Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest filmmakers of all-time. Some of his movies are pure classics. Where would the world be without “Jaws”, “ET” or “Raiders of the Lost Ark”? And he’s still got it all these years later, with triumphs such as “Lincoln”, “The Post” and “Ready Player One”.
But he’s not going in the right direction by picking a fight with Netflix about Oscar qualifications. Spielberg will reportedly be taking his case to The Academy at an upcoming meeting. He firmly believes the cinematic experience should be at the cinema – not at home on TVs and phones.
Netflix won 3 Oscars for “Roma” – and “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” was also nominated in 3 categories. Spielberg essentially thinks these are “made for” TV films; if Netflix isn’t fond of proper theatrical releases, then they shouldn’t be allowed to qualify for Academy Award nominations.
Spielberg has an incredible mind when it comes to moviemaking. But at 72, his stance on this issue is really showing his age. He wants to prevent the inevitable from occurring: streaming services taking over the big studios.
What he doesn’t realize is that it’s only a matter of time. Amazon got “Manchester by the Sea” a Best Picture nomination and a Best Actor win for Casey Affleck. Netflix got “Roma” a Best Director win for Alfonso Cuaron. A few years ago, their “O.J.: Made in America” won Best Documentary Feature. Hulu’s “Minding the Gap” was nominated in that category this year.
Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” will be out on Netflix this Fall. Is Spielberg essentially trying to prevent his good friend Marty from even being considered?
Other platforms – and the way we watch movies – are shaking up the industry. Change isn’t always a great thing, but either you accept it, or you’re left behind.
And as someone pointed out on Twitter, when you break it all down, this is all about gold statues. Spielberg already has 3 of them. Should this really matter to him anymore?