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December 03, 2019

'The Irishman' named Best Film of 2019 by National Board of Review

Martin Scorsese's epic about the life of Philly-area mobster Frank Sheeran earns a huge accolade

Movies Awards
The Irishman best film 2019 Contributed image/Netflix

The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures named Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman", which tells the story of influential Philly-area mobster Frank Sheeran, its Best Film of 2019.

Martin Scorsese's new, colossal mob tale "The Irishman" took Thanksgiving weekend by storm when it hit Netflix, to largely rave reviews. This week, the film earned a huge thumbs up from the film world itself.

The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, the 110-year-old organization dedicated to selecting the finest films and performances of the year, named "The Irishman" its 2019 Best Film on Tuesday. Scorsese's flick earned the accolade ahead of "1917", "Knives Out", and "Ford v Ferrari", among others, according to the NBR's official awards announcement.

You can read PhillyVoice's full review of the film here.

The film features a few pointed Philly-area shoutouts, particularly in the early going, including the Italian Market's Villa di Roma restaurant, the famed Arthur Tofani Jr. doors from South Philly, and more than a few Delaware County mentions.

Scorsese, Robert De Niro (who plays Sheeran), and Al Pacino (who plays union leader Jimmy Hoffa) also received the NBR's first-ever Icon Award.

Screenwriter Steven Zaillian also won the NBR's Best Adapted Screenplay award for the film. The screenplay leaned heavily on Charles Brandt's 2004 book "I Heard You Paint Houses", which included one-on-one interviews with Sheeran himself. Sheeran claimed in the book that he killed Hoffa.

NBR President Annie Schulhof called the film a "masterful mob epic", per the Hollywood Reporter:

"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," NBR president Annie Schulhof said in a statement. "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."

When it debuted at the New York Film Festival in late September, "The Irishman" received a perfect "100% Fresh" rating on film review site Rotten Tomatoes across 47 reviews. The film's Rotten Tomatoes score currently sits at 96%.

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