3. Frank’s phone call in ‘The Irishman’
In Martin Scorsese’s three and a half hour crime odyssey, an elegy for the mob genre, Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran, has to deliver a phone call to the wife of the missing Jimmy Hoffa, the man he just killed.
The weight and significance of this kill for Frank, ending the life of his best friend, is punctuated by the phone call he’s forced to make to the wife, well knowing not only that Jimmy Hoffa is indeed dead, but that he’s the one who did it.
De Niro’s acting in this scene is the highlight in an expansive performance, the simplest, quietest scene of the lot. He stammers and stutters, trying to find the right words, trying to console this woman who he knows will never be able to be consoled. And in that moment, he knows that of himself too.