CODA has become the first film from a streaming service to win Best Picture at the Oscars, a sign of the growing dominance of streamers such as Apple, Netflix and Amazon at Hollywood’s most prestigious awards ceremony. The Apple TV Plus movie follows the struggles of Ruby Rossi (Emilia Jones), the only hearing member in a deaf family, as she tries to explore a life outside of her family. Apple acquired the rides to CODA for $25 million in a bidding war after it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year.
In addition to winning Best Picture, CODA‘s Troy Kotsur won Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film, and writer-director Siân Heder also took away the Best Adapted Screenplay award. Kotsur is the first deaf actor to win an acting Oscar since 1986, when his CODA co-star Marlee Matlin won Best Actress for her role in Children of a lesser God, Variety notes†
Streaming services have seen films nominated for Best Picture several times, but so far none have been able to take away the coveted top prize. Amazon was the first to win a Best Picture nomination for Manchester by the sea in 2017, although it lost to Moonlight on the evening itself.
Netflix has also seen some of its films nominated for Best Picture, including: Rome† The Irishman, Marriage Story, Mank, The Trial of the Chicago 7, like don’t look up and The power of the dog this year. It received the most nominations at this year’s Academy Awards, 27 in all, but only won in the Best Director category for Jane Campion’s The power of the dog†
According to VarietyApple reportedly spent more than $10 million on its Oscars campaign for CODA, which is more than the full production budget. CEO Tim Cook welcomed the news on Twitter, calling it an “extremely beautiful film” that “celebrates our differences”.