The Best Picture category is the undisputed climax of every Academy Award show, and this year's selection of nominees holds some very interesting storylines. Having earned its first nomination for Roma last year, Netflix doubled down on its chances to win the coveted prize this year with Marriage Story and The Irishman both getting the nod for Best Picture.
While critics certainly loved both of Netflix’s contenders, they were snubbed in favor of war drama 1917 and Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood at the Golden Globes. Much to the liking of industry traditionalists, who aren’t happy with Netflix’s practice of releasing its films in very limited fashion just to be eligible for major award shows.
The selection of Best Picture nominees this year includes pretty much everything modern cinema has to offer: a superhero spin-off (albeit with a dark twist), a crowd-pleasing Hollywood homage, a World War I drama and the obligatory foreign-language arthouse film.
As the following chart shows, the diversity of this year’s contenders is also evident in their global box office results. While Joker was one of the commercially most successful movies of 2019, Netflix’s Marriage Story was everything but. Last year’s big winner Greenbook had accumulated global box office earnings of $144 million at the time of its Oscar triumph, which is the level of commercial success that Oscar-winning movies typically enjoy.