I don’t like to see my movie heroes looking craggy and Gandalf-y. It reminds me that time and biology wait for no one, and that the next chapter after Gandalf or Gandalf-Plus is The Big Sleep, and that upsets me.
It’s comforting that Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro sound sharp and canny (especially Marty), but one look and I’m thinking of “Rocking Chair“, that 1970 Band song. I’ll take these guys in any guise, but if I were Scorsese and De Niro I would want to simulate a state of being that is less in the way of the Debonair Social Club (the place where Joe Pesci met Tommy-the-gangster in Raging Bull) and more in the way of a ’70s Visconti film or that wealthy family in Luca Guadagnino‘s I Am Love.
Scorsese’s eye bags are the same eye bags that Victor McLaglen had in his 70s. I took one look and said “oh, shit.” If I were Marty I would get a get a subtle Prague touch-up (the kind that doesn’t look like anything) along with some follow-up collagen injections. If I were De Niro I wouldn’t wear old man comfort shoes but elegant Italian loafers. During public appearances, I mean. He can wear old man shoes to his heart’s content in private, but when he’s on stage he has to look slick and uptown. Less Mulberry Street, more Museum of Modern Art. Scorsese is doing it right, shoe-wise. Look at those babies.
You can laugh if you want, but I’ve been best friends with these guys since the early ’70s and I don’t want them to get any older. I want them to just stay the same from this point on and live forever. I can’t have that, of course. None of us can, including our Siamese cat, Anya. But the least they can do is pretend they’re 15 or 20 years younger, not just cosmetically and sartorially but in every way imaginable. They’ll feel better if they do, and so will I.