The Irishman viewers have been left upset over the lack of dialogue given to lead actress Anna Paquin, who speaks just six words throughout the three and a half hour Netflix film.
The Wellington-raised 37-year-old stars in Martin Scorsese’s movie alongside Hollywood heavyweights Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.
• What the critics are saying about Martin Scorsese’s new film The Irishman
• Trailer released for Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci
• Netflix seeks to disrupt the world of high-end film with ‘The Irishman’
• Watch: First trailer for Martin Scorsese’s new Netflix film The Irishman
Paquin plays Peggy, the daughter of De Niro’s character, Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran, a real-life hitman and war veteran who worked for infamous Teamsters union leader Jimmy Hoffa and the Bufalino crime family.
But despite having the only pivotal female role, Paquin only appears in a few scenes and enjoys less than 10 minutes of screen time.
Fans have since taken to social media to express their disappointment at the lack of female representation in the Netflix epic.
“Release the rogue cut of the irishman so anna paquin can talk!” one fan wrote on Twitter.
“My only real criticism is how #TheIrishman cast Anna Paquin as Robert DeNiro’s daughter and I believe she only has one line (though I might think it was partly intentional),” posted another.
“#AnnaPaquin gets only one line in @TheIrishmanFilm. What was the point of casting her let alone creating the part to begin with?! #TheIrishman #MartinScorsese #Scorsese,” complained a third.
“‘This annoyed me about The Irishman. Anna Paquin is such a great actress, I was waiting for her to speak more than a line and… it didn’t happen,” a fourth added.
However, other critics insist Paquin’s lack of lines helped add some beauty and subtlety to the film.
“Hot take: Anna Paquin is excellent in THE IRISHMAN and her lack of dialogue is both the point and what makes her arc so devastating,” wrote one fan.
“In The Irishman, @AnnaPaquin has only one major moment of dialogue, and not only is it a perfectly directed and written moment, her delivery of that dialogue is spot on, and its one of my favorite moments in the entire movie. God, what a great movie this is. #TheIrishman,” praised another.
Paquin downplayed the controversy while speaking at the film’s UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival, telling MailOnline the lack of dialogue made sense for her character and in terms of her father-daughter relationship with Sheeran.
“I think a lot can be said without words,” she said. “I think sometimes a look is worth a thousand words and the internalised judgement that she has passed on her father is not something that she would be able to verbalise, not at that stage of her life.
“She’d need 20 years of therapy to be able to explain to him why he was a problematic parent. But it was really interesting, it was a bit of a challenge but one that was incredibly exciting for me.”