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‘The Irishman’ Takes Bows At New York Film Festival World Premiere – Deadline

Martin Scorsese began his introduction of*The Irishman at its world premiere Friday night by noting that his previous narrative film at the New York Film Festival was Mean Streets in 1973.
“It’s extraordinary to have come full circle,” he said. Later, while introducing the cast, he said, “Everybody’s here from Mean Streets, it’s amazing.” Scorsese noted the long gestational period for the film. “Finally found the people who would back it, and that was Netflix,” he said.
Strikingly, no direct mention was made of the fact that a streaming feature was opening the festival — something still unheard of in Cannes and controversial elsewhere.
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Earlier Friday, the film drew upbeat initial reactions from the press (including from Deadline’s Pete Hammond)at pre-premiere screenings, which started drawing lines at dawn (Los Angeles screenings have been held in tandem with the festival). While embargoes kept a lid on full reviews, critics described an absorbing and deeply felt epic, filled with trademark Scorsese touches. Anticipation has built for a decade for the adaptation of I Heard You Paint Houses, Charles Brandt’s book about a hitman linked to (but never criminally charged in) the death of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa.
The film reunites Scorsese with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci for the first time since Casino in 1995. Al Pacino, who plays Hoffa, is making his debut in a Scorsese production.
Eric Kohn, chief critic and executive editor at Deadline sister site IndieWire, tweeted that the film resembles “a greatest hits album from a master of the medium. Yes, that’s a positive.” K. Austin Collins of Vanity Fair declared The Irishman “good. I laughed a lot.” He added that its sensibility is distinct from that of GoodFellas, a film that is an obvious comparison given the parallel involvement of Scorsese, De Niro and Pesci. “This is ultimately a movie about the mortality of everyone in it,” he wrote.
The Irishman will have a limited theatrical run starting November 1 before hitting Netflix on November 27. Netflix negotiated with major theater circuits AMC, Regal and others in pursuit of a window shorter than the conventional 80 or 90 days, but exhibitors held firm.
Building on a banner 2018, when films like Roma and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs put it at the center of the Oscar conversation, Netflix is committing significant resources to redefining the film release model. In a press conference Friday for The Irishman, Scorsese called the production “an interesting hybrid” that challenged the creative team to discover “how you balance between what a film is and what is viewed at home and in a theater or both. We’re in an extraordinary time of change.”
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