Apple TV’s CODA Becomes Streaming’s First Best Picture Oscar

Streaming Best Picture

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The Oscars are one of the largest, most prestigious awards ceremonies in any industry, so when you take home an Oscar, you know you’ve done something right. Until recently, no streaming service had ever produced content that was considered Oscar-worthy. That all changed with Apple TV’s CODA. The movie seemingly came out of nowhere to take Best Picture.

What Is CODA?

Americans often turn to streaming networks like Apple TV, Dish TV, Netflix, and Hulu to explore the deeper meaning of life. We live vicariously through some of those motion pictures, but we also connect with characters like Ruby Rossi of CODA. In this movie, Emilia Jones plays Ruby, a person who has an entirely deaf family. She’s the only one who can hear the world and experience it audibly. This leads to a unique perspective on life, not just for her, but for her family.

What did CODA cost Apple TV? They got the rights to the movie for just $25 million, not a really high price tag for something that takes home the Best Picture award. The movie itself debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, a prestigious film festival that often features movies that are against the grain or take on tougher subjects than your normal Hollywood blockbusters.

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Streaming Service Nominations

While CODA is the first film to win Best Picture, it’s not the first streaming service production to be nominated. Netflix produced Marriage Story, Roma, and several other movies that were nominated for best picture. Even Amazon received a nomination for a show called Moonlight. None of those films actually took home the big prize, though.

CODA’s predecessors were a sign that the Academy was becoming more open-minded about TV streaming content and was more than willing to think of streaming service productions as legitimate works of art in motion pictures. What CODA did, though, was produce such a wonderful series of performances that Best Picture was almost inevitable. Troy Kotsur also won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his part in the movie.

The Times Are Always Changing

The last few years have been particularly trying and deeply emotional for so many people. So it’s only natural that a story like CODA would resonate with the masses and with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It just seemed like the right time to reward such a profoundly human story with an Oscar.

People now sit at home and watch serious films on their own time. There’s no particular “showtime” until you decide it’s time to absorb a movie as rewarding as CODA. It’s a movie that families can relate to in general, as it shows us that sometimes there’s always one that stands out or is different in a family.

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Tony Kotsur’s performance was as genuine as it gets. The actor is actually deaf. He is now the first deaf Oscar winner since Marlee Matlin in 1986. What he did with his role in CODA was phenomenal, and what the movie itself did for the masses is also phenomenal. As much as a celebration of differences, it’s a celebration of what makes us all the same, those things that each human being must face in their life when they strive to live among other people.

Tim Cook of Apple was so proud of the cast that he took to Twitter to announce: “Team CODA created a profoundly beautiful movie, a story of hope and heart that celebrates our differences.” Those who absorb the movie on their own will be able to celebrate with the family themselves, but they can also look at the ways their own lives mirror this “different” family. In some ways, the more the times change, the more they remain the same. At the end of the day, we all look at one another and see the same struggles, the same hopes, and the same happy endings (hopefully).