Entertainment / 13-01-2020

Oscar 2020 noms: Netflix lands 24 nominations including Best Picture, women snubbed in Best Director category

Oscar 2020 noms: Netflix lands 24 nominations including Best Picture, women snubbed in Best Director category
Streaming video service Netflix will have another chance to snatch the movie industry’s top prize from Hollywood’s traditional film studios at next month’s Academy Awards. Two Netflix movies, mafia epic The Irishman and divorce drama Marriage Story, scored nominations on Monday for the coveted best picture trophy that will be awarded on February 9. Netflix scored 24 nominations overall.

The Silicon Valley giant, which reinvented television, will battle for Oscar glory against century-old Hollywood studios, including Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures, AT&T Inc’s Warner Bros. and Sony Corp’s Columbia Pictures [nL1N29I0BW].

Warner Bros.’ dark comic-book origin story Joker led all nominees with 11 total nods. The Irishman, Universal’s World War One epic 1917 and Columbia’s Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood received 10 each.

The companies behind the movies are expected to spend millions to court Oscar voters in the coming weeks on TV commercials, digital ads and special events with A-list celebrities in New York and Los Angeles.

Winning best picture would burnish Netflix’s reputation in the film business and give it new bragging rights in the increasingly competitive fight for streaming video viewers. The company began releasing original movies in 2015 and has been trying to build a library of prestige films alongside its dozens of comedies, thrillers and action flicks.

But the digital video pioneer has irked theatre owners by insisting that its films stream at the same time, or a few weeks after, they debut in theatres. Major theatre chains have objected to the timing and refused to show Netflix films. The practice also forced members of the film academy to debate how to define a movie.

Last year, Netflix’s Roma competed for best picture but did not win.

Nominations for The Irishman, which tells the story of the disappearance of labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa, included best director for Martin Scorsese and supporting actor for Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.

Marriage Story stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, who play a show-business couple navigating a divorce and custody battle, received lead acting nominations. Among Netflix’s other nominations, Klaus and I Lost My Body were named in the best animated feature category.

Women were nearly absent from the top awards categories, after being overlooked at both the Golden Globes and the U.K.’s top film prizes, known as the Baftas. All the best-director nominees are men, and the story lines of most of the top films are driven by male characters. The acting and directing awards contenders are largely white, although Cynthia Erivo was nominated for the title role of Harriet Tubman in Harriet.

Major awards shows have come under fire for failing to recognize work from women and people of color. Ricky Gervais, who hosted this year’s Golden Globes for the fifth time, skewered the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for failing to diversify. “There’s a lot of controversy about our next category because no female directors were nominated this year. Not one. I mean, that’s bad,” he said.

13-01-2020 11:15, source: hindustantimes, by James Foster
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