The beauty of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman lies not in its exclamations but its subtleties—weaving a grandiose narrative with surgical precision. It is in its ability to convey that extraordinary narrative in ordinary ways. The characters are touching, when they could be construed as anything but that. After all, they’re mobsters. This level of humanness is impressive for Scorsese’s standards, compared to greats like Taxi Driver, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The Departed. It marks Scorsese’s maturation as an artist, a wiser and more sentimental one. Despite The Irishman’s fireworks, it is a cold, enthralling, 3.5-hour epic.

The film is consummate. The screenplay is marvelous, the historical anecdotes are smart, the pacing is smooth, the set is apt, the shots are beautiful, the soundtrack is great, and the result is enlightening. Based on a true story and featuring historical figures (with an ensemble including Robert de Niro, Al Pacino, & Joe Pesci—who were all brilliant), The Irishman combines the merits of a documentary feature and an ambitious epic. The only “drawback” is its length. But it’s already on Netflix. So you could just break up your viewing into 3-5 sections.

Rating: 9/10

I decided when I saw it a few months ago that I wouldn’t review The Irishman. I thought it would generate enough hype on its own, everyone would watch *the new Scorsese,* and it would rack up many accolades. But now that I get the feeling it will be snubbed of several deserved awards tonight at the Oscars, I had to post a mini review. Here are my picks.

Oscar Predictions

Best Picture

Who Should Win: Parasite

Who Will Win: Parasite—Upset Alert: 1917 is the heavy favorite

Best Actor

Who Should Win: Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

Who Will Win: Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)—This should be his 4th Oscar (Gladiator, Walk the Line, The Master, Joker), but he often gets snubbed

Best Actress:

Who Should Win: Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story) or Renee Zellweger (Judy)

Who Will Win: Renee Zellweger (Judy)

Best Director

Who Should Win: Bong Joon Ho (Parasite) or Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood)

Who Will Win: Bong Joon Ho (Parasite)—Upset Alert: Sam Mendes (1917) is the heavy favorite

Best Original Screenplay:

Who Should Win: Parasite

Who Will Win: Parasite

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Who Should Win: The Irishman or Little Women

Who Will Win: Jojo Rabbit

Best Supporting Actor:

Who Should Win: Joe Pesci (The Irishman) or Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood)

Who Will Win: Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood)

Best Supporting Actress:

Who Should Win: Laura Dern (Marriage Story)

Who Will Win: Laura Dern (Marriage Story)

Best Cinematography:

Who Should Win: 1917 or The Irishman

Who Will Win: 1917

Best Foreign Language Film:

Who Should Win: Parasite

Who Will Win: Parasite

Best Animated Feature:

Who Should Win: I Lost My Body or Toy Story 4

Who Will Win: Toy Story 4

Best Documentary Feature:

Who Should Win: For Sama or American Factory

Who Will Win: American Factory

Best Original Score:

Who Should Win: Joker

Who Will Win: Joker

Best Production Design:

Who Should Win: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Who Will Win: Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Best Film Editing:

Who Should Win: Parasite or Ford v Ferrari

Who Will Win: Parasite

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

Who Should Win: Bombshell

Who Will Win: Bombshell

Best Costume Design:

Who Should Win: Little Women or Jojo Rabbit

Who Will Win: Little Women

Best Sound Editing:

Who Should Win: 1917

Who Will Win: 1917

Best Sound Mixing:

Who Should Win: 1917

Who Will Win: 1917

Best Visual Effects:

Who Should Win: 1917 or Avengers: Endgame

Who Will Win: 1917

Snubbed of Nominations: Best Picture – Portrait of a Lady on Fire & Uncut Gems; Best Actor – George MacKay (1917); Best Actress – Cate Blanchett (Where’d You Go, Bernadette); Best Director – Greta Gerwig (Little Women).

Winners of the Night: Parasite (best film of 2019), 1917 (many awards too), Joaquin Phoenix (best acting of 2019), Bong Joon Ho (best writing & directing of 2019), Scarlett Johansson (nominated for both lead & supporting actress, and Brad Pitt (for finally winning an acting Oscar), and Adam Driver—because though he & Leo DiCaprio, two of the best actors alive, were unlucky to go up against the incomparable Joaquin Phoenix, they are class acts and will only use this as further momentum to win future Oscars.

Losers of the Night: Joker (for winning just a few despite leading the pack with 11 nominations) and The Academy (for nominating even Todd Phillips over Greta Gerwig in a mediocre, all-male Best Director selection).

Final Update: The ones I missed were Best Sound Editing and Best Film Editing, which both went to Ford v Ferrari instead of 1917. Goodnight!