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Big News: Apple TV Is First Streaming Service To Win Best Picture At The Oscars
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Big News: Apple TV Is First Streaming Service To Win Best Picture At The Oscars 

The Oscars always attract a lot of attention – or at least dominate the news cycle for a day or two. This year is no different. Despite what may be coming to mind right now, we’re actually talking about the big winner for Best Picture at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony.

With “CODA” snagging the top honor at Hollywood’s annual showcase of stars, Apple TV+ becomes the first streaming service to win Best Picture at the Oscars, further proving that streaming-based entertainment is more than just a passing fad.

What Is ‘CODA’?

If you’re not familiar with “CODA,” it’s a coming-of-age comedy-drama movie that officially debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2021. English singer and actress Emilia Jones stars as Ruby Rossi, a child of deaf adults (or CODA) in the film, which is an English-speaking remake of a 2014 French-Belgian movie.

Emilia’s character, Ruby, is the only hearing member of her immediate family. The film follows her struggle to balance family obligations and her own ambitions.

How Did Apple Get It?

Apple TV Landing Page

After “CODA” made its debut at the annual Sundance Film Festival, Apple secured the distribution rights for the film as part of a $25 million deal. There was, in fact, a bidding war to get the distribution rights for the highly acclaimed movie, and Apple emerged as the winner with its deal. In August of 2021, the movie officially debuted on Apple TV+.

In early 2022, the movie was also screened for free in select theaters. “CODA” received a sizable boost in streams after the Oscar nominations were announced in February, which is similar to how Oscar-nominated movies in the past boosted their performance after receiving a nomination. Altogether, the movie has been streamed in nearly a million households.

Other Honors for the Film

Troy Kotsur, who plays Ruby’s father in the film, also earned an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “CODA.” Kotsur became the first deaf star to win an Academy Award for acting since Marlee Matlin did so in 1986 for her role in “Children of a Lesser God,” which also stars the late William Hurt.

Kotsur made his feature film debut in the 2007 Jim Carrey thriller “The Number 23.” Incidentally, “Children of a Lesser God” is available on various TV streaming services and via iTunes, another Apple service.

“CODA” has earned an impressive list of other notable awards as well, including Best Picture at the Hollywood Critics Association Film Awards. Additionally, the entire cast was honored at the Screen Actors Guild Awards with a win for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

The film and/or various featured players from it have also been honored with awards from the Seattle Film Critics Society, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, the NAACP Image Awards, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

CODA Screenshot

A Growing List of Streaming Film Successes and Honors

Apple TV+ isn’t the first streaming service to earn a Best Picture nomination. In fact, it’s been a fairly regular occurrence in recent years. Amazon snagged the very first Best Picture nomination for streaming-based content in 2017.

This was for the film “Manchester by the Sea,” which stars Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, and Kyle Chandler. However, it lost to “Moonlight.” Affleck did, however, win the Best Actor Oscar for his role in the film, and Kenneth Lonergan won for Best Original Screenplay.

Not surprisingly, Netflix has also had several films nominated for the top honor at the Oscars in recent years. This list includes “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “Roma,” and “The Irishman.”

For this year’s Oscars, Netflix set a record by securing the most nominations, with nearly 30 in all. On a related note, Netflix’s only win this year was for “The Power of the Dog,” which won in the Best Director category.

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