Oscar nominations 2023: why the big broadcast Oscar nominee is a dark WWI German epic

The streaming business had a weaker share of the Tuesday morning Oscar nominations than it has in recent years, when the pandemic kept moviegoers at home and tech companies were outspending traditional studios in theaters. most popular titles.

But Netflix’s awards season got a big boost with the belated emergence of an unlikely competitor: the little-known brutal German World War I epic “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which was the only streaming title which earned a best picture nomination for the 94th Academy Awards.

“All Quiet on the Western Front” had nine nominations, including adapted screenplay and multiple technical categories, tying for second with Searchlight Pictures’ “The Banshees of Inisherin” and behind A24’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once”.

Still, by landing just one of the 10 available spots, the streaming services turned in the worst performance in the Oscars’ main category since Netflix presented its first best picture nominee, Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” in 2019.

The relative lack of recognition is another blow to digital platforms after a year of cutting spending by big broadcasters as they rethink their spending habits in the face of increased competition and Wall Street demands for profitability. . Lately, the story of streaming services has been one of cost control, rather than a glamorous awards campaign.

Plus, three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, dating is in style again, and a handful of critically acclaimed theatrical blockbusters, “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water,” gave voters the opportunity to recognize popular survey fee.

“Last year has a big asterisk because a lot of movies had to air because theaters were closed or just trying to reopen during COVID,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice Pro. “Last year, that really reversed, and it seems like the vast majority of best picture nominees will have been theatrical releases, and that’s a huge statement for the industry.”

Netflix garnered 16 nominations Tuesday overall, ranking third among all companies behind Walt Disney Co. and independent darling A24, a big change from 2022 when it had the most nominations for the third year in a row. Ana de Armas earned a best actress nomination for her role as Marilyn Monroe in “Blonde,” and Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio” is a favorite of hers for best animated feature. Other Netflix nominees included the animated feature “Sea Beast,” Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” (adapted screenplay) and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Bardo” (cinematography).

Netflix came into last year’s ceremony with 27 nominations for films including Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look Up” and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter.” Netflix had 35 nominations in 2021 and 24 in 2020.

Among other streamers, Apple earned a total of two nominations, including one for Best Supporting Actor for Brian Tyree Henry in “Causeway” and an Animated Short Film, up from six in 2022. “Manchester By the Sea” and “Sound of Metal”, only had one nomination this year for best Argentine international feature film. Last year he had four for “Being the Ricardos” and “Coming 2 America.”

The transmission drop was not for lack of trying.

In addition to “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Blonde,” “Bardo” and “Glass Onion,” Netflix has backed Noah Baumbach’s adaptation of “White Noise.” Only “All quiet on the Western Front” prevailed.

Apple’s hottest title this year, “Emancipation,” a slavery drama starring Will Smith, took a physical and metaphorical blow when Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock at last year’s ceremony. The controversy overshadowed the Cupertino, California-based company’s $120 million launch, which flopped on the run after mixed critical reception.

With streaming services hot on their heels, traditional studios and specialty distributors dominated the major categories.

Walt Disney, including his Searchlight label, led distributors with 22 nominations, with nine nominations for “The Banshees of Inisherin.” Disney also earned multiple nominations for James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” (which won Best Picture) and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (which includes Angela Bassett as a supporting actress). Disney’s Pixar had an animated feature nominee in “Turning Red.”

A24 earned 18 nominations, helped by 11 nominations for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and several for “The Whale” (with Brendan Fraser as lead actor).

Streaming services spent years chasing Oscar glory because of industry credibility by winning one of the academy’s golden statuette awards to a studio. Eye-catching awards campaigns help companies attract big-name filmmakers. Awards can also increase viewership, whether at the box office or online.

This year could certainly be an anomaly, as the viewing shift towards streaming platforms won’t end anytime soon. Apple is likely to be in the awards conversation once it releases Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which is said to have a budget of about $200 million. Netflix seems to be preparing for future competition, buying the critically acclaimed “Fair Play” at the Sundance Film Festival for $20 million.

“Streaming will get its share,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.

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