And my wife and my daughter and I all cried at the same place in the movie. It was without words, no big hugs, no facial close-ups. It was extremely crafty. DeNiro's character is a blue-collar fellow who has raised all creative people. He spent his working life coating telephone wire. At first you think it simply labels him as a working man, and it is handy because he can look at the telephone wire as he rides the train. The director and editor can even lay in the sound of phone calls over the traveling shots of the wire to bridge sequences.
But the wire is a true visual metaphor for the connections that DeNiro's character's wife once provided and now DeNiro himself needs to make with his family. And that metaphor comes up and whacks you in the face when you're not expecting it, and damn you, Kirk Jones (writer-director), you made me cry.
Also there's some...what, surrealism? expressionism? Anyway, past and present blend in a way that seems gimmicky at first but is at last eloquent, and while I don't usually worry about spoilers, I think you should experience it yourself. To use an adjective that my son once used about a work of mine, it's satisfying.