News & Politics

Why Should Robert De Niro Care How Many Lines Anna Paquin Spoke in 'The Irishman'?

You have to be really obnoxious to make me take Robert De Niro’s side against you in an argument in 2019. And the SJWs are really, really, really obnoxious. Earlier this year they went after both Quentin Tarantino and the producers of Game of Thrones for not giving their female characters enough lines. Now the SJWs are angry about Martin Scorsese’s new Netflix movie, The Irishman. And it’s annoying, because they’re making me defend a film I didn’t really like that much.

Lisa Respers France, CNN:

Anna Paquin has an important role in “The Irishman,” but you couldn’t tell it by her lines.

The actress speaks just seven words in the three and a half hour long Netflix film directed by Martin Scorsese…

De Niro praised Paquin’s role in an interview with USA Today.

“She was very powerful and that’s what it was,” he said. “Maybe in other scenes there could’ve been some interaction between Frank and her possibly, but that’s how it was done. She’s terrific and it resonates.”

Paquin doesn’t have any problem with it either:

But people are still complaining about her not having enough lines in the movie, because apparently all the other problems in the world have been solved.

If you haven’t seen the film, Paquin plays the adult daughter of De Niro’s character, a mob hitman. She doesn’t have many lines because… drumroll please… she hates her father and refuses to speak to him! She knows he’s a violent man who has done horrible things, and she suspects he killed Jimmy Hoffa, who she adored like an uncle. So she pushes her dad out of her life, refusing to speak to him for decades, even as he nears death. She’s the conscience of the movie. She does not accept her father’s crimes, and she will not grant him an audience. Her silence is the whole point.

Would the movie be improved if she delivered a three-page monologue on why she shut her father out of her life? I guess, if you’re just sitting there counting the number of lines each character says. But nobody’s doing that except clickbait-craving journos and other dregs of society.

That said, I can’t really recommend The Irishman. I like a lot of Scorsese’s films, but this is no Goodfellas. It’s not even Casino. The main draw for me was seeing if CGI magic could make Robert De Niro look like he did 30-40 years ago. And… it cannot. They can smooth away the wrinkles, but he still moves like an old man. He still has the body of a septuagenarian. And his performance is still late-era De Niro. All the computers in the world can’t make him look interested in his job anymore. (Pacino blows him off the screen. It’s a lousy Hoffa impression, but at least it’s not boring.)

In fact, Anna Paquin’s performance is one of the few things I liked about it. She’s never really made an impression on me before, even as Rogue in the X-Men movies, but I thought she did a fine job. And she seems to be glad she did it. The only people who are unhappy about it are the ones who always need something to be unhappy about. Shrug emoji!