Much has been written about the pivot from cinema to streaming services. Some claim it’s the death of cinema, others claim it’s just the future with less people talking loudly next to you.
Netflix, it’s fair to say, is firmly in the latter camp. Lately they’ve been hammering out original productions, released for a short time in cinemas to qualify for awards before landing firmly on the platform, with varying degrees of success.
For instance, for every auteurs masterpiece (see Roma) you get a hackneyed version of a recent hit (see The Silence). What we’re saying is: it’s been hit and miss so far.
A cast including Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, Martin Scorcese directing, a tale of mob betrayal: The Irishman looks so good on paper that it almost couldn’t fail. But then you remember films like The Dark Tower: A film based on a Stephen King classic starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey that was described by The BBC's Mark Kermode as one of the most boring films he’d ever seen.
Thankfully, Scrocese has not fumbled the ball with this one and are very happy to report that after its world premier at the New York Film Festival this weekend, Netflix’s newest and perhaps most hyped production to date, The Irishman, is being heralded a masterpiece.
After its 1 November theatrical release and subsequent shift to Netflix on 27 November was announced, some cinephiles questioned whether it could even be called a film. The reviews though, beg to differ.
ScreenDaily has called it “vintage Scorcese” The Guardian says it’s an “exquisitely made mob epic” and the New York Times calls it “monumental”.
Expect contrarion reviews to surface soon enough. This is, after all, the Internet. In the meantime, sleep well in the knowledge that a stone cold gangster classic is coming to a Cinema, laptop or even (but please, don’t) a mobile phone near you in barely more than a month’s time.