Netflix gets 35 Oscar nominations, including 10 for ‘Mank’

Netflix’s original films received 35 Oscar nominations this year, once again putting the streaming service ahead of ahead of any other Hollywood studios.

“Mank” led the pack with 10 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (David Fincher), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Gary Oldman) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Amanda Seyfried). That doesn’t necessarily make it a shoo-in to be Netflix’s first Best Picture winner, however — it’s worth remembering that in 2019, the streamer’s film “Roma” received 10 nominations as well, ultimately winning three awards but not Best Picture. And last year, “The Irishman” went empty-handed despite its 10 noms.

Besides “Mank,” Netflix’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” received six nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Sacha Baron Cohen). And “Crip Camp,” a film from the Obamas’ production company Higher Ground, is nominated for Best Documentary Feature, as is “My Octopus Teacher.”

Amazon, meanwhile, received 12 nominations, with six for “Sound of Metal” (including Best Picture). “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” “One Night in Miami” and “Time” were nominated as well. And Apple received its first two nominations ever, for “Wolfwalkers” (Best Animated Feature) and “Greyhound” (Best Sound).

Of course, this is a streaming-centric year for movies overall. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing theaters to close across the world, the Oscars temporarily abandoned their requirement that films screen commercially in theaters in order to qualify for wards.

And it’s probably safe to assume that most viewers (Academy members and otherwise) watched these movies via streaming. For example, Best Picture nominee and Golden Globe winner for Best Drama Film winner “Nomadland” was released by Fox Searchlight simultaneously in theaters and on Hulu.

The Academy Awards will air on April 25 at 5pm Pacific on ABC.

Original Content podcast: Netflix goes to the Oscars

When this year’s Academy Award nominations were announced on Monday, Netflix received 24 nominations — the most of any Hollywood studio.

That’s thanks in large part to “The Irishman,” which received 10 nominations, and “Marriage Story,” which received six (both films were nominated for Best Picture). As a result, Darrell finally watched Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half hour gangster epic — and he wasn’t impressed by the results.

He explains why on the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, in we discuss our reactions to the nominations, including the eyebrow-raising 11 nods for “Joker.” This leads to a broader discussion of why the nominations were so disappointing from a diversity perspective, and what exactly we want from awards like the Oscars anyway.

In addition, we recap the latest details about NBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming service Peacock, and Jordan offers a spoiler-y review of the second season of Netflix’s “You.”

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
1:01 Peacock discussion
14:21 Oscars discussion
53:17 “You” season 2 spoiler review

Netflix gets the most Oscar nods of any studio, with ‘Irishman’ and ‘Marriage Story’ nominated for Best Picture

Netflix looks like a serious contender at this year’s Academy Awards, with its films receiving 24 nominations — more than any other Hollywood studio.

“The Irishman” received 10 nominations, including Best Picture, Director (Martin Scorsese), Actor in a Supporting Role (Al Pacino and Joe Pesci), Adapted Screenplay (Steven Zaillian) and Visual Effects.

Another Netflix movie, “Marriage Story,” received six nominations — Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role (Adam Driver), Actress in a Leading Role (Scarlett Johansson), Actress in a Supporting Role (Laura Dern), Original Screenplay (Noah Baumbach) and Original Score (Randy Newman).

Other Netflix films with nominations include “The Two Popes,” “I Lost My Body” and “Klaus.”

However, even “The Irishman” couldn’t match the 11 nods for “Joker,” the most-nominated movie of the year. And despite receiving a number of nominations, Netflix came away relatively empty-handed from this year’s Golden Globes — winning just two awards, one for Dern’s performance in “Marriage Story” and the other for Olivia Coleman in “The Crown.”

Last year, Netflix’s “Roma” received 10 nominations and ultimately won three, including Best Director,. but it lost out on Best Picture, which went to the traditionally distributed “Green Book.”

There were also reports earlier this year of a campaign led by director Steven Spielberg that would have required Netflix and other streaming keep their movies exclusively in theaters for at least four weeks in order to be eligible for Oscars. Ultimately, those changes didn’t happen, but it’s a reminder that there’s some lingering industry skepticism towards streaming.

Beyond the Netflix news, the nominations were also notably disappointing from a diversity standpoint, with all-male nominees for Best Director, and only a single acting nominee of color (Cynthia Erivo for “Harriet”).

The Oscars won’t change their rules to exclude streaming

It looks like movies produced by Netflix and other streaming services will be able to compete for next year’s Academy Awards without any changes to eligibility.

After the Netflix Original film “Roma” was nominated for Best Picture at this year’s ceremony and ultimately took home the awards for Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography, the Academy’s Board of Directors was mulling possible rule changes.

The crux of the debate seems to be Netflix’s theatrical strategy. The company insisted for years that it was willing to release its movies in theaters, but it would not hold those titles back from the streaming service, which meant that most large chains were unwilling to screen them. Netflix finally eased up on this practice last year, with “Roma” (and a handful of other films) opening in theaters before they launched on Netflix, but with a much shorter theatrical window than is traditional.

Director Steven Spielberg was reportedly an advocate for changing the rules in a way that would have made it harder for Netflix movies to compete — perhaps by requiring that films play exclusively in theaters for four weeks.

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice weighed in, sending a letter to the Academy stating that if it makes eligibility changes that “eliminate competition without procompetitive justification, such conduct may raise antitrust concerns.”

Now the Academy has put out a press release summarizing rules changes voted on by its Board of Governors (like renaming the Foreign Language Film award to International Feature Film).

The release notes that the board voted not to change Rule Two, Eligibility, which describes the theatrical run needed to be eligible for an Oscar. It says that “a film must have a minimum seven-day theatrical run in a Los Angeles County commercial theater, with at least three screenings per day for paid admission” in order to be eligible — but the film can also be released on “nontheatrical media” at the same time.

“We support the theatrical experience as integral to the art of motion pictures, and this weighed heavily in our discussions,” said Academy President John Bailey in a statement. “Our rules currently require theatrical exhibition, and also allow for a broad selection of films to be submitted for Oscars consideration. We plan to further study the profound changes occurring in our industry and continue discussions with our members about these issues.”

Netflix defends its impact on the movie business ahead of Oscars debate

Netflix did pretty well at this year’s Academy Awards, but it’s also facing pushback from some big names in the movie business.

“Roma” took home more high-profile Oscars (Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography) than any Netflix or streaming original before it. But it lost out to “Green Book” for Best Picture, a race where its association with Netflix may have hurt its chances — though it faced other obstacles, like the fact that the Academy has never given Best Picture to a foreign language film.

Now director Steven Spielberg is reportedly preparing to speak out on against Netflix at the next meeting of the Academy’s Board of Governors.

It’s not entirely clear what Spielberg is proposing — the initial story in Variety said it was “unclear what specific rule changes he would advocate for,” while a more recent Hollywood Reporter piece suggests that he’s suggesting that movies be required to play exclusively in theaters for at least four weeks to be eligible for an Oscar.

Whatever the specifics of his plan, Spielberg has been open about his feelings on Netflix and awards before, arguing in an interview last year that Netflix original films were “TV movies” that should be up for Emmys, not Oscars.

The news has, perhaps inevitably, led to debate about Netflix’s impact on the movie business — for some, it’s time to trot out the “old man yells at clouds” meme, which in turn has prompted others to criticize the streaming company’s lackluster selection of movies (particularly older films), plus its resistance to putting its movies in theaters before they go live on Netflix.

Clearly, the discussion has gone beyond the Oscars themselves, tapping into broader anxiety about the threat that Netflix and streaming poses to the theatrical model. It’s the same anxiety that prompted the Cannes Film Festival to announce a rule that prevented Netflix films from competing (a rule the festival may be reconsidering), and that led the major theater chains to refuse to show “Roma,” even after it was nominated for 10 Oscars.

The debate has gotten Netflix’s attention too, with a tweet yesterday declaring, “We love cinema.” It goes on to argue that the service brings movies to people who can’t afford or don’t have access to movie theaters, gives everyone access to movies at the same time and gives filmmakers “more ways to share art.”

“Netflix, good or bad for the movies?” is an argument that isn’t going away anytime soon,  and it’s far beyond the scope of this article to settle it.

I will say this, though: I’m glad Netflix financed “Roma,” but I’m also glad Netflix backed down from its initial, hard-line stance on theatrical releases — if only because I’ve seen “Roma” on the big screen, and that’s how it deserves to be watched.

I’m certainly glad that Netflix has helped movies like “Roma,” “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” “The Meyerowitz Stories” and “Okja” to get made. But if a little Spielbergian pressure means that the company gets more serious about releasing its movies in theaters, even better.

Netflix’s ‘Roma’ nominated for 10 Oscars, including best picture and director

Netflix and Hulu will both have films in the running at the Academy Awards this year. Netflix changed its rules for theatrical releases to give “Roma” a better chance during awards season and it paid off today when the Alfonso Cuarón film was nominated for 10 Oscars, including best picture and best director. Netflix’s “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” directed by Ethan and Joel Coen, received three nominations.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced nominees this morning for the ceremony, which will take place on Feb. 24. “Roma” is also in the running for best leading actress (Yalitza Aparcio), original screenplay (by Cuarón), cinematography, production design, foreign language film, sound editing, sound mixing, and best supporting actress (Marina De Tavira).

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” was nominated for best adapted screenplay (by the Coen brothers), original song, and costuming.

Hulu’s “Minding the Gap” is competing for best documentary feature, while Netflix’s “End Game” was nominated for best documentary short subject. Out of the three big streaming services, only Amazon didn’t get any nominations, but it also didn’t have any major film releases this year.

“Roma” will be up against “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Favourite,” “Green Book,” “A Star is Born,” and “Vice” for best picture.

The other films with the most nominations were “A Star is Born” and “Vice,” both with eight, “Black Panther” with seven, and “BlacKkKlansman” with six. “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Green Book” each received five nominations.

Netflix changed its theatrical release policy to allow theaters an exclusive release window for “Roma,” which won Golden Globes for best foreign language film and best director earlier this month. It had previously insisted that movies could only be released in theaters if they premiered on its streaming service at the same time. This meant few theaters were willing to carry Netflix films, hurting their chances for major nominations. After the rule change, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” was also given an exclusive theatrical run in some markets, as was “Bird Box.”

The entire list of Oscar nominees is here.

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Netflix’s ‘Mudbound’ scores four Oscar nominations

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