Netflix has won its first ever Oscar – and is already not-so-humbly bragging about it:
The streaming service had scored a number of nods ahead of the 90th annual Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday evening (March 4)
These included four nominations for Dee Rees’ Mudbound – with Mary J Blige up for two trophies and the Oscars’ first ever female cinematographer nominee Rachel Morrison – but the film walked away from the night empty-handed.
Instead, Netflix managed to secure its first ever Academy Award with a Best Documentary win for Icarus.
Icarus follows Bryan Fogel’s investigation into the use of performance enhancing drugs among cyclists.
The two-hour documentary is the first Oscar-winning film distributed by the company, which is a pretty major milestone in terms of Netflix gaining traction for future awards ceremonies.
Indeed, the win couldn’t come at a better time for the streaming service, as a string of recent straight-to-Netflix-yet-traditionally-cinematic releases failed to hit the mark with critics and viewers alike.
Will Smith’s Bright was a critical flop but did at least find an audience, while JJ Abrams’ The Cloverfield Paradox failed to capture imaginations. They were closely followed by forgettable duds including Irreplaceable You and “creepy” comedy When We First Met.
Then came director Duncan Jones’ streaming service debut Mute, which – despite starring Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux and being dedicated to Jones’ late father David Bowie – was also savaged by the critics.
There is of course hope with the triumph of Icarus and the forthcoming UK release of Annihilation, which stars Natalie Portman as a scientist looking for a cure for her husband and is already getting glowing reviews.
Yes, after a dodgy few months, it looks like Netflix is once again on the up.
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