Netflix scores 35 Oscar nominations in year dominated by streaming

FILE PHOTO: Taylor Simone Ledward accepts the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama for
FILE PHOTO: Taylor Simone Ledward accepts the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama for "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" on behalf of her late husband Chadwick Boseman in this handout screen grab from the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., February 28, 2021. NBC Handout via REUTERS

March 16, 2021

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Netflix Inc on Monday landed 35 Academy Award nominations for 16 films, including “Mank” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” leading a pack of streaming services that offered movies at home while the coronavirus pandemic shut theaters.

“Mank,” a black-and-white drama about 1930s Hollywood, topped all films with 10 nods, including best picture, director, actor and supporting actress.

Companies launch multimillion-dollar campaigns for Oscar nominations and wins. The recognition provides bragging rights for use in marketing and help the winners attract top talent for future projects.

Many of this year’s Oscar contenders played on streaming services or were offered via video on demand as movie theaters around the world closed to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

“We learned a lot of hard lessons last year, but a nice one was that people will find a way to go to the movies, even if they can only go as far as their living rooms,” said Aaron Sorkin, director of historical drama “Trial of the Chicago 7.”

Sorkin’s film also was nominated for best picture, giving Netflix two shots at the film industry’s top prize. The company began releasing original movies in 2015 but has never won best picture.

The Netflix films will compete with recession drama “Nomadland,” which is playing in theaters and streaming on Walt Disney Co’s Hulu. Disney scored 15 Oscar nominations overall, including three for animated Pixar movie “Soul” on the Disney+ streaming service.

Amazon.com’s Amazon Studios earned a spot in the best picture race with “Sound of Metal,” the story of a drummer who loses his hearing, and 12 nominations overall, a record for the company. “One Night in Miami” picked up three nominations.

IPhone maker Apple Inc received its first Oscar nominations for movies on Apple TV+. They included a best animated feature nod for “Wolfwalkers.”

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Catherine Evans and Jonathan Oatis)