Ironweed is not nearly as grand movie as it wants to be.
Futhermore, the movie is not a triumph for neither Jack Nicholson nor Meryl Streep, who typically can carry any kind of movie, but here they come across multi-millionaires dressed up in rags and pretending to be alcoholic vagabonds. As weak as the story in Ironweed is, the movie could’ve actually gained from not going for the top billing actors, but trying to introduce new talent instead. This way the movie would’ve at least had the advantage of being an underdog.
Now Ironweed remains an expensive exercise that kept Nicholson and Streep on the peak of their careers from undertaking something more substantial – something that the time would not have already forgotten.