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Streaming made Hollywood history again Monday as Netflix picked up a leading 24 Oscar nominations, marking the first time that the company has earned more than any major studio or specialty distributor.
That included landing two spots in the coveted best picture category for Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story. The Irishman received a total of 10 nominations, tying with Sony’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Amblin/Universal’s 1917. However, Warner Bros.’ Joker trumped all three films with 11.
Marriage Story and The Two Popes also nabbed multiple nods for Netflix, or six and two, respectively.
Last year, the streamer received 15 Oscar nominations, including its first-ever for best picture (Roma). More recently, its original movies earned an industry-best 17 Golden Globe nominations. At the Jan. 5 Globe ceremony, however, its only win was for Laura Dern for best supporting actress in Marriage Story.
Netflix has irked theater owners and many in the film industry for not adhering to a traditional theatrical run. Nor are grosses revealed for Netflix titles playing in select cinemas, including this year’s crop of Oscar nominees.
The Disney empire — which now includes 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight — was only one Oscar nod short of Netflix’s total with 23. The tally includes six for Searchlight’s Jojo Rabbit and four for Fox proper’s Ford v Ferrari. Both are up for best picture. Lucasfilms’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker collected three noms, while Pixar’s, Toy Story 4 nabbed two, including for best animated feature.
Sony made a roaring comeback with 20 noms, including two for Sony Pictures Classics (Pain and Glory). That compares to five last year, including just one for the main studio.
Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time and Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, with six nominations, powered the studio’s showing. Little Women, like Once Upon a Time, is up for best picture, although Gerwig was shut out of the director’s race.
“Any day you get two best-picture nominations is a great day,” says Sony Motion Picture chairman Tom Rothman. “In a world where original movies are embattled, Once Upon a Time is the ultimate movie lover’s movie made by the guy who is the biggest movie lover of all.”
Rothman said he was disappointed by the Gerwig snub. “I’m so thrilled for the best-picture and other nominations, but she should have been nominated for director,” he adds. “I think it’s the wrong verdict.”
Universal’s film empire collected 13 nominations, with 1917 leading the way. The count includes two for the studio’s specialty division, Focus Features (Harriet).
Warners followed with 12 noms. All but one were for Todd Phillips’ Joker, which is only the second superhero film in history to be nominated for best picture. The 12th was for best supporting actress for Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell).
Paramount scored one nomination for best original song (Rocketman). Amazon Studios likewise had a low-key year with one nomination for Les Miserables, which is competing for best international feature.
Indie studio Lionsgate picked up four nominations, including three for Bombshell and one for Knives Out. Lionsgate also has a stake in Roadside Attractions, home of Judy, which picked up two nods (Roadside partnered with LD Entertainment on the Judy Garland biopic).
Among specialty distributors, Neon was the biggest winner with eight nominations, including four for Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean film Parasite, which is the 11th foreign-language film to be nominated for best picture. Parasite is also nominated in the best international feature and directing categories.
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