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Oscars update: Netflix, A24 square off in race for trophies

Oscars update: Netflix, A24 square off in race for trophies
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 25: Overview of Oscar statues on display at "Meet the Oscars" at the Time Warner Center on February 25, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

(Bloomberg) -- Netflix Inc. and the independent studio A24 are squaring off as the potential big winners at the 95th Academy Awards Sunday on ABC.

A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once won two acting prizes while another of its films, The Whale, won an award for makeup and hairstyling. Netflix collected trophies for best animated feature for Pinocchio and and four prizes for the World War I movie All Quiet on the Western Front.

The streaming giant also won for The Elephant Whisperers, a documentary short film.

The two studios are in hot competition, though the far smaller A24 likely has an advantage. Everything Everywhere, an absurdist genre-bending drama is the most nominated film of the night and is a favorite to win best picture.

Navalny, Black Panther Get Their First Wins

Navalny, a documentary from Daniel Roher about Alexey Navalny, the incarcerated leader of the political opposition in Russia, won the Oscar for documentary feature film. Navalny’s wife spoke on stage about dreaming of the day he would be free and that Russia would be free. Roher also spoke out about Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Walt Disney Co.’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever won the award for best costume design. The movie was the latest installment of the popular Marvel franchise.

“Thank you to the academy for recognizing the superhero that is a Black woman,” Ruth Carter, who designed the costumes for the picture, said. Carter said her mother recently died and she hoped the franchise’s late star Chadwick Boseman, who died from cancer after the first film, was taking care of her.

Everything Everywhere Kicks Off Big Night for A24

Everything Everywhere All at Once won two acting prizes, with Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis, both winning their first Oscars for their supporting roles. The absurdist genre-bending drama scored 11 nominations.

“They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it’s happening to me,” Quan said in an emotional speech, referencing his time as a refugee. “This is the American dream.”

The actor played Waymond Wang, the husband of Evelyn Wang, a laundromat owner whose struggle to complete her taxes spirals into a genre-bending multiverse of conflicts. Curtis played a malicious IRS agent.

Read More: ‘Everything Everywhere’ Studio A24 Is Indie Films’ New King

Netflix’s Pinocchio Takes Home Early Win at Ceremony

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio took home the best animated feature prize in the first win of the night. The Netfix film has performed better than any rivals on the awards circuit, also winning at the Golden Globes earlier this year.

Speaking backstage, del Toro said he hoped his Oscar would inspire more Mexican and Latin American filmmakers to break a glass ceiling of racism in the filmmaking industry, which has improved since the 1990s but is still pervasive, he said.

Jimmy Kimmel Kicks Off 95th Academy Awards

The ceremony, taking place in the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, marks a moment in which Hollywood’s elite seek a balance between tradition and keeping up with the times.

A24’s Everything Everywhere, in addition to its critical acclaim, performed well in theaters, a departure from recent years when little-seen pictures racked up trophies.

“All the top 10 highest-grossing films this year were sequels and franchises,” Jimmy Kimmel, hosting for the third time, said in the start of the show. “They say Hollywood is running out of new ideas. Even Steven Spielberg had to make a movie about Steven Spielberg.”

That film and other smaller-budget artsy movies, including Searchlight Pictures’ drama about a dissolving friendship, The Banshees of Inisherin, will go toe to toe with major blockbusters. The Paramount Pictures fighter-jet film Top Gun: Maverick and Walt Disney Co.’s Avatar: The Way of Water both earned well over $1 billion in box-office sales and were nominated for best picture.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is also seeking to move past a controversy from last year. The show was overshadowed by actor Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage.

The industry group has been focused on diversity, though its efforts are a work in progress. Asian actors, such as Michelle Yeoh from Everything Everywhere, made a stronger-than-usual showing among nominees but most people up for acting awards are White. All the nominees for best director are men.

Kimmel poked fun at last year’s controversy. He quipped that this year the academy opted to ditch the red carpet in favor of a champagne carpet as a show of confidence that “no blood would be shed.” In his opening monologue he said that anyone who commits an act of violence would receive a best actor award.

Read More: ‘Everything Everywhere’ Auction Raises Windfall for Charities

The ceremony, also broadcast on ABC, attracted 16.6 million viewers last year when Apple Inc.’s Coda won the award for best picture—up 58% from a year earlier.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Danial Ronald Meyer says:

    DIFFERENT values, differing views and coming from a different generation, must be contributing factors.

    Viewed the film ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ over the weekend. And must declare my surprise, nay shock that it was accorded such impressive recognition at the 2023 Oscar’s.

    Wishy-washy storyline and nothing spectacular about the acting. But then again, I must be in the vast minority with such a viewpoint on the film.

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