Netflix snags 7 awards, nearly doubling its all-time Oscars tally

Key Points
  • Netflix won seven Academy Awards Sunday, the most of any distributor.
  • "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" and "Mank" won two awards each.
  • Netflix was also awarded best live-action short, best animated short and best documentary feature.

In this article

Viola Davis stars in Netflix's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."

In one night, Netflix has nearly doubled its number of Oscar wins.

Heading into Sunday's 93rd annual Academy Awards ceremony, the streaming service had 36 Oscar nominations across 17 films — the most of any distributor in this year's slate.

By the end of the night, it garnered seven trophies. The second-highest tally went to Disney, which took home five awards.

Since 2013, when Netflix earned its first nomination for best documentary feature for "The Square," the platform has taken home eight Academy Awards. Now, its collection is 15 strong.

Here are the awards Netflix won Sunday night:

  • Best hairstyling and makeup for "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"
  • Best costume design for "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"
  • Best documentary feature for "My Octopus Teacher"
  • Best live-action short for "Two Distant Strangers"
  • Best animated short for "If Anything Happens I Love You"
  • Best production design for "Mank"
  • Best cinematography for "Mank"

"Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" earned Netflix two wins: best hairstyling and makeup as well as best costume design.

Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson, two-thirds of the hairstyling and makeup team who worked on the film, made history on Sunday. The pair are the first Black women to receive a nomination for best makeup and hairstyling and, now, the first to win. Makeup artist Sergio Lopez-Rivera is also part of the Oscar-winning team.

Netflix was expected to also take home the win for best actor, as the late Chadwick Boseman had posthumously received the best acting awards at the Critics Choice, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards this year for his performance in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." However, the award went to Anthony Hopkins for his heartbreaking performance in "The Father."

The streaming service's film "Mank," which centers around "Citizen Kane" co-writer Herman Mankiewicz, led the pack with 10 nominations. It secured two wins. One for best production design and one for best cinematography.

Netflix was also awarded best live-action short, best animated short and best documentary feature.

The tech company has steadily increased its nominations at Hollywood's top awards show over the last eight years, proving that it has made quality decisions about the product it has acquired or produced in-house.

Netflix is known for packing its platform with content in order to keep subscribers coming month after month, but it's also drawing top talent. This Oscar class alone included names like Aaron Sorkin, Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, David Fincher, Sacha Baron Cohen, as well as Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Nominations alone are enough to bring prestige to the streaming service, but wins can be even more enticing to filmmakers looking for more creative freedom in the industry.

The trophies also could coax new subscribers to join the service if they haven't seen the winning films. That would be a welcome development given the disappointing subscriber growth Netflix posted in the first quarter. The company attributed the slowdown to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has delayed some of its high-profile shows and films.

Netflix shares are down more than 6% since the start of the year, bringing its market value to $224 billion.

Stephanie Link on the streaming services Netflix vs. HBO
Stephanie Link on the streaming services Netflix vs. HBO