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Netflix dominates 2020 Oscar nods, but jury's still out on whether it matters

Netflix (NFLX) dominated the 2020 Oscar nominations by snagging 24 total nods, the most of any other studio.

With the exception of “Joker” — which emerged as the Academy’s surprise favorite — “The Irishman” led the way with 10 nominations, while the streaming giant’s “Marriage Story” nabbed six. 

“The Two Popes” — coupled with the documentary “American Factory” and the animated series “I Lost My Body” — boosted Netflix ahead of its closest competitor Sony, which earned 20 nominations in total. Those included Best Picture nods for both “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Little Women.”

Netflix also outmaneuvered Disney (DIS), whose blockbuster hit “Frozen II” was iced out of the animated category — shocking fans and critics alike.

Last year, Netflix received 15 Oscar nominations, including its first-ever for Best Picture — and it’s been ramping up efforts to shine bright during awards season ever since. The platform has spent a record $15 billion on original film and TV content in 2019.

“The Irishman” is the platform’s biggest bet, with reported production costs north of $160 million. But will it make any difference if the Martin Scorsese-directed film falls short on awards night?

After all, Netflix did get left behind in favor of the big production powerhouses during this year’s Golden Globes, only scoring one win despite 17 nominations in the film categories.

To add insult to injury, “The Irishman” didn’t win one thing — with critics describing the night as “humiliating.” 

Although the industry shift to streaming seems to be obvious by this year’s nominees, the only thing that will solidify Netflix’s clout are tangible wins — and the Academy might not be ready to give into the streaming trend just yet.

Women, minorities snubbed by Academy

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 12: Jennifer Lopez attends the 25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Some of the biggest snubs this year included women and people of color — a seemingly ‘one-step-forward, two-steps back’ approach given the “Oscars So White” and “Oscars So Male” controversies that have plagued the award show in recent years.

Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”), Lupita Nyongo (“Us”) and Beyoncé (“The Lion King”) were all shut out across a variety of categories.

Meanwhile, Greta Gerwig’s absence sparked outrage across the industry as she was largely expected to receive a Best Director nomination for the critically acclaimed “Little Women.”

This now marks the second year in a row where Academy voters failed to recognize a female filmmaker.

Issa Rae, who helped announce the nominations Monday morning, called out the snub during the live broadcast, remarking, “Congratulations to those men” after reading the all-male list.

Alexandra Canal is a Producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193

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