Limiting Netflix Oscars Eligibility Could Violate Antitrust Laws, Justice Department Warns Academy

Per Variety:

The Department of Justice has issued a warning to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The voting body of the Oscars could face potential legal problems if it opts to move forward with a new rule that limits the eligibility of Netflix and similar streaming services from the annual Academy Awards. Such a rule would likely raise antitrust concerns and therefore violate competition law.

Variety is reporting that they have come into possession of a letter from the chief of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, Makan Delrahim, to AMPAS CEO Dawn Hudson on March 21st. In his letter, Makan Delrahim addresses the department’s concern on the issue:

“In the event that the Academy — an association that includes multiple competitors in its membership — establishes certain eligibility requirements for the Oscars that eliminate competition without procompetitive justification, such conduct may raise antitrust concerns.”

In his letter, Delrahim specifically cites Section 1 of the Sherman Act:

“If the Academy adopts a new rule to exclude certain types of films, such as films distributed via online streaming services, from eligibility for the Oscars, and that exclusion tends to diminish the excluded films’ sales, that rule could therefore violate Section 1.”

Delrahim continues:

“Accordingly, agreements among competitors to exclude new competitors can violate the antitrust laws when their purpose or effect is to impede competition by goods or services that consumers purchase and enjoy but which threaten the profits of incumbent firms.”

The Academy has since responded to the DOJ’s letter, a spokesperson says:

“We’ve received a letter from the Dept. of Justice and have responded accordingly. The Academy’s Board of Governors will meet on April 23 for its annual awards rules meeting, where all branches submit possible updates for consideration.”

The DOJ’s warning comes after reports were floated around that Steven Spielberg had recently argued that Netflix films, as well as films produced by other streaming services, should be regarded as “made-for-tv” movies and thus qualify for the Emmy’s and not the Oscars, which recognizes achievements in theatrically released films.


What do you make of this news? Do you agree with Spielberg? Should Netflix films be up for Emmy’s instead of Oscars? And does excluding streaming services from the Academy Awards infringe on competition? Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts?

Recap & Facts: The 91st Academy Awards

Last night were the 91st annual Academy Awards. There was much ado about this year’s Oscars leading up to last night’s ceremony. From losing Kevin Hart as their host to retracting a number of controversial decisions, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences found themselves under heavy scrutiny from passionate, vocal moviegoers and industry professionals alike. Rightfully so, a lot of pressure was put upon last night’s broadcast to deliver the goods.

Perhaps the biggest take away from the show last night was how smoothly everything ran without an official host. The transitions between each of the categories and their presenters was seamless, giving the show a momentum typically absent with a host who is dedicated pausing everything for minutes at a time in the name of some politically charged comedic bit. It was also a nice way to shave nearly half-an-hour off the telecast’s runtime. It was only the second host-less show in Oscars history, but don’t be shocked if the Academy opts for a third host-less ceremony in 2020.

RAMI MALEK
Rami Malek wins Best Lead Actor for Bohemian Rhapsody

As for the contents of the show, there were some pretty intriguing outcomes. Going into last night, Roma and The Favourite both tied for most nominations with 10 a piece. After it was all said and done, Bohemian Rhapsody lead the pack with four totals wins: Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and, of course, Rami Malek won Best Lead Actor for his stunning portrayal of Queen front man Freddie Mercury. Green Book, Roma and Black Panther all tied for the second-most number of wins, each taking home three Oscars.

 

Best Picture wound up falling to Green Book. The civil rights dramedy also took top honors in the Best Original Screenplay category and Mahershala Ali won his second Best Supporting Actor statue in three years for his embodiment of jazz legend Don Shirely. Ali joins Denzel Washington as the only two African American actors to win multiple Academy Awards.

Interestingly, Green Book is only the fifth film in the Oscars’ 91-year history to win Best Picture without ever being nominated for Best Director. The last film to do so was Argo back in 2013. Director Ben Affleck was never nominated.

gettyimages-1131913863
Hanna Beachler (right) becomes the first African American to win Best Production Design (Black Panther).

 

Black Panther was the first superhero film to be nominated for Best Picture. Though it did not receive any other above-the-line nominations, it still made history by becoming the first superhero film to win three Academy Awards. Composer Ludwig Goransson won for Best Original Score, Ruth E. Carter took home the Oscar for Best Costume Design and artist Hannah Beachler became the first African American woman to win Best Production Design for her work on the Marvel film.

Though the dark British comedy The Favoruite tied for most nominations this year, the film only walked away with a single victory in hand. Or should I say Olivia Colman did. The actress won Best Lead Actress, upsetting Glenn Close in The Wife, who had been stealing the narrative all awards season. Glenn Close is now the most nominated living actor without an Oscar win with seven.

022419-getty-spike-lee-hug
Lee (Purple) embraces Jackson during Adapted Screenplay win.

After three decades in the business, Spike Lee finally took home an Academy Award. The iconic filmmaker and his colleagues won for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlackKklansman. Lee was also nominated for Best Director and Best Picture. Friend and frequent collaborator Samuel L. Jackson presented Lee with the award. Needless to say, both were enthusiastic about the accomplishment.

Alfonso Cuarón walked away with Best Director for his Mexican Netflix film Roma. The film’s wins mark the first Academy Awards victories for the popular streaming service; however, Cuarón is no stranger to such honors. He previously won Best Director for Gravity in 2013. Additionally, Cuarón took home Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Film last evening. This now means that five out of the last six Best Director Oscars have gone to Mexican filmmakers.

For the complete list of last night’s winners and nominees, click here.


What are your thoughts on this year’s Oscars ceremony? Did you think it was fine without a host? Did any of the winners surprise you? I want to hear what you have to say, so hit me up in the comments below!

Winners: 71st Writers Guild Awards

The Writers Guild is hosting their annual awards ceremony Sunday night, one week ahead of the Academy Awards on February 24th. It is important to note that the WGA, like most guilds in the film industry, recognize achievements in mediums outside of film as well; however, I will only include the film categories here in this article seeing is how this is mostly a film blog. It is also worth pointing out that the WGA only includes three film categories and that the screenplay categories are considered among the major categories at the Academy Awards. As with my other awards articles, I have listed the nominees under each category and highlighted the winner in red.

And the winners are…

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Eighth Grade - Still 1

Eighth Grade, Written by Bo Burnham **WINNER

Green Book, Written by Nick Vallelonga & Brian Currie & Peter Farrelly

A Quiet Place, Screenplay by Bryan Woods & Scott Beck and John Krasinski, Story by Bryan Woods & Scott Beck

Roma, Written by Alfonso Cuarón

Vice, Written by Adam McKay


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Blackkklansman, Written by Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee, Based on the book by Ron Stallworth

Black Panther, Written by Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole, Based on the Marvel Comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Screenplay by Nicole Holofcener andJeff Whitty, Based on the book by Lee Israel ** WINNER

If Beale Street Could Talk, Screenplay by Barry Jenkins, Based on the novel by James Baldwin

A Star is Born, Screenplay by Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters, Based on the 1954 screenplay by Moss Hart and the 1976 screenplay by John Gregory Dunne & Joan Didion and Frank Pierson, Based on a story by William Wellman and Robert Carson


BEST DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

bathtubs-over-broadway

Bathtubs Over Broadway, Written by Ozzy Inguanzo & Dava Whisenant **WINNER

Fahrenheit 11/9, Written by Michael Moore

Generation Wealth, Written by Lauren Greenfield

In Search of Greatness, Written by Gabe Polsky


My take: An already unpredictable awards season just got even more unpredictable. Eighth Grade won Best Original Screenplay despite not being nominated for the award at the upcoming Academy Awards. Bo Burnham’s script even topped Roma here at the WGAs, which is largely considered the front runner for the Best Picture Oscar. Similarly, Can You Ever Forgive Me? took home the Best Adapted Screenplay award. Though the film is nominated for the equal Academy Award, this is the first time any attention has been given to the film leading up to the Oscars. There has been more hype behind Blackkklansman, If Beale Street Could Talk and A Star Is Born, all of which were also nominated for the equivalent Oscar.


What do you make of this year’s WGA winners? Were you surprised by any of the outcomes? Is there a film you think should have been nominated but was not? Let me know in the comments below!

Filmmakers Condemn Academy’s Decision To Bump Major Categories To Commercial Break

Yesterday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their controversial decision to bump four Oscar categories– cinematography, film editing, makeup and hairstylings and live-action shorts– to commercial breaks during this year’s broadcast of the 91st Academy Awards ceremony.

The announcement was met with harsh criticism from moviegoers and filmmakers alike. The Hollywood Reporter recounts an email sent to all 380 members of the American Society of Cinematographers from guild president Kees van Oostrum. In his email, Oostrum calls the move “most unfortunate,” adding:

“We cannot quietly condone this decision without protest.”

Van Oostrum continues:

“We consider filmmaking to be a collaborative effort where the responsibilities of the director, cinematographer, editor and other crafts often intersect This decision could be perceived as a separation and division of this creative process, thus minimizing our fundamental creative contributions.”

Cinematographers were not the only filmmakers voicing their dissatisfaction at the move. Roma‘s Alfonso Cuaron, who is nominated in the cinematography category this year, took to Twitter to make the point that cinematography and editing are the characteristics that define filmmaking from other art forms:

Academy Award-nominated director Jason Reitman responded:

Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro shared his thoughts in a recently deleted tweet:

“If I may: I would not presume to suggest what categories to cut during the Oscars show but — Cinematography and Editing are at the very heart of our craft. They are not inherited from a theatrical tradition or a literary tradition: they are cinema itself.”

Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki, the Oscar-winning cinematographer of such films as Gravity, Birdman and The Revanant, posted to his Instagram account:

@theacademy @the_asc @bscineCinematography and editing are probably the ‘elementary particles,’ the primordial components of cinema. It’s an unfortunate decision.”


What do you think about the Academy’s decision to bump the four Oscar categories to commercial break? Do you think it will help boost viewership? Or do you, like these filmmakers, have a problem with it? I would love to hear from you, so feel free to hit me up in the comments below!

Winners: 72nd BAFTA Awards

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is the British equivalent of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and last night they celebrated the biggest night of the year with the 72nd BAFTA Awards (the British Oscars). Yorgos Lanthimos’ dark period comedy The Favourite dominated the evening, winning an impressive seven categories out of twelve nominations. Outside of those categories, recognition was mostly spread across different films and filmmakers.

See the full list of winners below…

BEST PICTURE

BlackKlansman
The Favourite 
Green Book
Roma – WINNER
A Star Is Born


BEST DIRECTOR

BlackkKlansman – Spike Lee
Cold War – Pawel Pawlikowski
The Favourite – Yorgos Lanthimos
Roma – Alfonso Cuaron – WINNER
A Star Is Born – Bradley Cooper


BEST LEADING ACTRESS

Glenn Close – The Wife
Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Olivia Colman – The Favourite – WINNER
Viola Davis – Widows


BEST LEADING ACTOR

Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
Christian Bale – Vice
Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody – WINNER
Steve Coogan – Stan & Ollie
Viggo Mortensen – Green Book


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams – Vice
Claire Foy – First Man
Emma Stone – The Favourite
Margot Robbie – Mary Queen of Scots
Rachel Weisz – The Favourite – WINNER


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman
Mahershala Ali – Green Book – WINNER
Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell – Vice
Timothee Chalamet – Beautiful Boy


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Cold War 
The Favourite – WINNER
Green Book
Roma
Vice


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

BlackKklansman – WINNER
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
First Man
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star Is Born


BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC

BlackKklansman
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns
A Star is Born – WINNER


BEST COSTUME DESIGN

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite – WINNER
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots


BEST MAKEUP AND HAIR

Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite – WINNER
Mary Queen of Scots
Stan & Ollie
Vice


BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
The Favourite – WINNER
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns
Roma


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – WINNER


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE 

Free Solo— WINNER
McQueen
RBG
They Shall Not Grow Old
Three Identical Strangers


BEST FILM EDITING

Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite 
First Man
Roma
Vice – WINNER


BEST FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Capernaum
Cold War
Dogman
Roma
– WINNER
Shoplifters


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Avengers: Infinity War 
Black Panther – WINNER
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
First Man
Ready Player One


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Bohemian Rhapsody
Cold War 
The Favourite 
First Man
Roma – WINNER


BEST SOUND

Bohemian Rhapsody – WINNER
First Man
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
A Quiet Place 
A Star Is Born


RISING STAR AWARD

Jessie Buckley
Cynthia Erivo
Barry Keoghan
Lakeith Stanfield
Letitia Wright – WINNER


OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

Beast
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite –
WINNER
McQueen
Stan & Ollie
You Were Never Really Here


OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER

Apostasy – Daniel Kokotajlo (Writer/Director)
Beast – Michael Pearce (Writer/Director), Lauren Dark (Producer) – WINNER
A Cambodian Spring – Chris Kelly (Writer/Director/Producer)
Pili – Leanne Welham (Writer/Director), Sophie Harman (Producer)
Ray & Liz – Richard Billingham (Writer/Director), Jacqui Davies (Producer)


What do you make of this year’s BAFTA Awards winners? Are you shocked by any of the outcomes? Was there a particular film or filmmaker that you were rooting for? I want to hear from you, so hit me up in the comments below!

 

Winners: The 71st Directors Guild of America Awards

Last night the DGA, the Directors Guild of America, handed out the awards during their 71st ceremony. Interesting fact: in all those years, only seven times has a director won top honors at the DGA’s and NOT gone on to win Best Director at the Academy Awards. Something to keep in mind when filling out your Oscar ballots at work, no? Anyways, the DGA recognizes achievements in many categories outside of film; however, for the purpose of this blog, I only included the film categories.

And the winners are…

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film

Alfonso Cuaron **WINNER
Roma (Netflix)

Bradley Cooper
A Star is Born (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Peter Farrelly
Green Book (Universal Pictures)

Spike Lee
BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)

Adam McKay
Vice (Annapurna Pictures)


Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Feature Film

Bo Burnham **WINNER
Eighth Grade (A24)

Bradley Cooper
A Star is Born (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Carlos Lopez Estrada
Blindspotting (Summit Entertainment)

Matthew Heineman
A Private War (Aviron Pictures)

Boots Riley
Sorry to Bother You (Annapurna Pictures)


Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary

Tim Wardle **WINNER
Three Identical Strangers (Neon and CNN Films)

Morgan Neville
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus Features)

Ramell Ross
Hale County This Morning, This Evening (Idiom Film and Louverture Films)

Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin
Free Solo (National Geographic Documentary Films)

Betsy West & Julie Cohen
RBG (Magnolia Pictures)


Have you any particular thoughts on last night’s outcomes? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

Winners: The Critics’ Choice Awards

Last night was the Critics’ Choice Awards, the ceremony where every film critic who is somebody come together to honor the year that just was in film. The Critics’ Choice Awards are mostly important for your Oscar pool because no other organization has a better track record for accurately predicting that year’s Academy Award Winners. It’s a bit of an odd statistic, seeing is how nobody who votes for the Critics’ Choice Awards actually votes for the Oscars. And like other organizations, the critics recognize achievements in television; however, for the sake of this movie blog, I have included only the film categories.

And the winners are…

BEST PICTURE
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
The Favourite
First Man
Green Book
If Beale Street Could Talk
Mary Poppins Returns
WINNER: Roma
A Star Is Born
Vice

BEST ACTOR
WINNER: Christian Bale (“Vice”)

Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Ryan Gosling, “First Man”
Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

BEST ACTRESS
Yalitza Aparicio (“Roma”)
Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
WINNER: Glenn Close (“The Wife”)
Toni Collette (“Hereditary”)
Olicia Colman (“The Favourite”)
WINNER: Lady Gaga (“A Star Is Born”)
Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
WINNER: Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”)
Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”)
Adam Driver (“Blackkklansman”)
Sam Elliot (“A Star Is Born”)
Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Michael B. Jordan (“Black Panther”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams (“Vice”)
Claire Foy (“First Man”)
Nicole Kidman (“Boy Erased”)
WINNER: Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
Emma Stone (“The Favourite”)
Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”)

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
WINNER: Elsie Fischer (“Eighth Grade”)
Thomasin McKenzie (“Leave No Trace”)
Ed Oxenbould (“Wildlife”)
Millicent Simmonds (“A Quiet Place”)
Amandla Stenberg (“The Hate U Give”)
Sunny Suljic (“Mid90s”)

Best Acting Ensemble
Black Panther
Crazy Rich Asians
WINNER: The Favourite
Vice
Widows

BEST DIRECTOR
Damien Chazelle (“First Man”)
Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
WINNER: Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”)
Peter Farrelly (“Green Book”)
Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Favourite”)
Spike Lee (“BlackKklansman”)
Adam McKay (“Vice”)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Bo Burnham (“Eighth Grade”)
Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”)
Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara (“The Favourite”)
Adam McKay (“Vice”)
WINNER: Paul Schrader (“First Reformed”) 
Nick Vallelonga and Brian Hayes Currie and Peter Farrell (“Green Book”)
Bryan Woods and Scott Beck and John Krasinski (“A Quiet Place”)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole (“Black Panther”)
Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
WINNER: Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
Eric Rother and Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters (“A Star Is Born”)
Josh Singer (“First Man”)
Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee (“BlackKklansman”)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
WINNER: Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”)
James Laxton (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
Matthew Libatique (“A Star Is Born”)
Rachel Morrison (“Black Panther”)
Robbie Ryan (“The Favourite”)
Linus Sandgren (“First Man”)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Avengers: Infinity War
WINNER: Black Panther
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns
Mission: Impossible– Fallout
Ready Player One

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
WINNER: Black Panther 
Roma
Crazy Rich Asians
The Favourite
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns

BEST EDITING
A Star Is Born
Vice
WINNER: First Man
Roma
The Favourite
Widows

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Mary Queen of Scots
WINNER: Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Mary Poppins Returns

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Mary Queen of Scots
Suspiria
WINNER: Vice

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Grinch
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet
WINNER: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

BEST SCORE
Kris Bowers (“Green Book”)
Nicholas Britell (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
Alexandre Desplat (“Isle of Dogs”)
Ludwig Goransson (“Black Panther”)
WINNER: Justin Hurwitz (“First Man”)
Marc Shaiman (“Mary Poppins Returns”)

BEST SONG
“All the Stars” (“Black Panther”)
“Girl in the Movies” (“Dumplin”)
“I’ll Fight” (“RBG”)
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
WINNER: “Shallow” (“A Star Is Born”)
“Trip a Little Light Fantastic” (“Mary Poppins Returns”)

BEST ACTION MOVIE
Avengers: Infinity War
Black Panther
Deadpool 2
WINNER: Mission: Impossible– Fallout
Ready Player One
Widows

BEST COMEDY
WINNER: Crazy Rich Asians
Deadpool 2
The Death of Stalin
The Favourite
Game Night
Sorry to Bother You

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY
WINNER: Christian Bale (“Vice”) 
Jason Bateman (“Game Night”)
Viggo Mortensen (“Green Book”)
John C. Reilly (“Stan & Ollie”)
Ryan Reynolds (“Deadpool 2”)
Lakeith Stanfield (“Sorry to Bother You”)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
WINNER: Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”)
Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”)
Rachel McAdams (“Game Night”)
Charlize Theron (“Tully”)
Constance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”)

BEST SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE
Annihilation
Halloween
Hereditary
WINNER: A Quiet Place
Suspiria

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Burning
Capernaum
Cold War
WINNER: Roma
Shoplifters


There you have it. The winners from all the film categories at last night’s Critics’ Choice Awards. Are you shook by any of the outcomes? Let me know in the comments below!