There has been a wealth of great movies released in 2019 but Martin Scorsese’s latest creation has eclipsed them all at the last minute, as The National Board of Review has named The Irishman the best film of the year.
Scorsese’s gangster epic was released on Netflix last Wednesday, November 27, and since then the movie has received some brilliant reviews.
At three hours and 30 minutes long the filmmaker has certainly managed to pack a lot in as he tells the story of Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran (Robert De Niro), body man and mob hitman to Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) during the tumultuous period pre- and post-Kennedy’s presidency.
The Irishman was in the making for some years but the drawn-out process eventually paid off as the film earned itself a score of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as a wealth of praise from Netflix users.
THE IRISHMAN is just sitting there on Netflix right now, WAITING for you. Watch it. It’s brilliant.
— Kris Tapley (@kristapley) November 27, 2019
#TheIrishman Joe Pesci is the true maestro who out sings his remarkable stellar cast in this brilliant gangster movie. He is utterly mesmerising to watch alongside DeNiro who will never disappoint. #joepesci I am thrilled you did this movie- I am your biggest fan.
— Natasha Ahmed (@tacha30) November 28, 2019
Though there were a few people who complained the film was ‘boring’, the National Board of Review (NBR) has definitively marked the film as a success.
With awards season fast approaching, the NBR was one of the first to announce its winners as it revealed The Irishman to be the best film of 2019. The awards body also named The Irishman as the Best Adapted Screenplay and awarded the NBR Icon Award to filmmaker Scoresese and stars De Niro and Pacino.
Speaking about the awards, NBR president Annie Schulhof said:
We are thrilled to award The Irishman as our best film – Martin Scorsese’s masterful mob epic is a rich, moving, beautifully textured movie that represents the best in what cinema can be.
We are also excited to be presenting Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino with our inaugural Icon Award – they are the true definition of cinematic icons, each with their own exceptional body of work, and all in top form in The Irishman.
— NetflixQueue (@NetflixQueue) December 3, 2019
The NBR was formed in 1909, making it one of the oldest awards bodies, and is made up of a ‘select group of film enthusiasts, filmmakers, professionals and academics’.
Previous winners of the best film award include Green Book, The Post, Manchester by the Sea and Mad Max: Fury Road, all of which went on to receive a nomination – and in the case of Green Book, a win – for Best Picture at the Oscars in their corresponding years.
The announcement suggests The Irishman is a big contender this upcoming awards season, and if it follows in the footsteps of its predecessors we might see the film pop up at the next Oscars. If that’s the case, Netflix could find itself going home with its first-ever Oscar for Best Picture.
However, with other big bodies yet to announce their results we’ll just have to be patient when it comes to seeing whether Scorsese’s latest earns him any more wins.
The Irishman will be celebrated at the National Board of Review’s awards gala, hosted by Willie Geist, in New York early next year.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.