On Sunday, March 27th, 2022, the Academy Awards will decide if Netflix finally gets to live their “dream” of winning the Best Picture Award, as reiterated by the head of the global film at the streaming service, Scott Stuber.
Netflix has had a brilliant 2021 with various projects that have won them nominations at the Academy Awards. However, the streamer has lost out on every Best Picture nomination, including Roma, Mank and The Irishman.
Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog has a record number of Oscar nominations this year, elevating Netflix’s total count to 27, higher than any other studio on the block.
Based on Thomas Savage’s novel, the film is set in a 1920s Montana Ranch and touches upon toxic masculinity, internalised homophobia, jealousy etc. Campion’s film has already won big at other festivals and might finally help break Netflix’s Best Picture curse.
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst, the film is a frontrunner in the Best Picture race, besides having nominations for Campion and the other actors.
Stuber has been a part of Universal before joining Netflix in 2017, a few years after the streaming service began undertaking Original projects. He aimed at bringing brilliant storytelling from well-known filmmakers to the streamer and helping elevate its position and reputation. From Alfonso Cuaron and Martin Scorsese to Spike Lee and Jane Campion, despite initial “scepticism”, the man managed to realise his dream of making Netflix one of the essential streaming services in cinema. Steven Spielberg, who was initially totally against streaming services entering the Oscars, has recently signed a multi-year deal with Netflix.
Talking about the Oscars ceremony, Stuber expressed his nervous excitement at the prospect of realising their long-awaited dream. “I’m nervous. You never know what’s going to happen in that room. It would be thrilling, it would be exciting, I hope we’ll be the ones who win it. But if not, we’re OK,” he told BBC.
As an ardent cinema lover, he said, “We are all going into the room with that hope and dream. Can you make a film that will be considered best in class?”
He talked about the future of Netflix and mentioned how the world is venturing into a “bold decade in film, as we figure out all these distribution models and how they work together”. This new model promises to grant a brand new platform to “new voices around the globe” to help find the following generation of filmmakers who are worthy successors to the works of Scorsese, Spielberg, Campion, Lee etc.