Netflix Movies Will Remain Eligible For Oscars Next Year
Even though Roma ultimately didn’t win Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards (Green Book did), the fact that it might set off a whole hullabaloo among some Hollywood insiders and theatrical purists within the Academy who felt that only movies that are made for and released in movie theaters before any kind of home video should be eligible for Oscars. There have been rumors of a rule change that might exclude Netflix releases like Roma from contention next year — but this week the Academy announced its rules for next year’s 92nd Oscars, and Netflix’s movies will still be in the running.
Any movie that wants to be considered for the Academy Awards needs to have at least a one-week qualifying run in theaters, but they can also have a simultaneous “nontheatrical” (i.e. streaming) release as well. The announcement included this statement from Academy President John Bailey:
We support the theatrical experience as integral to the art of motion pictures, and this weighed heavily in our discussions. Our rules currently require theatrical exhibition, and also allow for a broad selection of films to be submitted for Oscars consideration. We plan to further study the profound changes occurring in our industry and continue discussions with our members about these issues.
The Academy also announced some other changes to various categories. There will be five nominees for Best Makeup and Hairstyling in 2020, up from three nominees in previous years. And the Best Foreign Language Film Award is now the “Best International Film Award.” Oddly though, the Academy didn’t change the rules to reflect the new name. As before, movies in this category will need to be from a foreign country and feature “a predominantly non-English dialogue track” and “only one film is accepted from each country as the official selection.”
In other words, despite the name change, Canada and the United Kingdom are still screwed — and any movie from any country is screwed if there is at least one other extremely good movie released there. So why change the name then? I suppose the optics are better around “International Film” than “Foreign Language Film.” But according to the still-unchanged rules, that’s really what’s being awarded. Maybe the Academy will adjust things further next year.
The 92 Oscars will air on ABC on Sunday, February 9 at 6:30PM ET. As an East Coast movie lover, I thank the Academy for the earlier start time. I’d also like to thank my mother and father for supporting me through the writing of this blog post. And my two girls, who I know are reading at home, you can go to bed now kids! Daddy did it! Wait, is the orchestra playing me off already? I’m not done yet!
Gallery — Every Oscar Best Picture Winner Ever: