what we’re talking about today. If you have not yet seen
the film The Irishman, be warned the spoilers will follow. This movie is currently 99% fresh on the Tomatometer, with the critics. 98 critics are weighing in so far, that’s bound to increase. We’ll see how the Tomatometer responds. So excited to talk about this movie. Martin Scorsese’s latest,
is it his greatest? I certainly have two great panelists here today. Angie Han is joining us. – Hi. – [Man] Hi Angie. – [Mark] And Scott Mantz the Irish ‘Mantz’. – The Irishman, yes. That’s the sequel. – [Mark] That’s the
sequel to The Irishman, and it’s probably going
to be an even longer film. – Yes – The critics consensus
right now on Rotten Tomatoes, reads as “An epic
gangster drama that earns its extended runtime. The
Irishman finds Martin Scorsese revisiting familiar themes to poignant, funny, and profound effect.” So before we get really
into this conversation, I just really want to get y’alls take. Is this movie fresh or rotten? Scott, do you agree with
what is on the Tomatometer? – Absolutely. I think that it’s up there for a reason.
You know, Martin Scorsese, this is his 26th feature film. Not his first mob movie. One of his best, is it his greatest? We’ll find out during this conversation. I won’t spoil it at the top. But I think it is absolutely worthy of all the raves. It lives up to the hype. – [Mark] It is definitely
not his first crime movie. (laughing) Angie, do you agree with Scott? Is this a fresh movie in your eyes? – For me yes, and its also one that, as I was watching it, I
started out liking it, and I feel like I liked it
more and more as I was going, so I gotta be honest, at
first I was just like, I dont’t know, people were
very high on this movie, and I was like okay, it’s pretty good. And then, by the end I was just like yes! I’m up there with everyone else. – It’s always one of those
things where you go into a movie, and you’d heard a little bit
of hype from people who got to see advance screenings,
and you’re like okay well, first of all do I see
this movie in theaters, or do I wait until it’s on Netflix? It’s got a three and a half hour run time. I went in. I saw this movie
and I think that I continue to fall more in love with it,
even after I left the theater. Because it is such a long movie and you feel the length, in my opinion. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a detriment to the movie, there isn’t a scene I’d lose. – Yeah, I feel like you feel the length, but in a good way because I
feel like what works for it, the length works for
it because by the end, you really want to feel the weight of everything that has happened, and that wouldn’t work if it has been like a 90 minute movie. – Well, you know what you
said about how you know you went in and initially you were like “Oh, I don’t know” but then it
got better as it went along. I absolutely feel that that’s
the strength of this movie, is that it does get
better as it goes along. And I also think the
running time is justified, because unlike Goodfellas
or Casino, which are very, very fast paced, quick cut movies, this movie is a little more restrained compared to those films. You don’t have those quick cuts, the scenes are allowed to breathe, the performances are allowed to breathe, so you need more time to get into it, for the movie to sort of
cast its spell over you, but it also goes places,
especially towards the end in the last hour, where none of the Scorsese’s
mob movies have gone, and the performances in
this movie are off the hook. – Well that’s why I was happy that I timed my bathroom break correctly. If you haven’t seen the movie, it was about two and a half hours in, because like I got back and I sat down, and I might have gotten some more popcorn, and then I knew there’s a certain twist that happens with the film and you’re like “Oh God, okay wait De Niro
is gonna have to take care of Pacino’s character
himself, the Irishman is gonna have to take care of Jimmy Hoffa himself, and I was so glad that I
could just enjoy that last 45 minutes hour of the movie
and all the other surprises that are in there because
Scott I think you hit on something that this
is a familiar tone with what Martin Scorsese has done in the past, obviously with like Goodfellas and Casino, but the filmmaking is different, and the tone is a little different too. This isn’t quite as violent, its a little bit more of a tender take. – Well tender for a mob film, okay. But — – There are still plenty
of houses being painted. – But you feel sort of
empathy for Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran, the
Irishman of the title. So, look at a filmmaker
like Clint Eastwood. He made a bunch of Westerns, and then he waits until
just the right time to make one of the greatest
Westerns of all time, his best Western, which was Unforgiven. That was his coda, that
was his career capper for the westerns. It doesn’t get better than that. And I feel like that’s
sorta the tone that Scorsese is taking with the Irishman. – [Angie] Yeah, it makes for
a really interesting companion with his other gangster
movies because I feel like one of the big differences, you know you watch Goodfellas, and obviously you also see the dark side of it and there’s the whole
downfall and everything. So it’s not like everything is great, but it’s such a movie about the appeal and the allure and the glamor
and the excitement of this world, whereas I feel like this
movie doesn’t really do that, it doesn’t really look… even as you’re entering
this world with them, it doesn’t really look that sexy, it just kinda looks like,
you know it’s his job. He’s working. – Is it almost too early
to try to rank this movie against his other crime films, because you know I think
we’re such a prisoner in the moment sometimes,
where I just saw The Irishman and oh my God it’s such
a different way for some of these performers, like it was a totally
different Pesci than we got in Casino and Goodfellas, but as I’m thinking about it today, I’m thinking The Irishman
might be just as good of a film as Goodfellas and Casino, I just don’t know if it’s as
re-watchable as those two. – [Scott] Well okay well,
I think that The Irishman is definitely re-watchable to the extent I can’t wait to watch it again, and here’s the beauty of it. You can see it in theaters
during the three week run it has before it does drop on Netflix. – Are you going to see it in the theater, would you send people to
the theater to see it, or would you tell them
to wait for Netflix? – I would absolutely say,
you’ve gotta see this movie on the big screen. Forget about the running
time, just let yourself get consumed by the film. It is absolutely worthy. This is a milestone, a
landmark cinematic achievement and that always does need to
be seen on the big screen. But, there’s something
about the comfort of knowing that a movie is three
and a half hours long and watching it at home, and
you go okay I’m gonna pause it here I’ll watch
the rest of it tomorrow, and you know what you can
watch it over and over again — – [Angie] In terms of ranking them, I find it really difficult
because I like them for such different reasons,
they’re doing such different things, they’re such different films. I don’t know, to me they
work so well together, I’m like I don’t know
why I’d put them against each other — – Not putting them against each other — (all speaking simultaneously) – I’m trying to compare
which one’s better, and I’m like I don’t know,
to me part of the fun is that they work so well
together as bookends of this kind of career that he’s had, not that this is his last
movie or that Goodfellas was his first movie, but you know, he was much younger when he made that one, and he’s much older now, but then as to your other question about whether I’d tell
people to go see it, I think yes. I don’t
necessarily know that it’s gonna be something that you could
just pop on at midnight and suddenly watch all three
hours of, you know whatever, but I do think that part
of the reason I would advise anyone who’s
interested in this movie to go see it in theaters
is because I think it’s a film that requires some patience and I don’t know about you but
like I find it sometimes very difficult even when
I’m enjoying a movie to watch a movie that requires
a lot of patience at home because there’s just so
many distractions around, like I was really glad
that, especially because I think the first hour
is a little bit slower, I was really glad that I was
watching it in a situation where there was no escape. – Right, it’s a compliment
to Dolemite Is My Name that I didn’t pick up my
phone once watching that from home, because that’s where I was. It hard. In the modern world
we live in its very tough to focus on anything for
three minutes much less three and a half hours, so I would tend to recommend
see it in the theater if you have the means. And that’s also because I
think the theater experience is gonna make the de-aging
look a little cleaner. I’ve noticed that with
de-aging, like I was watching Rogue One the other day
at home, and it’s like they did a different thing
with Grand Moff Tarkin there than what Scorsese
did with the de-aging, but it’s still, it comes
across more as an effect on the small screen to me anyway, because the de-aging in
this did not take me out of the story at all, and I was thrilled– – [Angie] It did to me, a little bit. – [Scott] It did a little
bit in the beginning. Like it’s obviously first
noticeable when you see the younger versions of
Scorsese and Al Pacino and Frank Sheeran played
by De Niro and Joe Pesci’s character, it’s definitely, you’re alerted to it,
it’s noticeable, but — – It’s just the eyes. There’s like a glassy eyes,
but again I don’t know if they’re just making his eyes glassy for different reasons cause
that’s how the guy looked. (laughing) Like I don’t know. – But I also felt like it was
a little bit of the skin too. I was looking at the
whole package watching, I was like, okay this
is the de-aging process they were talking about, but
the narrative of the film did take over, the characters took over. And here’s why I think,
ultimately the de-aging process was more crucial, rather
than casting younger actors to play the younger versions
of these characters, you’re with these images
from start to finish, three and a half hours, like decades, and it makes you drawn
to the characters more, you’re more vested,
emotionally, to the characters and the stakes and the epic-ness of it all when you’re seeing one person
play the same character over the course of,
whatever, five decades. – [Mark] I think
especially when that person is so recognizable in a role like this, where you have De Niro,
Pacino, Pesci, Harvey Keitel, it’s a great nugget from
Charlotte O’Sullivan, she said “If this something
of a tall story, though, it’s an irresistible one,
with Pesci and Harvey Keitel especially sharp.” So it’s like this is not just
a movie for the headliners, for oh De Niro and Pacino
are in a movie together, like I thought Pesci
stole the entire movie, I think De Niro could
get nominated but Angie, I think Joe Pesci playing
against type, from what we saw him in Goodfellas and Casino, I think this was a landmark
achievement for him. – [Angie] I thought he
was incredible in this, not that you’d expect
anything less than greatness from any of these
people, but like you said it’s so different from what
we’ve seen him do before, and I feel like that really
adds the experience too, where I kind of felt myself projecting his kind of intensity
under this character, and even when he’s restrained
you feel like there’s something in him waiting to
just jump out (laughing). – [Mark] And I don’t know
if that was just because I know Joe Pesci movies,
but I was waiting for him to turn into Leo Getz from Lethal Weapon. (laughing) Just explode everybody,
but he’s just so quiet, and so reserved the whole
time, and it makes for such a powerful dynamic. – You know, Joe Pesci
is great in this film, and he’s completely different,
like the way we’ve seen him in Goodfellas and Casino
and Lethal Weapon 2, buddy. But it is really for me,
great to see Pesci making his first movie in nine years. He came out of retirement,
so to speak, to do this film. It was definitely worthy, but
I think the standout here, while there are two, really
one of them is De Niro. Robert De Niro, especially in
the last hour of this movie, is as good as he has ever been. He has to be nominated and
I think he’s a front runner to actually win. – That’s a hot take. Angie, you think De Niro
is the front runner in the best lead performance category? – I don’t know because it’s just so early, I can definitely see him being a really strong contender,
but I agree with you. It’s a movie where all
three of these leading men have been really just
thought of as icons forever, and they’ve had towering reputations, and I do feel like sometimes when an actor gets to that
level it becomes easy to stop appreciating what they’re doing, it becomes easy to take them for granted. It becomes easy to kind
of like, you know be like oh yeah sure, I’m sure
he’s great whatever, but then this is one of
those movies where you see all three of them and
you’re just like oh right, this is such a vital reminder
of why we worship them so much in the first place and this is
why they’re still so exciting and why it’s still
thrilling to go see them on the big screen. – [Scott] One of the
best scenes of the movie, it’s not what you think,
its not a whacking scene, which by the way, another
thing that separates this from other mob movies,
especially Scorsese movies, no one uses the word whacked, no one uses the word ‘forgetaboutit’. It doesn’t fall prey to those cliches — – We’re just painting houses,
that’s all we’re doing. – Yeah we’re just painting houses. But the scene, okay so this
is a spoiler heavy show, so we see Frank Sheeran
knock off Jimmy Hoffa, played by Al Pacino, we’ll
get to Pacino in a second, but the scene when Frank
Sheeran, De Niro, has to call Jimmy Hoffa’s wife and offer
his condolences and say I’m really sorry, don’t worry
you know I’m here for you if you need me, I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Like an expert, a master craftsman, a master class in acting right there. He knows what he did, his
daughter knows what he did, okay Anna Paquin, and he has
to pretend like he’s there for his wife. That moment is just going,
this guy is a freaking genius. – [Mark] I’m glad you brought
up the Anna Paquin scene, because Anna Paquin, I thought, kind of a, she definitely doesn’t
have a lot of lines. But such a powerful haunting performance, just as the daughter
who knows exactly what her dad is into and we get
that matriculation of when she’s a little girl and
seeing him and how firm of a defender he is, but also
you grow up and you get older and I saw that there was
an interesting article, there’s been a few of them this week, about Scorsese and the fact
that women are by and large not involved in this storyline
at all, they’re silent and even at the beginning of the movie, it’s almost like they’re a
nuisance cause you have to pull over so they can smoke. So how did you all feel about the lack of a strong female role in this? Or do you think Anna Paquin fit that bill? – I don’t think Anna Paquin fits the… I wouldn’t say she’s this
powerful female character, because she is very much a
character whose whole role is being on the sidelines,
watching what’s going on, she has very few lines,
she doesn’t actually do that much or drive
that much of the action or anything like that. That said, I think to me it
made sense that the women were so secondary in this movie
just because it seems like that’s the role that
they fill in the lives of these men that the
movie is actually about. It doesn’t seem like Robert De
Niro particularly understands his daughter that well. It seems like his character
sees her as more of a symbol, so it makes sense that the
movie about him would also see her that way, and — – Yeah, I think that Anna
Paquin’s performance was actually very, very, very strong. I mean, that’s what acting is. You know, show us don’t tell us. And for the duration of when
the daughter is her age, and Anna Paquin is playing her, we see what she’s feeling, we’re not told. And I think that makes for
a more powerful performance. And I do agree with you. I think if the movie took place today, if it was a mob movie about today, I think it would have
been much, much different. Yes, the women should
have had much stronger, more prominent roles. – Women existed in the 1950s
and they were doing things, so I don’t necessarily
know that it’s fair to say women weren’t really
around and doing anything so movies set in the
1950s wouldn’t have them, but I do think in this movie,
that’s not how he saw his wife that’s not how the other
men saw their wives and other women in their lives. I’m not saying let’s have
no strong female characters in any movies or anything, but I’m saying you gotta
look at it for what works for the specific movie and
then this one, I was like okay. It makes sense to me. – [Mark] Yeah, I agree. —
– [Scott] So if you look at… Well, listen. Let’s talk
about Pacino in this movie. – Yeah. – Because you know what. First of all, Al Pacino in a movie
directed by Martin Scorsese, are you kidding, this has never happened? This is Al Pacino’s first
movie with Martin Scorsese after working with all these
amazing directors, I mean, and only now in 2019 are we
finally seeing this happen. First of all perfect fit, perfect fit. – [Angie] But seeing when he’s,
when Robert is at his dinner and he’s trying to explain
to Jimmy Hoffa what’s gonna happen and Jimmy Hoffa
is just not getting it, I wanted to just crawl
under a blanket and die, it’s just so tense and so heartbreaking. – Yeah you think about all
the scenes in this movie and what it adds up to
is, again you’re seeing a lot of critics mention the run time, but not necessarily that it’s a detriment, so naturally when its talk of, could it be a best picture nominee, could it win best picture, and what does this mean for Netflix, coming off of the win with Roma last year, making them a bigger player in the game. – Okay the Roma win for last year was for foreign film, director and cinematography. Now, last year Netflix got
behind Roma obviously because we all got those Roma pillows. But this year, especially,
2019 is really the year that Netflix came to
the party and took over and took the stage. Not only do they have The Irishman, they have Dolemite Is My Name,
they have Marriage Story, they have The Two Popes, like they are doing real,
actual quality driven, cinematic features that
are playing in theaters before they eventually drop on Netflix. But the other thing with The Irishman is, is it a front runner to win? Possibly, because when Martin
Scorsese won best picture and director for The Departed. I like The Departed. But back in 2006, that movie
opened October 6th, 2006. – [Mark] Good man!
– [Scott] When The Departed came out, I remember
when I saw it I thought, really good film, but not
one of Scorsese’s best, and I don’t really think it’s
really an Oscar contender. Boy, was I wrong. But was it his best picture? I mean, was it better than Taxi Driver, was it better than
Goodfellas, was it better than Raging Bull. No, no, no. That movie won director
and picture because — – It was seen as the
Lifetime Achievement Award. – It was, we gotta give
it to him sometimes so here’s an opportunity. – Right but guess what? Now he’s making a movie that
is as good as those films. And you’re going like, this
is the movie that Scorsese actually should have won the
Academy Award for director and best picture for, and
maybe he will because I think people will be like,
this is an amazing film. – [Mark] All right, so
quickly. Let’s talk about the movies that The Irishman
might be going up against that are not Netflix films. What are some of your other
best picture contenders? – Parasite — – Parasite’s a big one. Farewell. – [Angie] I feel like
I’ve heard people guessing Jojo Rabbit, as well. – [Scott] Jojo Rabbit,
that did win the top prize in Toronto, and that is a good (mumbles). I think that Jojo Rabbit
will definitely get nominated for best picture — – Didn’t Green Book win
that prize last year? – Yes, it did. It did.
And it won Best Picture. – Right, so I think Jojo
Rabbit is one of those, I put that with The Farewell
too where it’s like, because we have 10 nominees,
and then The Farewell came out a little bit ago,
but I think that you could definitely have a campaign
that gets that back into the forefront of voter’s minds, so I think that’s definitely a contender. And then films that
have yet to be released, we just don’t know what
December’s gonna bring yet, what the quality of those
movies are gonna be, and I haven’t seen Ford v Ferrari yet — – Ford Ferrari is fantastic.
I’ve seen it twice and it its absolutely best picture — – Good to know where I
stand and where you stand. (laughing) – I mean Mark, the other film
that we’re not talking about that is absolutely a best
picture contender, and to me where I sit right now
on this day taping this, my favorite movie of the
year is Marriage Story, and that is also a Netflix film. And that’s like the Kramer vs.
Kramer of the 21st Century. It’s a brilliant, masterful film, written and directed by Noah Baumbach. You also have 1917,
directed by Sam Mendes, that’s not opening until December, they’re not screening it until the weekend of November 23rd and 24th,
and the people are really gonna see how this one
take experiment worked. – [ Angie] And don’t forget Cats! – Well Cats could go either
way, I’m hoping it goes the good way, but that
trailer was really awkward. – Taylor Swift fans loved it. – I think that it’s good
that we don’t know exactly for sure yeah this is the movie. – Yeah some people are speculating, I don’t necessarily agree with
this, but that it could be a Tarantino versus Scorsese, because Once Upon a Time In
Hollywood certainly deserves consideration. – Absolutely, yeah that’s another film. – The other thing is, it’s just so early. I don’t think that necessarily
this time last year people would have been
like, Green Book, obviously the winner. So a lot of things can happen, like I think we can make
our guesses about which ones we think are worthy, and
which ones we think are likely given what we know about what
has done well in the past, but we don’t know for sure. I will say that Netflix, I feel like they’ve been
trying to establish themselves as a major award season
player for a while. It started years ago
with Beasts of No Nation, which went nowhere, and it
seems like they are getting closer and closer, and The
Irishman just seems like a really good shot. You’ve got a director that
everyone loves and has unanimously agreed is a master filmmaker. You’ve got him playing
a different variation on a theme that we have always
liked from him in the past. You’ve got these three actors
that are very well respected and have been for a long time. – The other thing, you touched
on this about the freedom of working with Netflix. The Irishman was originally
set up at Paramount. When the budget started to
creep up past 100 million, Paramount, short story, just said, thanks, no thanks,
we’re gonna let this go, feel free to take it elsewhere. Well, when the producer
is like Jane Rosenthal’s longtime producing partner Robert De Niro, they shopped it around. Nobody was actually biting
at their heels to take on The Irishman because the
budget kept creeping up, they did not think that
it was a sure thing or a slam dunk despite
the fact that you have Pesci and De Niro and Al
Pacino and Harvey Keitel, and all these longtime
players, despite the fact that this is gonna be the
ninth film that Scorsese and De Niro have made
together, it’s a mob movie, which everyone loves a mob movie. Then Netflix says, actually hey, we’ll take it, here’s a blank
check, go make your movie, you have complete creative control. The movie cost 150
million dollars to make, and your probably gonna
get a whole lot of people subscribing to Netflix
just to watch The Irishman if they don’t see it in theaters. – Netflix’s business model is different, so the calculations they’re
making when they try to decide how much money am I going
to give to this filmmaker, is not gonna be exactly
the same calculations that Warner Brothers or Disney or
Sony or someone else is making. – [Mark] I think Michael
Phillips said it really well from the Chicago Tribune,
he said this movie “it moves forward and backward and
sideways, getting more unpredictable and compelling as it goes”. It’s a worthy theater experience in mind. It’s actually playing in
a limited run of theaters right now. It’s also gonna be
streaming for Thanksgiving. So here’s the big
question, here’s the last question of the day. When do you put on The Irishman during the Thanksgiving weekend? Is it what you’re watching
instead of football during the day? Do you have the meal and
then put it on Thanksgiving night? There’s a risk of falling
asleep, three and a half hours. – [Angie] I feel like after a
Thanksgiving meal is actually a terrible time to watch
because the beginning is the slowest part.
– The turkey coma. – Everyone’s already full. You’re barely awake as it
is. You put on The Irishman, you’re like, it’s a three
and a half hour movie, it starts our very slow
and then it becomes, like a poetic meditation
on mortality and aging, and people are gonna be like “Um, no.” (laughing) – I disagree. I think right
after Thanksgiving dinner is the best time to watch
The Irishman because you know what? You are gonna
be full, yeah you might be a little tired, but you’re
really not gonna wanna talk to anybody after
sitting at the dinner table for a few hours during
Thanksgiving dinner. You’re gonna just wanna
just chill out and veg out and watch something on TV — – Will Marriage Story
be out at that point? – No it won’t. Not on Netflix. – Oh well that’s too bad.
That would be a great family movie. (laughs) – Can you imagine? But no, The Irishman is
gonna be perfect because it’ll be like, oh yeah Scorsese mob movie, This is perfect and I don’t
have to talk to anybody else for three and a half hours, boom! – I thought of the best time to watch it, the next morning! – Oh forget it! It’s not a morning movie! – Yes it is! – No way! – It’s a total Black Friday movie. Let everybody else go out and get — – Yeah exactly, everyone’s shopping, you’re combing through
your fridge for leftovers, you’re also with your family,
so you guys need something to do together but now
everyone’s awake, you’ve had your coffee, your — – Or at night you start
watching it and you hit pause after two hours then finish
watching the rest of it the next day. – No! – What I was gonna do is
just wait until Cyber Monday, that way we can have a Netflix window open then I can just do all
my Christmas shopping — (laughing) I’ll just have everything in
front of me, in one easy thing. – No way mister. – As Martin Scorsese
intended it to be seen. – That’s right (laughs) (all talking and laughing) I’m gonna go to my movie
theater right now, look at that. (laughing) Thank you so much Scott Mantz, Angie Han. Thanks for joining me on
this conversation with The Irishman. Thank you all for watching The After Show. You can feel free to weigh in at any time, comment right now and
let us know your thoughts on The Irishman,
everything we talked about. Does it deserve Oscar consideration, is it the best Scorsese movie of all time, if not, what is your favorite? Let us know all of that
and more in the comments. Right now, subscribe to this channel here, Rotten Tomatoes, and make
sure you click that bell, its gonna give you an
alert every time we have you. Until next time, my name is Mark Ellis and be careful if you’re painting houses. It’s a dirty business. (upbeat funk music)

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