The Irishman - LFF 2019 - Press Conference and Review

Other | Thursday 14th November 2019 | Francesco

The 2019 London Film Festival's lineup included one of the most anticipated movies of the last decade 'The Irishman' by the man behind Casino and Goodfellas, the legendary gangster flick director Martin Scorsese. Guestlist had the chance to be part of the press conference and to watch the first press screening in the UK, with De Niro, Al Pacino, and Scorsese discussing the film and their roles in person after the screening.

'The Irishman' is based on a 2004 memoir which is called I' Heard You Paint Houses 'written by Charles Brandt. The protagonist is Frank Sheeran, with the story exploring his evolving career from his inital position as a butcher through to the role of a paid assassin and mobster. Robert De Niro plays the lead role, and he is not alone: Joe Pesci came back from his retirement to be part of this feature, along with Al Pacino and Anna Paquin.


During the press conference, Scorsese explained that it took approximately 20 years for the movie to see the light, and Netflix saved the day, deciding to produce it. ‘There was no room to make this picture', but fortunately, the streaming network gave to the director creative freedom. In its critique of the lack of funding for this kind of artistic projects, the director criticized how cine-comics are invading cinema and capitalizing the attention of the audience. 

Both De Niro and Al Pacino stated that they were fully committed to this new collaboration with the iconic director. What is really unique in The Irishman is the use of CGI: the director proudly compared their extensive use of cutting edge CGI to a new updated version of make-up. 

The movie is epic at over 3 hours long, but this allows time for a clear, interesting and fascinating narrative about power, friendship, and family. Scorsese is once again exploring a story of criminals and mobsters, but this time his main focus is the consequences that this extraordinary life can create in a criminal's family and social life. De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci are incredible in their respective roles and as good as any of them have been in the last decade, with Pesci particularly shining as mob boss Russell Bufalino. From the start of its 3 hours and 29 minute duration, your intrigue is immediately sparked as the film delves into the lives of De Niro, Pesci and eventually Al Pacino who portrays legendary US union leader Jimmy Hoffa.However, you may find yourself losing attention over the movie's course, with the film indulging in far more dialogue and political intrigue than Scorsese's previous mob masterpieces.

'The Irishman' is a must-watch for the 2019 cinematic season, especially for fans of Scorsese and the host of iconic actors gracing the film. The movie is now in cinemas and it is available on Netflix starting from November 27.

Have a look at the trailer below: