Tag Archives: Oscar

Film Review: The Irishman (2019)

The Irishman is about the rise of hitman Frank Sheeran who first joined the infamous Pennsylvania crime family of the Bufalinos and then worked for a powerful union activist, Jimmy Hoffa.

I am mesmerized to the directional greatness of Martin Scorsese whose crime drama detailing lost not an inch of fascination. The Irishman is remarkably constructed in the very same crime tone as Scorsese’s previous unforgettable crime works like Mean Streets, Goodfellas, Casino, etc. I am impressed by how can any director maintain the same aura of directional artistry for more than 5 decades. The Irishman is a ridiculously superior crime saga of around 3 hours and 29 minutes.


It is not the hype of this hugely awaited film for which I am excited, it is the brilliance of the filmmaking, narration, production designing blended with rich performances by the stellar casting and spectacular action sequences which have impressed me.

Another aspect worth mentioning is Scorsese’s careful use of onscreen chemistries. I am talking about two of the most talking pairs of the film; Robert de Niro with Joe Pesci and with Al Pacino. Sad to see Joe Pesci gone slow and less angry due to old age but each of his screentime was worth and displayed a memorable performance.

Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) and Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) debate Hoffa’s next move. © 2019 Netlfix US, LLC. All rights reserved.

But with de Niro’s splendid performance in years, I will say it was Al Pacino’s magnificent supporting role equating with de Niro’s leading character. Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa was a talking point in the entire middle part of the film. Scorsese fixed them together in the most suitable screen minutes and heavy dramatic moments of the final hour. Every sensible viewer will enjoy their chemistry, especially in the final hour.


Harvey Keitel and Bobby Cannavale were decent in pretty short roles, Ray Romano as Bill Bufalino and Stephen Graham as Tony Pro played very good supporting roles.

Hoffa’s political adversity highlighted some political tensions between Kennedy and Nixon eras. Some of the most notorious crime families were also depicted like Genovese, Philly, Gambino, and Colombo.

The Irishman is a phenomenal film. The final 30 minutes will drop you, break you and wreck you. There is no aspect that doesn’t impress you. In my opinion, the film deserves the Oscar nominations for the best picture, director, actor (de Niro), supporting actor (Pacino), editing, production design, and cinematography at least. Maybe also for the adapted screenplay which I have read to be very precise, for a few I have doubts which I don’t like to ponder here.

Overall, The Irishman is one of Martin Scorsese’s finest works, easily one of the greatest crime films, one of de Niro and Pacino’s most memorable roles of their careers.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock (10428524co)
Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel. Actor Joe Pesci, left, actor Al Pacino, director Martin Scorsese, actor Robert De Niro and actor Harvey Keitel pose together at the world premiere of “The Irishman” at Alice Tully Hall during the opening night of the 57th New York Film Festival, in New York
2019 NYFF – “The Irishman” World Premiere, New York, USA – 27 Sep 2019 

Ratings: 9.3/10

Film Review: Fences (2016)

Fences was a play written by August Wilson back in 1983 which, years later, won Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In 2010, Kenny Leon directed the broadway based on the book with Denzel Washington and Viola Davis as the leading cast. The book became a source of cinematic adaptation with the very same actors repeating their roles.
 
The film is set in Pittsburgh of the 1950s. It is about a man who wanted to become a baseball player when he was young but couldn’t due to his color. So now he discourages his son to follow the same path.
Fences will be remembered amongst one of the most brilliant films with the most ordinary story. There is simply nothing special or new in the story to watch. What makes this film look great and worth watching is due to almost all the technical aspects besides the story. A gritty drama directed by Denzel Washington and magnificent performances by himself as Troy and Viola Davis as his wife, Rose. I fail to understand why wasn’t Viola nominated in the Oscar for this film in the leading role rather than supporting role. But wherever is she nominated, she is the showstopper.
 
This is my first experience to watch Viola in a well-defined role as her role was pretty short as Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad, plus I have never watched her in How To Get Away With Murder. What is top-notch about her role in the film is her ‘Hurt’ aspect as Troy’s wife. Soon when Denzel reveals some news to her shock, she is different than you have been watching her in the first half of the film. She then drops your jaws and till she has expressed her severe melancholy to her husband, your eyes are about to get wet. She makes you feel what hurts and disappoints her as a loyal wife and a mother. In short, a stupendous accomplishment.

 
Denzel/Viola onscreen chemistry as the old couples is phenomenal. They share few outstanding scenes, an even father-son rigid relation is a stunning sketch which grows your nerves. Besides them, all the actors involved maintains a rich display of supporting characters which make you sit and watch. Like Troy’s brother, Gabriel (Mykelti Williamson) is at a corner but a very attention-seeking character who is mentally unfit and often gets in trouble in the neighborhood. Then both the sons of the Troy are entirely different individuals who have a few verbal exchange and disturbed relation with father due to choosing different careers which father Troy never wished. Troy’s friend Bono (Stephen Henderson) has a different command, a loyal friend who understands Troy’s stance towards his wife and kids, and ideology to life. Denzel as the director is supreme in character detailing. The placement of all the characters is perfect.
 
Fences without violence is a brutal violence in silence. Your ears will listen to the whispers, the cries behind a failed state of an honest individual who roared only when his color became an unbegged penny. A sublime sad film.
Ratings: 8/10
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