The long-awaited Netflix debut of the Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” is officially here. The movie, which features film legends Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, chronicles the disappearance of former Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa. “The Irishman,” which did a 27-day stint in theaters, is expected to be Netflix’s potential big Oscar winner in the upcoming awards season.
De Niro.— Netflix US (@netflix) November 27, 2019
THE IRISHMAN is now on Netflix pic.twitter.com/iIQ8QtrrCA
Reports first came out in August stating that the film would be in independent theaters, though not any of the major ones — AMC and Cineplex affiliates as well as Regal and Cinemark theaters. The reason was that these chains found the four-week period between theatrical release and streaming to be too short. Movies, they stated, must maintain their standard three-month run in order for theaters to remain in business in the long run. Should an exception be made for Netflix this one time, other studios will be requesting the same exception be applied to their films as well.
While “The Irishman” is said to be a top contender at the Oscars, its eligibility doesn’t come without controversy. Earlier this year, the Justice Department had to get involved when the Academy attempted to make rules that would ban streaming services — Hulu and Amazon were included — from winning an Oscar. In a letter obtained by Variety, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division wrote to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences saying that banning streaming services “may raise antitrust concerns.”
The letter stated: “Accordingly, agreements among competitors to exclude new competitors can violate the antitrust laws when their purpose or effect is to impede competition by goods or services that consumers purchase and enjoy but which threaten the profits of incumbent firms.”
All the logistics aside, Netflix went on win four Academy Awards in February — three for “Roma” (Cinematography, Foreign Language Film, and Director) and one for “Period. End of Sentence” (Documentary Short). With the hype surrounding “The Irishman,” we’re sure to hear more about it once awards season gets rolling.