CODA or the historic slap of platform films at the 2022 Oscars

The Apple TV+ movie is the first-ever “original” from a streaming service to win the Best Picture Oscar. A turning point in the history of the 7th art?

History will certainly remember only the slap. This crazy gesture from Will Smith, which still resonates on Chris Rock’s cheek and which totally eclipsed the rest of the evening. Especially the triumph of CODA, surprise winner of the Best Picture Oscar. Too bad, because it was a real historic moment, in more ways than one.

The Oscars 2022 gained 56% of viewers

Already because CODA is the very first feature film worn by actors who are mostly deaf to walk away with the supreme trophy. Troy Kotsur thus becomes the very first hard-of-hearing actor to win a statuette, and joins his wife of CODAMarlee Matlin, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1986. We can also point out that this is the very first time that the Academy has agreed with the Sundance Festival, the lair of American indie cinema, or CODA was crowned in 2021. And then it is also the first time that a remake of a French film has taken over the Grail in this way.

That is. But in reality, it’s good because he is the very first platform “original” to win the Best Picture Oscar that this Bostonian double from The Aries Family will remain etched in Hollywood marble. The paradigm shift announced for years is now taking shape. For the first time, streaming cinema is ahead of that of dark rooms in the main category of the queen ceremony. And as a symbol, these are guardians of the temple – Denis Villeneuve (Dunes), Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza) or Steven Spielberg (West Side Story) – who had to bow Sunday evening in front of a platform film.

The takeover of streaming was almost inevitable. It was spectacular during the evening: half of the major prizes were won by feature films from SVOD services, if we note that the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay was also awarded to CODA and especially that of Best Director to Jane Campion (for The Power of the Dog). To this, we can add the Best Actress statuette awarded to Jessica Chastain for In the eyes of Tammy Fayewhich is not officially a platform “original” (it is stamped Searchlight Pictures), but which only had a very limited theatrical release in the USA and a direct streaming release on Disney + in France and in a good part of the world.

A dike appears to have fallen. A historical marker swept up by Apple TV+, right in front of its competitors. Netflix had already passed very close on several occasions, whether with Rome, Marriage Story Where The Irishman. The market leader was overtaken on the line. His Power of the Dogthe other favorite of this 94th ceremony, was beaten by CODAto the delight of Apple, which rejoices today: “On behalf of the entire Apple team, we are very grateful to the Academy (…) We want to congratulate Siân, Troy and the producers, as well as the entire cast and crew for bringing to the screen a such a powerful representation of the deaf, and for having broken down so many barriers throughout this adventure. It has been so gratifying to share this vibrant story with such a living message, which reminds us of the unifying power that a film can have.”

With 1.1 million dollars collected at the box office (since the film was still released in a few theaters in the USA), CODA thus becomes, technically, the least profitable film to have ever won the ultimate Oscar…

It remains to be seen whether, from now on, the statuette of Best film will come down to a battle of platforms. The next Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon, will be released at the end of the year on Apple TV+. The next Guillermo del Toro, Pinocchio, will be on Netflix. The next David Lowery, Peter Pan & Wendy, will be on Disney+. The 2023 Oscars already seem set to follow the direction of history…

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