Speed Reads

2021 Oscars

Netflix loses Best Picture again but still takes home 7 Oscars

Even after a year when a global pandemic sent audiences flocking to streaming, Netflix has again come up short for Best Picture at the Oscars. But that's not to say the streamer walked away empty-handed.

At Sunday's Academy Awards, Netflix scored seven Oscars, more than any other studio, according to Variety. Among its wins were for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which took home the Oscars for Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Costume Design, and for Mank, which won Best Production Design and Best Cinematography.

Netflix's haul was a big improvement on its showing last year, when it won only two Oscars. Still, the streamer's Best Picture contenders, The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Mank, lost to Nomadland, which was released by Disney's Searchlight Pictures. Disney had the second-highest haul with five wins, per Variety.

This was the third Oscars in a row in which Netflix had at least one major film in contention for Best Picture — this year, The Trial of the Chicago 7 was thought to have some slight chance at an upset over Nomadland — only to fail to win the top prize. Famously, Netflix's Roma was the frontrunner to win Best Picture in 2019 but shockingly lost to Green Book. A streaming service could potentially have more of an advantage in an awards season where some major films were postponed as theaters closed due to COVID-19, but in the end, Best Picture went to a movie released by a traditional studio.

Netflix's head of original films, Scott Stuber, acknowledged in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal that Oscar nominations are "hugely beneficial" partially because they help with "recruiting artists" to work for the streamer. On that front, Netflix is surely satisfied as it adds another seven trophies to its pile. But when it comes to actually taking home Best Picture, well, there's always next year.