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Terry Gilliam Liked All of ‘The Irishman’ Except the Last 30 Minutes

In a recent IndieWire interview, Gilliam said he prefers Scorsese's human side over his spiritual side, and criticized the film's de-aging technique.

At a bowling alley, Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) attempts a show of warmth to his daughter Peggy (Lucy Gallina) in front of Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci). © 2019 Netlfix US, LLC. All rights reserved.

Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in “The Irishman”

Netflix

Love it or hate it, Netflix’s “The Irishman” has dominated the awards-season conversation. Martin Scorsese’s elegiac, sprawling, three-plus-hour mafia epic unspooled on the streamer over Thanksgiving weekend after a healthy theatrical run that found sold-out showings across the nation. While the film is a slam-dunk for a Best Picture nomination and a surfeit of other nods throughout the 2020 Academy Awards, not everyone in the film community is an ardent fan.

In a recent IndieWire interview that touched on everything from “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” to Marvel movies and “Black Panther,” legendary director Terry Gilliam shared his feelings about Scorsese’s tome, which he did see in theaters.

“I saw it at the London Film Festival. It was in the Odeon Leicester Square, which they’ve just revamped. They have these comfortable seats that are lounge chairs basically. My wife fell asleep,” Gilliam admitted.

Gilliam, meanwhile, had mixed feelings about the film’s controversial de-aging visual effects, which certainly abetted in cranking up the film’s $140 million-plus budget. The effects are used to show the characters played by Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino, among others, at different stages in their lives. And while the faces look young, according to Gilliam, the physical carriage of the actors does not always match.

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“I can see why people like it. It’s just we’re back in Martin country. We’re into what he does really well. The age-ification thing works to a surprisingly good degree, but it seemed what they needed in there was a movement director to make them walk like young versions of themselves. The face is younger, the body’s still moving so [old]. You spend all that money, but if you don’t get this bit right, they should have been a little more spry,” Gilliam said.

Finally, Gilliam shared his thoughts on the film’s final moments, which find De Niro’s Frank Sheeran at the end of his tether, dying alone in an elder-care facility with most of his family having left him for dead in the wake of his crimes.

“I liked all of it except the last 30 minutes, frankly. With the priest and his daughter? Give me a fucking break,” Gilliam said, referring to Sheeran’s turn to religion for redemption, and his estranged relationship with his daughter Peggy (Anna Paquin), who is all too privy to his crimes. “We don’t need this. After we killed Hoffa, I thought, great, we’re done… Marty’s spiritual side is less interesting to me than his human side,” Gilliam said.

Gilliam’s remarks are just some of the many takes the “Man Who Killed Don Quixote” shared with IndieWire. Read the full story here.

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