I Heard You Paint Houses

We saw The Irishman on Saturday night. More than three hours long, but we (with the exception of my bladder) hardly even noticed — when we got out of the theater we were amazed to find that it was midnight. Great movie.

The story itself was compelling: Frank Sheeran, aged and living in a nursing home, tells his story through many flashbacks, how he went from trucker, to hit man, to being Jimmy Hoffa’s bodyguard/enforcer, and eventually to being Hoffa’s murderer. A true story, or mostly true — it’s based on a biography of Sheeran, a sort of “as told to” kind of thing written just after his death, and though many of the historic events were real, his involvement in them may have been embellished or fabricated. Compelling, but controversial — let’s just call it “historical fiction.”

This story was supported by some great acting too: Robert DeNiro as Sheeran, Joe Pesci as his mentor Russel Bufalino, Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa, and a bunch of really solid supporting actors. (Frank’s daughter Peggy has a role in the movie, and the actress — Lucy Gallina — who played her as a child looked so familiar… I looked her up, but she’s not been in anything I’ve ever seen. It was also kind of unnerving to see, and hear, these characters: they all seemed weirdly familiar to me, since many of them had backgrounds similar to, and reminded me of, the parents of grade-school friends back in Manalapan.)

Anyway, two thumbs up. Plan your fluids, but go see this.

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