‘The Irishman’ Will Be 3.5 Hours Long Because Martin Scorsese Can Do No Wrong

     August 27, 2019

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Are you sitting down, folks? The New York Film Festival has revealed that Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman will boast a running time of… wait for it… 210 minutes. That is exactly 3-and-one-half-hours. You could literally watch Crank and Crank: High Voltage in that time frame, and still have roughly 10 minutes to spare.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. 3.5 hours? That’s a lot of movie. Why are movies so freakin’ long these days? Well, normally I would agree, but when it’s Scorsese teaming up with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci again, and they’re bringing Al Pacino along for the ride, well, I’d welcome the chance to sit in that theater until my eyeballs fell out of my head. I’d watch a 10-hour cut of The Irishman, so long as there was a well-timed intermission and my parking was validated.

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Image via Amazon

Per NYFF, whose programmers have obviously seen the film, The Irishman “is a richly textured epic of American crime, a dense, complex story told with astonishing fluidity. Based on Charles Brandt’s nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses, it is a film about friendship and loyalty between men who commit unspeakable acts and turn on a dime against each other, and the possibility of redemption in a world where it seems as distant as the moon. The roster of talent behind and in front of the camera is astonishing, and at the core of The Irishman are four great artists collectively hitting a new peak: Joe Pesci as Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino, Al Pacino as Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa, and Robert De Niro as their right-hand man, Frank Sheeran, each working in the closest harmony imaginable with the film’s incomparable creator, Martin Scorsese.

Of course, in a classic line of ‘Cover Your Ass’ fine print, the NYFF website makes sure to note that the “runtime is subject to change.” That said, it sounds right on the money to me, as not only would this story require more than three hours to tell, and not only would Scorsese have the clout to command such an extravagant running time, but Kris Tapley, who has been writing for Netflix’s new Queue magazine and has seen many of the streamer’s films, tweeted on Tuesday, “Some sagas WARRANT 3 1/2 hours” — a sentiment to which I’m inclined to agree. Bring it on, baby!

The Irishman will make its debut at the festival on Sept. 27 before hitting select theaters on Nov. 1, and, eventually, Netflix on Nov. 27 — the day before Thanksgiving, so you can watch it with your entire family from the comfort of your own living room, where you’ll be able to pause the film for bathroom breaks.

Some of us questioned whether The Irishman would ever get made, but Netflix has actually gone and done it, and we’ll know soon if this year’s awards race is going to be another Marty Party, or whether Scorsese’s latest will be greeted with respectful silence by Oscar voters.

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