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Netflix might have entered the Oscars with a leading 24 Oscar nominations, but on Sunday night it only walked away with two golden statuettes, despite pushing star-studded films with another hefty awards campaign.
The streamer was beaten out in the categories of best picture and director as Neon’s Parasite, a surreal genre-bending drama from South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho, earned a surprise sweep of the top awards.
Netflix’s awards season was led by Martin Scorsese’s $160 million mob saga The Irishman, with the formidable trio, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci; Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, with Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver; and the two-hander of Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce in The Two Popes.
The Irishman failed to win for any of its 10 nominations, while The Two Popes also lost out on its three noms. Marriage Story, made for $18 million, won for only one of its six nominations, as Laura Dern collected the best supporting actress prize for her role as an acerbic divorce lawyer in the drama.
Dern thanked “Netflix and my friend Ted [Sarandos], Scott [Stuber]” onstage, while the filmmakers of American Factory also made a point to thank “the big-hearted people at Netflix” when they won best documentary feature honors. Dern’s win marks the first acting Oscar for the streamer.
Meanwhile, with its first animated features, the streaming giant scored two nominations in the category — I Lost My Body and Klaus — but lost to Toy Story 4.
Netflix entered the Oscars boldly on Sunday just a year after Roma, its black-and-white Spanish-language drama from Alfonso Cuaron, landed 10 nominations and won for three, including for best director. The Roma awards campaign was estimated to be upwards of $30 million, while this year, a New York Times report suggested the streamer had spent at least $70 million — astounding numbers for an awards campaign by usual Hollywood standards.
The Irishman’s 10 Oscar noms tied with Sony’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Amblin/Universal’s 1917. Warner Bros.’ Joker trumped all three films with 11 mentions.
More recently, Netflix’s original movies earned an industry-best 17 Golden Globe nominations. At the Jan. 5 Globes ceremony, however, its only win was for Marriage Story‘s Dern, who was tapped as best supporting actress.
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