Netflix walked into the with the most nominations of any studio on its scorecard. At the end of the night, it won two.
Laura Dern won a supporting actress statue for Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach’s drama about a couple’s divorce. It was the first time an actor won an Oscar in a Netflix movie. And American Factory, a documentary about an Ohio plant reopened by a Chinese billionaire, won an Oscar for best feature doc. Documentaries are a category Netflix has excelled in: It took home a feature-film documentary Oscar in 2018 for Icarus, about doping among competitive cyclists, and its films have been perennial nominees.
Netflix entered the ceremony with 24 nominations this year, more than any other studio, including best picture nods forand Marriage Story. But in the end, it lost out for best picture, directing, supporting actor, adapted screenplay, cinematography, editing, visual effects, costume design and production design for The Irishman; best picture, actor, original screenplay and original score for Marriage Story; actress, actor, supporting actor and adapted screenplay for The Two Popes; documentary feature for The Edge of Democracy (the category Netflix won for American Factory); documentary short for Life Overtakes Me; animated feature for Klaus; and animated feature for I Lost My Body.
Oscars are key to burnishing Netflix’s credibility as a go-to place for top-tier original films. While Netflix is known for television-award darlings like The Crown, the streaming service took longer before it focused on films and on breaking into the Oscars. Oscars help win and keep subscribers as the company faces more competition from new rival services likeand , but the cachet is also crucial to luring top talent.
Last year, Netflix won multiple Oscars out of its 15 total nominations, with Alfonso Cuarón winning for Roma’s directing and its cinematography, and Roma itself winning for foreign language film. Netflix’s documentary Period. End of Sentence also won in the doc short category. But Roma fell short of the ultimate prize, a best picture Oscar.
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