Spielberg is concerned about Netflix movies winning Academy Awards

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Photo by Eva Ou

Steven Spielberg is a multi-billionaire movie director who has made an enormous impact on cinema and is likely one of the most well-recognized names in film history.

But, given his prolific status and understanding of the film industry, I find it incredibly disappointing that he recently made his disdain towards Netflix movies known — specifically, that they shouldn’t be considered for Academy Award nominations.

“Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar. I don’t believe films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theatres for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination,” Spielberg said to ITV News.

In a world that continues to rapidly evolve and develop the ways in which we consume media and entertainment, it isn’t surprising that Netflix creations have become viable contenders for awards seasons.

The problems that movie directors like Steven Spielberg are addressing with nominated Netflix films come off as elitist, nit-picky and outdated.

I can understand — to an extent — why a three-time Oscar-winner and blockbuster movie creator would prefer his audiences to view his work as they did when Jaws or E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial were released — sat in movie theatres with paid ticket stubs folded in their back pockets.

Unfortunately, Spielberg sounds more like an old man yelling at little kids to get off his lawn rather than an esteemed film director appreciating other platforms that showcase his craft.

The times have changed since then, though, and the popularity of going to see films at the cinema has differed with the increase in ticket and concession prices.

I love going to the movies, but it’s a treat more than anything else since the expense needs to feel like it’s justified and worth it.

There’s a reason why watching a disappointing movie at the theatre feels like such a letdown — it ends up being a waste of the money I spent to see it.

If I watch a movie on Netflix that I don’t end up liking, it’s an hour and a half of my time that I won’t ever get back, but not much beyond that. I can move on to another movie without any effort, and the only money that’s spent is on the monthly subscription fee.

And although it may disappoint Spielberg that classic Hollywood films are not the only contenders for prestigious awards, the reality is that they aren’t as accessible for average audiences as they used to be.

The critically acclaimed Netflix-release Roma received 10 nominations at the ninety-first Academy Awards,  including “Best Picture,” and ultimately won three that it was nominated for.

This is mainly why I see no reason to prevent beautiful films, such as Roma from gaining the attention and recognition they deserve.

If movies like this can be as equally well-made as theatre-released films but made available to service-streaming audiences who may not otherwise be able to watch it outside of their own home, then why shouldn’t they be considered?

Unfortunately, Spielberg sounds more like an old man yelling at little kids to get off his lawn rather than an esteemed film director appreciating other platforms that showcase his craft.

Instead of having this jaded little attitude, perhaps he could break out into the streaming site himself. Change can be a good thing — even when you’ve been sticking to the same successful formula for over 40 years.

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