Column, Movie Diary

Movie Diary: The Irishman

Woulda, shoulda, coulda

by Dom Cioffi

I was supposed to be heading to Saint Martin in the Caribbean tomorrow for a spring break week of sunshine, fun, and cocktails with tiny umbrellas. The trip was also doubling as a celebration of my son’s 16th birthday.

Obviously, that’s not happening.

Instead, I’ll be sitting at home with the rest of the world trying to keep myself entertained. The fact is, this hasn’t been too hard for me. While I do travel sporadically for work and enjoy the occasional jaunt to a foreign country for a vacation, I am most comfortable being in the confines of my own home. And that’s because most of the things I really enjoy in life are available to me there.

I love to read, and god knows there’s plenty of time for that lately. I could sit in a comfortable chair for hours reading a good book or flipping through a pile of magazines. My favorite spot to read is in a small nook at the top of our stairs. It overlooks our entire living room and has a lamp that illuminates the space with a warm glow, making it the coziest spot in our home to escape.

I also love to play my guitar and the quarantine has afforded me more than my fair share of time to polish my skills. I told myself when this craziness started, that whenever it ended, I was going to be a better player simply from the amplification of my practice time. So far, that plan is working out.

I’m also a huge fan of naps. There’s nothing I appreciate more than an hour-long slumber after having completed the day’s tasks. We have a couch in our home that is perfectly positioned to catch the afternoon sunlight. Laying on that after my chores are done and dozing off to some good music is the best precursor to the second half of the day.

I also consider myself blessed in that my wife finds relaxation in cooking. For years, I’ve enjoyed the spoils of her fascination with creating interesting culinary dishes. Throughout this containment period, she has gone overboard. Almost every day I am confronted with a barrage of treats from cupcakes and banana bread to finer fare like grilled lobster tail and filet mignon with mushroom demi-glaze.

I’m also a fan of meditation, which is easy to find time for when you’re stuck in the house all day. After my bout with cancer, I had to find a way to deal with the inevitable stress and anxiety that accompanies it. I had dabbled in mediation over the years, so I understand its benefits, but I had never made it a genuine part of my life. However, during and after my cancer battle, the activity became a legitimate (and welcomed) part of my day.

Coincidentally, the three sports I enjoy most in life are also still available to me during the pandemic.

While my son’s spring basketball league was cancelled, we still have a beautiful hoop in our driveway that he and I have been playing on for weeks. I work him out in various drills nightly and then we either play one-on-one or a few games of Horse.

I’m also a runner and while there may be ten-fold the amount of people out on the streets and sidewalks, I still get my 5 to 10 mile runs in every other day. It’s nice to see so many people outside soaking in nature, but I’m curious if it will continue after everything snaps back to normal.

My third sporting activity is golf, which happens to be one of the few activities available to the masses during the coronavirus outbreak. The golf course I belong to is open, although the clubhouse, pro shop, and driving range are all closed. I went this past weekend at a time when normally it’s very slow only to find a barrage of people waiting to play. I still got in 9 holes, but the pace was much slower than I prefer.

The last activity I revel in that is still afforded to me at home is movie watching. And while the major studios are holding off on new releases, platforms like Netflix are there to offer great content.

One film I’ve been itching to watch is “The Irishman” from director Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino. Let’s face it. If that crew can’t deliver a winner, then we’re all in trouble.

Thankfully, “The Irishman” was everything I hoped for and more. Written and filmed in the same vein as classic mobster films like “The Godfather” and “Casino,” Scorsese’s adaptation of the best-selling book was pure cinematic genius.

The story revolves around an Irish gangster who works his way into the highest levels of the Italian mafia while also cozying up to teamster president, Jimmy Hoffa. If you like history wrapped in a blanket of seedy underworld characters, definitely give this one a try. It’s easily the best film I’ve seen this year.

A triumphant “A” for “The Irishman.”

Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at

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