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I Spoke Too Soon About How Scorsese Seems Immune to Cancel Culture
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From my Taki’s Magazine review of The Irishman:

The Irishman is unusual in the Current Year for nobody insisting that Scorsese be canceled for making a 99 percent white movie. (The only nonwhite role is a Puerto Rican nurse in 2003 who has no clue who Jimmy Hoffa was.) So far, at least, nobody, not even The New Yorker, is demanding to know why Scorsese cast in the Hoffa role Al Pacino instead of, say, Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

But now from The Guardian:

Seen but not heard: why don’t women speak in The Irishman?

Scorsese has created provocative roles for women. But with only six words in his latest film, Anna Paquin’s moral spectre is a sign of a troubling trend in Hollywood

In The Irishman, Anna Paquin plays in the coda the grown version of Robert De Niro’s untalkative but observant little girl. She is shown, as a child, instinctively loathing her godfather (played by Joe Pesci) because he is also a professional godfather. In contrast, she adores her father’s friend Jimmy Hoffa (played by Al Pacino).

Why doesn’t this important character have many lines?

Uh … because why she never speaks to her father again after July 30, 1975 is the whole point of the movie?

But that’s so Not Current Year. Today, directors are supposed to Tell, Not Show. Communicating visually rather than verbally is Over. What matters now is providing tons of lines for the Intersectional.

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  1. anon[424] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s because DeNiro, Pacino, and Pesci aren’t blond, northern Euro types, unlike Pitt and the half-German DiCaprio in Once Upon. Pacino has played a Puerto Rican and Cuban in Carlito’s Way and Scarface.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  2. Honestly, I haven’t seen the movie, and I haven’t read your Takimag column yet, Steve. However, when it comes to Joe Pesci, in the movies, at least, I doubt I’d have much to say either. One innocent wrong remark, and you’ll find yourself on the floor being beat on with the nearest 2 x 4. No, the less said the better, at least from what I’ve seen of him in the movies …

    • Replies: @Hhsiii
  3. J.Ross says:

    It probably helps that Scorsese is one of the handful of white directors, along with De Palma, who is adored by the diverse set. I notice this airheaded attack is not on racial grounds.

    • Replies: @Hhsiii
  4. ” A troubling trend in Hollywood” only in the eyes of The Good, The Best and The Brightest.

  5. J.Ross says:

    This is funny: thoroughly debunked debunking site Snopes unintentionally confirms that yes, Democrats have thrown tantrum and introduced articles of impeachment against every single elected Republican president since Ike (and they tried to do it to Gerald Ford too but there wasn’t enough in-party support).

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
  6. Anonymous[223] • Disclaimer says:

    Social job-opening warriors

  7. Anna Paquin

    Giving the part to a Winnipeg-born New Zealander and self-described “happily married bisexual mother” is a strange form of affirmative action. No Americans available?

  8. Anonymous[114] • Disclaimer says:

    Say, this ‘Lady Macbeth’ is extremely problematic.

    They’re not just going to cancel (cancelling currently) Shakespeare for being a DOWM, they’re going to go for the content too.

  9. Altai_2 says:

    sign of a troubling trend in Hollywood

    Yes, the 3hr 30min Scorsese swan song is very much the future trend for Hollywood.

  10. OK, I read your review. I don’t know – I’ll probably catch it on DVD when it comes to the library.

  11. Altai_2 says:

    Meanwhile, in actual Hollywood trends.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @obwandiyag
  12. One of the benefits of being 76 like Scorsese is that it makes you immune to public pressure.

    An inspired bit of casting as Jim Norton as Don Rickles. I wonder if he pulls it off.

    Anyway, the movie clocks in at a minute less than 3½ hours. Did it seem that long to you, Steve?

  13. Hhsiii says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Steve makes the point in the review that here Pesci plays a calm, collected capo.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  14. Hhsiii says:

    DeNiros earliest parts were in DePalma movies Greetings and Hi Mom. The latter has a scene where black radicals stage a production of Be Black Baby, where the white audience is made to wear black face and is robbed and taped by black actors in white face. Rad, dude.,_Mom!

    • Replies: @anon
  15. Forbes says:

    Seen but not heard: why don’t women speak in The Irishman?

    The SJW/PC crowd loves, loves, loves diversity and intersectionality–but demands conformity.

    Conformity requires quotas for race and gender, camera time and spoken lines, because equal opportunity can only occur with equal outcomes.

    You’ll get to watch the same movie over and over and over…because with conformity there’s no difference. Only the title changes.

  16. If you can find Rickles making fun of Deniro between shots from Casino its pretty friggin funny.
    Little before my time but i like Rickles.Proof that jews werent always cancel culture crybabies.Rickles teased with a broad brush with his ethnic and race stuff being some of his funniest.Probably get cancelled himself today.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    , @Z-man
  17. syonredux says:

    It’s because DeNiro, Pacino, and Pesci aren’t blond, northern Euro types, unlike Pitt and the half-German DiCaprio in Once Upon. Pacino has played a Puerto Rican and Cuban in Carlito’s Way and Scarface.

    Would Pacino be able to get away with playing a Latinx nowadays, though? Scarface came out in 1983, and Carlito’s Way was released in 1993. Things are a lot more WOKE in 2019…..

    • Replies: @Nicholas Stix
  18. songbird says:

    I laughed so hard, when I saw one of the original promo shots for Ocean’s 8. Not only did it seem humorously improbable that women would be daring enough to pull off a major heist, but it was the only rainbow-colored criminal gang I ever saw.

  19. This is an attitude of a certain segment of movie reviewers – Forget the needs of the story, why doesn’t your movie have more minorities, women, trans-whatevers, etc. Tarantino had to deal with that when some reviewer (or “reviewer”) asked him why Robie didn’t have more lines. (Answer – “I reject your hypothesis”)

  20. @Hhsiii

    Yeah, unfortunately I’d written my first comment before his review, but I’d been thinking of Goodfellas or Casino or both of them. He was funny and likeable in My Cousin Vinnie, I gotta admit. I’d still rather keep my distance. Moreso for Christoper Walken.

    • Replies: @Hhsiii
    , @ScarletNumber
    , @J.Ross
  21. Hhsiii says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    I think Walken might have actually killed someone. Great on SNL skits. Especially the DirtyCentaur skit. Good dancer.

    Pesci is in Jersey Boys. As a character. He was apparently friends with the guys in The Four Seasons. I used to work in a fire extinguisher factory in Belleville, NJ, where those guys are from. Just a summer job. My dad was an executive with the company (the foreman said keep that quiet). But when I saw Jersey Boys I thought to myself no one in this audience is from Belleville.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  22. @Achmed E. Newman

    He was **funny** and likeable in My Cousin Vinnie

    Is he a clown? Is he there to amuse you?

    BTW, I didn’t know he was with Angie Everhart for 8 years. He is 27 years older than she is and she is taller than he is by a few inches.

    • Replies: @Hhsiii
    , @syonredux
  23. My Cousin Vinnie also had the smoking hot Marisa Tomei:

    • Agree: Z-man
  24. Anonymous[381] • Disclaimer says:

    Making Scorsese’s Age of Innocence would be problematic today but he still probably wouldn’t kowtow to diversity. He didn’t in Gangs of New York or the Howard Hughes bio.

    Related … the American movie poster for Downtown Abby shows all white faces. About a dozen pasty visages. I know zip about the storyline but it seems odd that they didn’t squeeze in a Brahmin or a Mestizo or an octoroon. UK stuff is usually so PC. The recent Agatha Christie Orient Express did insert some diversity.

    Highbrow film culture (like all other highbrow cultures) wants an exemption from their own PC rules. The elites are frquently prickly pear dominant personalities and many don’t like kissing PC ass. Not much diversity tokenism in Silicon Valley or at Davos!

    So there is still a weird racial exemption for a certain corner of the industry.


  25. J.Ross says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Somebody made the observation that Werner Herzog is probably great in an emergency but not a guy you want to hang out with, and it was answered by an anecdote in which Joaquin Phoenix managed to overturn his car driving in a desert, and who should be right there but Werner Herzog, who calmly and directly asked Phoenix for his cigarette lighter. Phoenix was confused at first but complied. Herzog explained in an interview that Phoenix and his car were covered in gasoline, and Herzog Sherlocked that the first thing a frazzled cigarette smoker would do after being in an accident would be to light up.

  26. @Hhsiii

    Don’t forget Walken was in the movie version of Jersey Boys as Gyp DeCarlo.

    Did you ever go to the Belmont Tavern?

    • Replies: @Hhsiii
  27. Hhsiii says:

    Many times. Wow. I almost posted a link to Belmont Tavern in my last comment. My wife loves that place. The food really isn’t particularly “good” (the chicken savoy is burnt vinegar chicken) but it’s local comfort food.

  28. Hhsiii says:

    My respect grows deeper.

    How was he cast in Raging Bull? Wasn’t that his first part? He’s great in that. Love him in Goodfellas but that’s a bit over the top.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  29. @Altai_2

    You people are so naive uninformed and sheltered.

    They do girl versions of many-sequeled francises because they are jumping the shark.

    Put yourself in some studio producer’s place. You got this hot property. You have no idea what to do with it because everything’s been done. So you jump the shark.

    Kudos for being politically correct is just lagniappe, double duty.

    I also like the total asshole who complains that Ocean’s 8 is “unrealistic.” Like Ocean’s 11 wasn’t. You people are just unbelievably unintentionally humorous.

    • Replies: @adreadline
  30. @syonredux

    I never buy Latinx. Waste of money, just showing off. I wait until a roll of TP is about 80% done, and then stick it in my back pocket, for when I need to blow my nose or sneeze.

  31. @Hhsiii

    My respect grows deeper.

    How was he cast in Raging Bull? Wasn’t that his first part? He’s great in that. Love him in Goodfellas but that’s a bit over the top.

    Well how about this? I was at the Belmont last Friday. I go about once a month. From your past posts I assume you went to Glenfield Middle School, and I know people who currently work there.

    As for Pesci, his first part was in a low-budget movie called The Death Collector with Frank Vincent, another Belleville/Nutley guy. DeNiro saw their performance in this and recommended them to Scorsese. Vincent’s picture still hangs in the Belmont by the kitchen door.

    • Replies: @Hhsiii
  32. @J.Ross

    Snopes isn’t very good at math, either. They rate the statement that “Democrats have tried to impeach every president since Eisenhauer” as “mostly false.” But then they admit it’s actually 5/6th true.

  33. anon[318] • Disclaimer says:

    More evidence, as though any were needed, that Wokeness is 50 years old.


    De Niro reprises his role of Jon Rubin

  34. Anon55uu says:

    1. Anna Paquin is from New Zealand and Margot Robbie is Australian. White commonwealth actors doing American accents is hardly new though.
    2. I finally saw “Once” and Robbie is on the screen a lot. So much so to make me think her relative lack of lines is quite a deliberate artistic choice in what is, after all, a visual medium. I’m no movie critic but the fact is most viewers have to know Sharon Tate cannot speak for herself now and it has to be that a lot of the interest generated by the film is in the idea of how the future is open but also subject to weird one off events. And the character’s quiet contemplative approach, taking her life in, to me contributes to this. Could she be a big star? What would motherhood be like? Could polanski have behaved better? How can one event change so much.
    3. Sitting calculating the number of words spoken by the sex of characters in movies about known historical figures is also independently lame.

  35. This all has become completely lunatic, going far beyond a Scorsese movie, or any movie, or any (artistic) expression of anything.

    Would anyone find “Odyssey” readable- let’s presume anyone reads it at all – if Odysseus had been patiently waiting at home while Penelope had been having all those great adventures across the Mediterranean?

    Would we believe, as readers, a poem where Dante was the spiritual guide to Beatrice to higher spheres of visionary voyage to God?

    Would we find “Hamlet” fascinating (or convincing) had he been a she, “Hamlette”?

    Would “Lord of the Flies” have any meaning with girls instead of boys?

    What about “The Woman who shot Liberty Valance”, “Shanette” & “Mad Women” with Donaldine Draper?

    These things have become totally absurd ….

  36. The Guardian story gets the facts completely wrong. Paquin was not silenced because she’s a woman; it’s obvious that she was silenced because she was raised in Ao Tea Roa.

    Fucking anti-Kiwi-ism is running rampant… my countrywoman has been slighted by the entire cinema industry: on a per-capita basis that is worse than the massacre at Betar (since she’s only got one capitum).

    Where do I sign to get my reparations cheque?

  37. MEH 0910 says:

    Don Rickles Slams Robert De Niro’s Method Acting on the Set of “Casino” (HD)

    Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese Reminisce With Don Rickles | Dinner with Don

    It’s been 22 years since Don Rickles worked with Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese on the set of “Casino.” In this special episode of “Dinner with Don,” the three men share behind-the-scenes moments from filming, talk about Don’s friendship with the real Ace Rothstein, Lefty Rosenthal, and how Don was able to get away with teasing people like Frank Sinatra and Johnny Carson.

  38. @obwandiyag

    You might be right the Ocean film series is likely to be (as I haven’t watched any of them and won’t) a product of the capitalist entertainment industry and as such was probably destined from its inception to eventually bow to any current fashion, as insane and/or stupid as it is, if execs believe there’s a buck to be made, but a heist planned and executed by men is more believable than one planned and executed by women, just as having men killing one another with huge guns, or planning ways to part people from what they have, or asserting that the wealth will all trickle down, etc. is more believable than having women doing so.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  39. Z-man says:

    Rickles was funny but the main reason he could get away with it, then and even just before his end, was because he was a Jew.
    I saw him live on Letterman the last week of that show and he was funnier than Letterman and the other Jew who was on that night Stern, and Rickles was older than dirt.
    This ‘white only’ movie is getting a pass because it’s Scorsese and because DeNiro, the rabid anti Trumper and Negress lover, is in it.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    , @Jim Don Bob
  40. Z-man says:

    Holy sh*t he was with Angie Everhart! I guess it pays to be famous.

  41. @adreadline

    So you’re the one. Oh my god are you an idiot. Can you actually read yourself? Notice the stupidity there. Your use of words you don’t understand the meaning of, like “realism,” or stupid movie words that you think actual people in real life use, like “heist,” are just some of the most inadvertently humorous.

  42. @Z-man

    Rickles was funny but the main reason he could get away with it, then and even just before his end, was because he was a Jew.

    As with many, many others. The Rules Are Different if, well, you know.

    BTW: Jackie Mason was actually funny, which I’d never have guessed.

  43. Hhsiii says:

    Man you nailed me. Yes I went to Glenfield for 8th grade.

    Did you get the beeps or pot cheese? I like the pork with peppers, that Juliana pasta with scungili.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  44. @Hhsiii

    I’ve had the beeps when I have gone in large groups, but if I’m ordering for myself I will get the Shrimp Oreganato. I like the scungilli salad but I think it’s overpriced so I normally don’t order it. I also tend to get pork chops with hot peppers. I enjoy the pot cheese but I think it’s too carby so I tend not to order it.

    Also, in case you didn’t hear, they renamed the other middle school for Buzz Aldrin.

    • Replies: @Hhsiii
  45. @Z-man

    I disagree. Rickles was funny because his insults were not meanly meant. The reason he got away with razzing big dogs like Sinatra was that he was faster on the uptake than they were. Plus it’s always a good idea for someone in public to show that you can take a joke, even if you’d rather throttle the jokester.

    • Replies: @Z-man
  46. I have long asserted that the female equivalent of Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am.” is “I talk, therefore I am.”

  47. Z-man says:
    @Jim Don Bob

    That’s a good point but it doesn’t change the fact that he got extra consideration and protection from his tribe.

    Nothing to do with this discussion but I just remembered something that happened on ‘Battle of the Network Stars’ back in the ’70’s where Robert Conrad (Wild Wild West, Black Sheep, etc.) was having an disagreement about the rules with Telly Savalas and who I thought was Don Rickles but was actually Gabe Kaplan (just checked that-(grin). Well he got pissed that he lost his argument about the rules and said ‘tongue and cheek’ that Savalas was Greek and Kaplan was a Jew and he was German and wanted to kill both of them. Today Conrad’s show would have been cancelled immediately.
    I always liked Conrad for that line.

  48. Hhsiii says:

    Good taste. I like those dishes better than the classics.

    Buzz is up there with Yogi, Daddy Grace and the Galbreaths in Montclair royalty. And Amiri Baraka.

    • Replies: @Hhsiii
    , @ScarletNumber
  49. Hhsiii says:

    Btw, we went to Miele’s all the time back in the day. Same dishes. Verona.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  50. @Hhsiii

    People think I’m insane when I say the Chicken Savoy is overrated. I mean in a group I’ll eat it, but if I’m not I would rather order something else. Then again I think Applegate Farm is overrated, so what do I know?

    Buzz is up there with Yogi, Daddy Grace and the Galbreaths in Montclair royalty. And Amiri Baraka.

    The list of famous Montclarians is so voluminous that it literally has its own Wikipedia page. The one that I always use is Joe Walsh. Yogi has the stadium at the University named after him. I assume you were referring to the Gilbreths of Cheaper By The Dozen fame. Baraka’s son is mayor of Newark. In a nod to Steve, golf course designer Robert Trent Jones, Jr, is also from Montclair.

  51. @Hhsiii

    Wow, I never heard of Miele’s, but looking at the menu I may have to check it out. The menus are similar (if more expensive), and they even use the name Stretch’s for their chicken. I bet Annette isn’t happy about that.

    There was a place in Nutley called the Washington Park Tavern that also had a similar menu, but they just couldn’t get it right, plus the service was lousy, so I never went back. It ended up closing.

    As for Verona, the only place I ever go there is Lakeside Deli, which is owned by the Hill family that coaches sports.

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