Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Irishman

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Irishman

Article excerpt

THE IRISHMAN Directed by Martin Scorsese

(Tribeca Productions and Sikelia Productions, 2019)

The audible surprise of the man next to me in the theater notwithstanding, few people head into a movie about Jimmy Hoffa expecting a happy ending. The bombastic president of the Teamsters union went missing in Detroit in 1975 and was officially declared dead in 1982 without his body ever being recovered. Martin Scorsese's epic The Irishman serves up the tale of Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), a union member and hitman who, shortly before his death in 2003, claimed he killed Hoffa.

It feels a bit morbid to call The Irishman fun. The movie begins and ends in a nursing home and has an unabashed murderer as its protagonist. But at nearly 31/2 hours long, the movie is never slow or plodding. The complex relationship between Sheeran, Hoffa (Al Pacino), and Hoffa's occasional ally-turned-ultimate antagonist, mob boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci), unfolds thoughtfully over the course of decades. …

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