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Why ‘The Irishman’ Is a Serious Oscar Contender, but ‘Joker’ Could Suffer

Screen Talk, episode 261: Why an acclaimed fall title might have benefited from a little less hype.

"The Irishman"

“The Irishman”

Netflix

After months of anticipation, “The Irishmanlaunched as the opening night selection at the New York Film Festival, and it did not disappoint. Martin Scorsese’s long-gestating, three-and-a-half-hour epic could have gone wrong in a lot of ways, but it turns out that Netflix was the ideal partner to bring this passion project to fruition. “The Irishman” finds Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino in top form in this behind-the-scenes look at Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance, and the enthusiasm suggests that everyone involved is heading into awards season with a lot of reasons to feel confident about the months ahead.

On the other hand, “Jokerfaces an uphill battle. A few weeks ago, the Venice winner seemed like a major fall contender, but while it could perform well commercially, this political hot potato suddenly must contend with backlash that could really limit its potential as total Oscar bait. So what went wrong here — and what does it tell us about the state of the race as a whole?

These are two of the major talking points in this week’s Screen Talk, as Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson dig through the past week of buzz. Kohn also shares highlights from the NYFF premiere of “Uncut Gems,” and returns to the question of whether the awards campaign for Adam Sandler is in fact a realistic possibility.

Listen to the full episode below. 

Screen Talk is available on iTunesStitcher, and SoundcloudYou can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, review the show on iTunes and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on iTunes right here.

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