Netflix has finally outdone Hollywood at the Golden Globes

Netflix has taken over prestige cinema.
Netflix has taken over prestige cinema.
Image: Reuters
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Netflix, in six short years, has morphed from a streaming service into a prestige television and film powerhouse. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association kicked off awards season today by announcing the nominees for next year’s Golden Globes, and the streaming giant snatched a record 34 nominations for its work across the film and television categories.

This is also the first year that Netflix upended traditional Hollywood studios on the award show circuit. With 17 nominations on the motion picture side, Netflix drew more nods than any other motion picture distributor. It has more than twice the number of nominations as Sony Pictures Releasing, the studio with the second-largest number of nominations.

Of the five films nominated for Best Motion Picture in the drama category, Netflix has distributed three of them (The Irishman, Marriage Story, and Two Popes). Dolemite Is My Name, which featured a comeback from Eddie Murphy, won Netflix two nominations, for both Best Motion Picture in the comedy or musical category and Best Actor in the same category for Murphy. Les Misérables, the French-language Cannes favorite that Amazon snatched up for $1.5 million, drew a nod for the best feature film in the foreign language category, and Annette Bening was nominated for her performance in The Report.

Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are also competing with premium network channels like HBO and Showtime for attention from the Golden Globes. With a combined 18 total nominations this year, the prestige TV giants are still holding their own on the awards show circuit. HBO’s Succession, Chernobyl, Barry, and Big Little Lies all drew nominations this year. But Netflix isn’t too far behind, with 17 nominations for its television shows. And when combined, the number of Golden Globe nominations across all streaming services outnumbered  that of HBO and other premium cable networks.

Given that a Golden Globe win can sometimes be an accurate forecast for Oscar success, 2020 could be the first year we see a streaming movie win Hollywood’s top honor: Best Picture. Back in 2013, when Netflix earned its first Golden Globe nominations for the first seasons of House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, the idea of the streaming service posing a real threat to prestige TV stalwarts like HBO—much less Hollywood—was still laughable. 

Now, in 2019, it seems that streaming is poised to take over both the traditional TV and film industries. Back in April, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors voted to keep rules that would allow streaming movies to be eligible for the Oscars. The board’s decision, along with the involvement of the likes of establishment figures like Martin Scorsese, Anthony Hopkins, Eddie Murphy, and others, is a sign that streaming services may have a permanent home in the awards show circuit.