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Awards Watch – Where Will Netflix Be In The Best Picture Race?

Home » Awards Watch – Where Will Netflix Be In The Best Picture Race?

Awards analysis is provided by Sean from @MathTeacherMovies.

Since 2018, Netflix has not only one or two films in the Best Picture nominee race, but they were frequently front runners. Roma was practically able to touch the Best Picture win until it got brought down by the stigma of streaming. In 2019, Marriage Story and The Irishman were a one two punch that received many above the line nominations but both fell to the popularity of Parasite.

In 2020, Mank and The Trial of the Chicago 7 were both considered front runners at certain times in the Oscar season until falling to Nomadland. Finally, Don’t Look Up and Power of the Dog were nominated for Best Picture in the 2021 Oscars with Power of the Dog being all but unbeatable until it was ironically a different streaming movie in CODA that won. 

This year, however, there does not seem to be a Netflix film that is the front runner for the Best Picture Oscar. In fact, it would be interesting to see if any Netflix film makes the Best Picture race. The main reason that there are no front runners for the Best Picture nomination race from Netflix is that they probably invested in projects that seemed like they were going to be buzz worthy, but turned out to fail at festivals from critics and audiences alike. 

White Noise was going to Noah Bambauch’s follow up to Marriage Story and reunion with his previous nominee Adam Driver, but this was criticized for being too strange while trying to adapt an unadaptable book. Bardo was made by two time Academy Award winner Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu who is guaranteed to be placed in the awards. However, his film was deemed too long and self indulgent and while some of it was cut for the official release that doesn’t bode well. Finally, Blonde was meant to be a huge vehicle for Ana de Armas playing legend Marilyn Monroe and was supposed to let awards flow in, but we all know how that went. 

However there are a few films that do have the possibility of getting on the final list of ten. The two films most likely to end up on the Best Picture nomination list from Netflix are Pinnochioo and Glass Onion. Guillermo del Toro is loved by so many in the academy and he is promoting the hell out of Pinocchio, a film that is quite beloved. The other incredibly popular film is Glass Onion that was huge for its week in the theaters and the festivals and it is the primary focus for most Netflix campaigns, as well as it being a sequel to a popular film that just missed the best picture nomination in 2019.

In recent years, an international film has made the cut of ten and this year it could be Decision to Leave, but it could also be Netflix’s All Quiet on the Western Front which was beloved by critics and audiences alike. The Good Nurse was a film that was plenty popular with two key stars in Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne that are both Academy Award winners and know how to campaign for a film, but it doesn’t seem terribly likely at this point. 

Looking at next year, Netflix has two promising movies. Rustin is the movie about gay civil rights icon Bayard Rustin, directed by George C. Wolfe and starring Colman Domingo as the titular character. In addition, there is Maestro, which will be a film about Leonard Bernstien starring Bradley Cooper and under his direction. These are two movies that were originally going to be released in 2022 but got pushed back and will likely be awards players next year. There are also several other Netflix films that could pop up here that aren’t even being considered yet.  

Netflix is at an interesting point in time between their creative decisions and business decisions and there is a chance that they no longer care about the Best Picture Oscar, but that won’t stop content of a certain quality being made and there is no doubt that something will catch on eventually.

Follow Sean on Instagram at @MathTeacherMovies

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