Netflix Has Taken 34 Golden Globe Nominations — And Is Changing The Cinematic Landscape

Netflix has officially taken its place as not just a streamer, but a top-notch producer of cinematic content. In fact, the streaming giant has made waves — and set records — by claiming a jaw-dropping 34 Golden Globe nominations.

Of course, some of them come in the television category, with The Crown making a substantial appearance. And yet the nominations mark a notable departure, with the streaming service also dominating in the film categories. But what does that mean for the future of cinema?

In one sense, great cinema is great cinema. More art is art, right? If a company as big as Netflix (or Amazon Prime) has the money to fund the sharpest, most innovative minds and bring together the brightest talents to create something as gripping as The Irishman or as touching as Marriage Story, where’s the problem?

But Netflix isn’t the cinema. Watching something at home in your living room isn’t the same experience as watching it on the big screen and — for the audience and for the filmmakers — so much is lost.

 

 

For an audience member, the cinema is a special space. You get solace, free from distractions. This anonymity — tinged, perhaps with a touch of nostalgia — creates a peaceful, almost otherworldly experience. You have no other job but to sit back and absorb art. And maybe eat some popcorn.

In your own home, your phone buzzes. You decided to do laundry. Maybe you have your laptop open. Not only do you miss out on the experience of watching a film, but these majestic productions — the love and labour of art’s greatest minds — are half-ignored.

One of the reasons that streaming services have been able to create so many great films is sheer funding. In fact, some are worried that the huge budgets are skewing the cinematic landscape, meaning top talents only want to work for the kind of pay that the huge streamers can provide. It can stop them working for traditional movie studios — let alone independents. But if all of the best films are only being half-enjoyed, while we scroll through Instagram or decide to pause to unload the dishwasher, we’re watering down both the artistic content and our appreciation of it. 

There may be a sign that this is changing. A Netflix cinema has debuted in New York, screening their films in a traditional cinema environment. But so far, it’s more of an anomaly, more of a gimmick than a movement. Until we fully blend the world of streaming and the world of cinema — or commit ourselves to being better audience members, even at home — we’re missing out on the essential magic of the industry.