Netflix was the main loser of the Golden Globes | Film | DW | 06.01.2020

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Netflix was the main loser of the Golden Globes

It wasn't the films with the most nominations that came out on top but instead, two outliers. Can the 2020 Golden Globes be seen as a commentary on the future of the art of filmmaking?

The Netflix production Marriage Story had garnered six Golden Globe nominations. Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, another production heavily financed by Netflix, was nominated five times. The US streaming service's production The Two Popes had a proud four nominations.

But the Golden Globes gala didn't turn out to be a Netflix festival. Marriage Story earned only one Globe, and the other two left empty-handed. Altogether, the streaming giant had a total of 34 nominations for its film and TV projects — and only left with two prizes.

The winners of the evening were two "classical movies," the wartime film 1917 and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Both had male directors, which comes as no surprise: Not a single film by a woman director was among the nominees.

Woman and man in bed, small child in between

Many nominations but only a supporting actress award for 'Marriage Story'

Big-screen movies recognized

1917 by British director Sam Mendes unfolds its full effect on the big screen, while Once Upon a Time in Hollywood even has movie mystique in its name. Directed by Quentin Tarantino, the story of an actor and a stuntman salutes an era of moviemaking that is coming to an end. Accordingly, Tarantino, a movie history fan, prefers to shoot with real film and not digitally.

Not that the Netflix nominations lacked cinematic quality. Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, pure visual pleasure, ended up at Netflix only because the big Hollywood studios weren't interested in funding it.

Despite its theatrical feeling and long dialogues, Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story fits the big screen — and was shown there too, if only for a limited time and in select theaters. As was last year's three-time Oscar winner, Alfonso Cuarón's Roma with its radiant visuals.

Sarcastic host

Actress Michelle Williams gave an impassioned plea for the right to abortion at the gala, and the organizers made a statement for environmental protection and animal rights by serving a vegan menu.

British MC Rick Gervais spiced the evening with biting commentary, addressing issues such as #MeToo, climate change and the social media.

He went further though, taking jabs at stars and dignitaries in attendance such as Apple CEO Tim Cook. Referencing the streaming services of giants like Apple and Disney, Gervais said, "If ISIS (acronym for the terror organization Islamic State) started a streaming service you'd call your agent, wouldn't you?" Continuing his screed, Gervais said, "You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg." 

Lion on a bluff overlooking a vast landscape, followed by a cub

Disney's 'Lion King' went away empty-handed

Disney: enemy of cinematic culture?

To some film experts, it's not Netflix and Co. who are the true enemies of film culture, but Disney Film Studios, churning out mostly franchise products, sequels and prequels, productions that often seem vapid and schematic.

In a recent interview and widely noted guest commentary for the New York Times, Martin Scorsese recently said Disney's Marvel films were "not cinema." The statement initiated a discussion about the future of film and of moviemaking. One might see the 77th Golden Globes as a contribution to this debate.

DW’s Scott Roxborough on the Golden Globes awards ceremony as political platform, and the pushback against Netflix

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