Newsletter: Scorsese’s mob epic ‘Irishman’ premieres

Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in "The Irishman."

Hello from New York, Martin Scorsese’s home turf and the site of the world premiere of his latest film, the long-awaited mob epic “The Irishman.”

My notebook? It’s real clean, like my conscience. I’m ready for a 3½-hour family reunion between Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel, with Al Pacino thrown in for good measure.

Welcome to the Gold Standard, the newsletter from the Los Angeles Times that helps guide you through the ins and outs of the awards season leading up to the Oscars.


I’m Glenn Whipp, The Times’ awards columnist and your newsletter host.

‘The Irishman’ opens the New York Film Festival

Based on Charles Brandt’s nonfiction book “I Heard You Paint Houses,” “The Irishman” stars De Niro as the labor union official and mob hit man Frank Sheeran, who worked with Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). Pesci plays the mob boss Russell Bufalino.

The movie begins screening this morning at the New York Film Festival, with a gala premiere set for later this evening at Alice Tully Hall. By the end of the day, we’ll have a great number of first impressions about the $159 million Netflix film, a budget that ballooned to accommodate the extensive visual effects required to “de-age” its actors in a story time frame that spans decades.

I’ll be at the premiere and afterparty held at Tavern on the Green. You can find my story online at The Times’ website Saturday morning and in the print edition Monday.

"Fleabag's" Sian Clifford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge at the Emmys
“Fleabag” actors Sian Clifford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge celebrate at the Emmys.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

‘Fleabag’ pulls off an Emmy shocker

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her smart, nervy comedy “Fleabag” won four Emmys Sunday night, which was precisely four more than most expected a few months ago when Emmy campaigning began.

How did this happen? Did the show’s Hot Priest have some kind of connection to a higher power?

I looked at the smart Emmy campaign run by Amazon’s awards teams, which included a pop-up guinea-pig cafe on Melrose and an expert framing of the show’s brilliance. Times television critic Lorraine Ali called this year’s Emmys a “testament to the diversity — in budget, subject matter, character and platform — that’s changed the very definition of television.” Or, as I wrote that night: “The Emmys have never been so damn good.”

Tom Hanks will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2020 Golden Globes.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Tom Hanks to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award

Tom Hanks won back-to-back Oscars for “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump” in the mid-’90s but an entire generation has now grown up without seeing him among the nominees. His last lead actor nomination came for “CastAway” in 2000.

Hanks could return to the Oscars this year for his beautiful supporting turn as Fred Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”

The Golden Globes will get a head start on honoring Hanks, with the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. announcing this week that it will be giving Hanks its honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2020 show on Jan. 5.


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