Netflix finally broke its Oscar curse with 13 nominations, including its first for best picture and some surprises

roma netflixNetflix

  • Netflix was nominated for 13 Oscars on Tuesday for its movies "Roma" and "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs."
  • "Roma" leads the nominations with 10, and "Scruggs" was nominated in three categories.
  • The streaming giant overcame criticism throughout the awards season to become an Oscar favorite.

It's been a long road to this year's Oscar nominations for Netflix, but the streaming giant pulled off over a dozen nominations when they were announced on Tuesday.

Netflix received 13 nominations total, including its first for best picture for Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma," which led the nominations with 10 (tied with "The Favourite"). Netflix's "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" received three nominations.

READ MORE: Here's the complete list of the 2019 Oscar nominations

The love for "Roma" is strong heading into the 91st Oscars next month. Cuarón won the Golden Globe award for best director and is the frontrunner for the Oscar, which would be his second win in the category. "Roma" was also nominated for original screenplay, positioning it as a strong contender for best picture.

But the movie was also nominated for lead actress Yalitza Aparicio and supporting actress Marina de Tavira. These were less predictable and show that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which votes on the Oscars, isn't holding any grudges against Netflix.

Joel and Ethan Coen's "Scruggs" was nominated for adapted screenplay, costume design, and original song.

ballad of buster scruggsNetflix

Despite Netflix's win for best documentary at last year's Oscars for "Icarus" and the acclaim "Roma" has received, Netflix's push to dominate this awards season has drawn criticism.

Netflix has faced obstacles throughout the festival circuit. It pulled out of the Cannes Film Festival last year after the fest introduced a rule change, in which any film without a theatrical distribution in France would be disqualified from competition (it premiered six Oscar hopefuls at the Venice Film Festival in August, though, including "Roma").

Even Steven Spielberg has spoken out against Netflix, and said last March, "once you commit to a television format, you're a TV movie."

READ MORE: The whirlwind success of Netflix's 'You' and 'Bird Box' shows it's become a well-oiled FOMO machine

To distance itself from that critique, Netflix gave "Scruggs" and "Roma" (as well as "Bird Box") exclusive theatrical runs before they were available to stream. It was an unprecedented move for the company, which usually releases content "day and date" (in theaters the same day as on streaming).

But some arthouse theaters, including Alamo Drafthouse, told Business Insider that they passed on showing "Roma" because of Netflix's demands. The streamer wanted Alamo to show the movie for four weeks in 70 mm for all screenings, which Alamo declined to do.

Netflix is spending up to $20 million on the "Roma" Oscar campaign, though, according to The New York Times, which could have helped it overcome the backlash. Now, Netflix is heading into the Oscars on February 24 as a favorite in the race.

The streamer's 13 nominations was second only to Fox Searchlight's 15, Exhibitor Relations pointed out.

Below are all of Netflix's Oscar nominations this year:

Picture - "Roma"

Director - Alfonso Cuarón, "Roma"

Lead actress - Yalitza Aparicio, "Roma"

Supporting actress - Marina de Tavira, "Roma"

Original screenplay - "Roma"

Adapted screenplay - "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"

Foreign language film - "Roma"

Cinematography - "Roma"

Production design - "Roma"

Costume design - "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"

Sound editing - "Roma"

Sound mixing - "Roma"

Original song - "When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings" from "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

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