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An Oscar Nod To Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)’s Documentary Virunga

Written by on January 15, 2015

As the Oscar nominations were announced today, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) got a nomination for its documentary Virunga produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. This after Kevin Spacey’s win at the Golden Globes just a few days back.

Netflix Virunga Gets Nominated For An Oscar

The Best Documentary Feature category had Virunga which was an original Netflix documentary. But among the nominated documentaries include Laura Poitras’ Citizenfour, the documentary about Edward Snowden, centered on the days last May in Hong Kong when Mr. Snowden met journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill.

The tense drama of those eight days in Hong Kong has received endless rave reviews in publications ranging from The Guardian to The New York Times.

Other nominated documentaries are: Last Days in Vietnam, Finding Vivial Maier, and The Salt of the Earth. A surprise omission was Life Itself about the life of movie critic Roger Ebert.

Birdman and Grand Budapest Hotel each got nine nominations while The Imitation Game had eight nomination. Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper and Linklater’s Boyhood had six nomination each.

Two British actors have been nominated in the Best Actor category — Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game and Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything — Michael Keaton, Steve Carell, and Bradley Cooper rounding out the category.

Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Rosamund Pike, Felicity Jones, and Marion Cotillard are the five nominated in the Best Actress category.

Netflix’s great rival in online streaming, Amazon, also made waves recently at the Golden Globes when Transparent won the award for Best Television Series — Comedy or Musical. Kevin Spacey won the Best Actor award for his role of Francis Underwood in the Netflix series House of Cards.

Interstellar has been nominated for Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects.

Netflix or Amazon

Who is doing better in the online streaming space? While Amazon is a jack-of-all-trades, its foray into creating television series means it is competing with Netflix directly. While Netflix has had to cancel a comedy special by Bill Cosby, Amazon has signed up Wood Allen to produce shows for itself.

Netflix shares have declined more than 27% in the past three months. The next quarterly report expected to be out on January 20 will reveal data about Netflix’s membership growth and how the rollout of the online streaming service in a few European nations as well as in Australia is working out.

The mood of the consumer is fickle, making predictions about which shows will be hits and which will be misses (or flops) is a fraught enterprise and very few dare stick their neck out — even those who stick their neck out may get clobbered at times; so, it’s critical to look at both sides of the road before crossing it.

In a time of weak economic recovery, savings hundreds of bucks by becoming cable cutters makes economic sense. Netflix is learning double quick about the television business. With many alternatives and competition, traditional cable TV viewing is a dying tradition.