The 2023 Academy Award nominations have strengthened the increasing influence of streaming services in the film industry.
Gone are the days when film buffs had to wait months to watch an Oscar-nominated movie in the comfort of their own homes. Indeed, some nominees can only be seen on streaming services, while others such as The Banshees of Inisherin, which has scooped nine nominations, can be watched in cinemas or, amongst a myriad of other streaming options, such as Amazon Prime Video.
Traditional cinema versus streaming platforms
Even the blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick, which is tailor-made for a big screen experience, is a smash on Paramount+, where it achieved the accolade of the most successful debut film on the streaming service in terms of viewers, further highlighting the power of streaming platforms in the film industry.
The battle between streaming services and cinemas for the attention of movie fans reflects the level of competition in the entertainment industry as a whole. Music streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music Unlimited are fighting it out for music fans, similarly in the online gambling industry, the levels of competition are just as intense. NetBet offers a range of variations of traditional casino games such as roulette to differentiate its offering from that of rivals in the online casino sector. By offering roulette variations such as Lightening Roulette, the online casino is able to steal a march on its rivals. The ability to offer consumers a wide range of products has become indispensable in the highly competitive entertainment industry.
The perils of filming a literary work
Netflix is also endeavouring to increase its appeal through original films such as “All Quiet on the Western Front,” the German-language dramatisation of the 1929 anti-war novel of the same name, written by Erich Maria Remarque. The first film was directed in 1930 by US filmmaker Lewis Milestone and was based on a screenplay written by George Abbott.
The 2022 film version, which features Austrian actor Felix Kammerer as the main protagonist, has received nine nominations, including Best Picture, International Feature Film and Best Production Design. Although the Guardian has reported that reviews of the film in Germany have been less than complimentary, with the main criticism being that it bears little resemblance to the original work.
The movie Tár, a psychological drama starring Cate Blanchett as a world-famous composer-conductor, shows that streaming services are not having it all their own way. The film debuted in UK cinemas on the 13th of January and is not yet available to stream. The streaming platform Netflix also suffered a blow when the epic drama movie RRR received just one nomination. Many critics had predicted that the Indian Telugu-language film had a chance of being nominated for Best Picture, but ultimately the movie, directed by S. S. Rajamouli, had to be satisfied with a Best Original Song nomination. The film had originally been submitted in a total of 14 categories.
But the complicated ownership of production companies by streaming giants has been exemplified by Women Talking, which has been nominated in the Best Picture and the Writing (Adapted Screenplay) categories. The film is not scheduled to be shown in cinemas in the UK until next month, however as Orion Pictures, the production and distribution company behind the movie, is owned by Amazon, the chances are high that it will eventually feature on Amazon Prime Video. The battle for supremacy between streaming services and traditional cinema has only just begun.