‘The Irishman’ named best picture by New York Film Critics

Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro in "The Irishman"
Joe Pesci, left, and Robert De Niro in a scene from Martin Scorsese’s sprawling crime epic “The Irishman.”
(Associated Press)

The New York Film Critics Circle named “The Irishman” the year’s best film on Wednesday, handing Martin Scorsese’s mob epic its second such honor in two days.

It’s the second time Scorsese has received the top award from his hometown’s critics following 1990’s “GoodFellas.” They also named him best director in 2006 for “The Departed.”

The win added more momentum to the awards-season campaign for “The Irishman,” which on Tuesday was also named best film by the National Board of Review. The New York critics additionally bestowed best supporting actor on Joe Pesci’s performance in the film.


If “The Irishman” were to go all the way, it would give Netflix its first best picture Academy Award. The New York critics last year chose another Netflix title, Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” as its best film.

“The Irishman” is Martin Scorsese’s second Netflix release of 2019, a year in which the cinematic statesman has emerged more vital and relevant than ever.

Nov. 29, 2019

The critics selected Lupita Nyong’o (“Us”) for best actress and Antonio Banderas (“Pain & Glory”) for best actor. Laura Dern was named best supporting actress for her performances in both Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” and Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women.”

Best director went to a pair of native New Yorkers: Josh and Benny Safdie, whose upcoming “Uncut Gems” stars Adam Sandler as a dealer in Manhattan’s diamond district.

The New York Film Critics Circle, founded in 1935, will hand out the awards for their 85th ceremony on Jan. 7. The group added two special awards for composer Randy Newman, who scored both “Marriage Story” and “Toy Story 4” this year, and the indie film preservation nonprofit IndieCollect.


The rest of their winners are:

Best Non-Fiction Film: “Honeyland”

Best Screenplay: “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood”

Best Cinematography: Claire Mathon for “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”

Best Foreign Language Film: “Parasite”

Best Animated Film: “I Lost My Body”