Did streaming just win its first Best Picture Oscar? The answer is no, despite what it seems. In fact, it’s a more complicated circumstance than the fact that Apple TV+ has the distribution rights to CODA: the sounds of silence. The confusion between the terms and the licensing agreement between production companies and streaming services was highlighted at the Oscars. And above all, in the interpretation of its results.
To the surprise of many audiences and critics, CODA: the sounds of silence from Sian Heder won the statuette for the best film of the year 2022. Against all odds, who ensured that dog power would be the winner of the evening, the film became the winner of the event. Not only did he take home the central award at the ceremony, but also Best Supporting Actor and Adapted Screenplay. Immediately, discussion of the film’s quality and relevance surrounded its triumph. But at the same time, an immediate question arose. How does the film’s triumph symbolize streaming’s new influence in major awards?
The answer is much more complex than it seems. Because in fact, CODA: the sounds of silence This is not a produced movie, nor part of the original content on any platform. acquired apple CODA: the sounds of silence during the Sundance Film Festival 2021. A purchase that secures the broadcasting rights and that it cost the platform $25 million. For the moment, it was an acquisition without great ambitions for the streaming service.
But once the film started its path to the Oscars, Apple TV+ focused all of its resources on promoting the production. The result was an unexpected triumph, a milestone in the history of cinema and a confusing situation around rights and licensing. Despite the platform’s role in promoting the film, it’s not a triumph for streaming. CODA: the sounds of silence It is an independent production, which has had no investment from Apple TV + beyond the purchase of its rights.
CODA: The Sounds of Silence: a complicated licensing issue
The whole process around the film demonstrates the current complexity around cinema and its distribution. A circumstance that makes the interpretation of the triumph of CODA: the sounds of silence. Most of the press immediately assured that it was a streaming triumph. When in fact, it could be a success linked to the ability of subscription platforms to capitalize on advertising. Is it then a phenomenon independent of each other? Yes and no.
The film had had a low-key participation in the 2022 awards season so far. Beyond its cast’s triumph in multiple awards, the possibility of the film winning the Best Picture statuette was remote. But after an intense marketing campaign and re-evaluation of its contribution to the deaf community, the film achieved the unthinkable. Not only the months-long favorite The Power of the Dog, but also larger works such as dunes and West Side Story.
Immediately, there was talk of the influence of the big streaming services in the realm of traditional cinema. But in reality, CODA: the sounds of silence It does not form the phenomenon, nor does it represent it or is it not the most notorious stage of streaming. As a production, the film is only part of the Apple TV+ content purchase. We could therefore say that CODA: the sounds of silence worn out influence and streaming muscle to become more visible.
The future: an original work with an Oscar
CODA: the sounds of silence It could be the first definitive step in the conquest of streaming in more ambitious areas of cinema. But now it is reduced to an event in which several specific conditions have converged. The film benefited from the capabilities of Apple TV+ and the power of streaming.
In turn, the benefit platform of a film feel good without wanting to raise too much controversy. Was this the reason for the victory? Most likely, we will have to wait a few years to understand the importance of achieving CODA: the sounds of silence. For now, one thing is clear: streaming has changed the movie industry. And it will continue to do so in the future.