Netflix Films Nearly Shut Out at Golden Globes

Netflix
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 05: (L-R) Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix and Scott Stuber, Netflix head of original films attend the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

The Irishman, The Two Popes, and Dolemite Is My Name went home empty-handed last night at the 77th Golden Globes ceremony while Marriage Story left with one award, Laura Dern in a supporting role. Netflix combined had 17 film nominations. Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman were frontrunners in nearly every category they were nominated in but both were overshadowed by numerous theatrically released films. Why was Netflix left out in the cold at the Globes? It’s not as if the Globes are a true barometer of what’s good and bad in film. Nor do they typically represent what will happen at the Academy Awards, but sometimes they might just influence those outcomes. The giant streaming service’s near-shut out could possibly lead to a similar result at the Oscars and the debates from last awards season could be coming back hot.

Netflix Comes Up Nearly Empty-Handed at Golden Globes

Netflix Dove Headfirst Into Awards Season

Last awards season, the conversation around Netflix was centered on Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, a Foreign Language film that was released in a small number of theaters and premiered on Netflix. It marked the first prestige film in the streaming companies history that had a real shot at awards. Netflix has put out quality content for years and never seemed to push into awards conversations since that is mostly a theater business, but with the weight of previous Oscar winner Cuarón and the wonderful Roma, Netflix had its opportunity to shine.

This brought on discussions, angered ones, about letting films that aren’t wide releases be contenders. Basically, because Roma only premiered in a small number of theaters, it shouldn’t qualify as the other films are only in theaters. Plus, the argument about what film really is, and how anything only streamed in living rooms isn’t “cinema.” That was the focal point for a few months centering around Scorsese and the comic book movie. Those arguments possibly derailed Netflix from achieving a Best Picture win but Roma still walked away with three Oscars for Directing, Cinematography, and Best Foreign Language film. These are great accomplishments but losing out to say, Green Book really showed what the Academy thought of Netflix’s film.

Are the Globes Reliable?

This year, Netflix decided to throw nothing but heaters right down the middle with four outstanding films with great talents. However, the Golden Globes seemed to ignore them in what might be a directed effort. This is no large conspiracy since the voting body for the Golden Globes is the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. They are unpredictable. The Globes are televised and seen by a large number of people. The only way to keep normal viewers is to have famous people attend the event and make speeches. Additionally, they want to seem like they are a precursor to the Oscars. They want to reward those films that might be Oscar winners in the near future. Regardless of their reasonings, the HFPA is an unpredictable force in the film world and should not be taken too seriously. 

While the winners of the various Golden Globes have gone on to win an Academy Award, the percentage isn’t close enough to justify their impact. Considering that the voting body is only 90 people and the Oscars voting body is roughly 7000, it’s simple mathematics to see the weight. Netflix has tasted both sets of awards, but there’s no comparison to bringing home the Oscar. 

What Categories Does Netflix Have a Shot In?

Nearly all. With acting talents like Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Eddie Murphy, Laura Dern, Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce, and so many more, the acting awards themselves could be a majority of Netflix based titles. Not to mention the Directing, Writing, Cinematography, and Best Picture categories, Netflix could have one hell of a night. However, even though the Golden Globes aren’t on the same page as other voting bodies, it’s not out of the picture to see an impact. Maybe the Academy voters all start thinking about how great 1917 or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood are and they see those theatrical releases as true cinema. Implausible but not out of the question. How does the Scorsese discussion about cinema factor into awards season? 

Alternatively, all of this could be a large prequel to a Netflix night. There is a real possibility that all four acting Oscars could be Netflix films. The Globes shutting out Netflix isn’t some huge talking point, but more of a narrative for the future for everyone to pay attention to other award shows. Ceremonies like the BAFTA’s or the various film critic voting bodies that have a reputation for selecting great films. The Globes are the prelude to awards season and we’re all just lucky it didn’t select Joker as Best Picture.

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