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Closing Night Gala

The Irishman

Martin Scorsese’s ninth collaboration with Robert De Niro finds the master filmmaker returning to the genre he has helped define, with a mystery that has never been solved.

Tickets for the Closing Night Gala screening on Sun 13 Oct 18:15 at Embankment Garden Cinema are subject to a BFI Members’ ballot to ensure the fairest allocation of tickets. The ballot is now closed.

Dir Martin Scorsese
Prod Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Irwin Winkler, Gerald Chamales, Gaston Pavlovich, Randall Emmett
Scr Steven Zaillian
With Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin
UK Distribution Netflix

Who killed Jimmy Hoffa? A labour leader and the infamous head of the Teamsters union, whose connections with organised crime were wide ranging, his career ended with a conviction for jury tampering, attempted bribery and fraud, but he was pardoned by President Nixon in 1971. Not long after, he disappeared. Declared legally dead in 1982, various theories have circulated as to what happened to him. Few are as convincing as that told by Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran. The account he revealed to journalist Charles Brandt and published in the 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses, is the basis of this riveting, epic crime drama. Written by Gangs of New York collaborator Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List), Scorsese’s The Irishman weaves an engrossing and intricate web of connected events, audaciously cutting back and forth across decades.

Presented through the prism of Sheeran’s (De Niro) memories of his criminal past, the film uses state-of-the-art visual effects to ‘de-age’ the cast from their 70s through their 30s. The seamless (and astonishing) post-production allows Scorsese to bring together a favoured megawatt cast, all on exceptional form: the former Goodfellas pairing of De Niro and Joe Pesci (out of retirement here for Scorsese), alongside Harvey Keitel, Stephen Graham, Anna Paquin, Jesse Plemons, Bobby Cannavale and Ray Romano. Al Pacino, appearing for the first time in a Scorsese film, gives a performance as Jimmy Hoffa so good you’ll want to watch scenes again straight away, not least the many two-handers with Pacino’s Hoffa and De Niro’s Irishman Sheeran, whose friendship forms the heart of the film. What a way to close the LFF – with a total showstopper.

Tricia Tuttle

Additional information

This is a 18+ screening.

This year we are delighted to be closing the Festival across two venues, Odeon Luxe Leicester Square and our purpose built state-of-the-art cinema Embankment Garden Cinema. There will be an extended intro at both venues, with director Martin Scorsese and members of the cast expected to attend. Closing Night tickets to Embankment Garden Cinema are available for BFI Patrons to purchase and subject to BFI Champion and BFI Member ballot - the ballot is now closed. Closing Night tickets to Odeon are not available for purchase.

Audiences around the UK will have the exclusive chance to see Closing Night red carpet footage and interviews with the film’s creators, beamed by satellite into their local cinema and followed by a special preview screening of The Irishman. Check back here for booking dates and participating venues.

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