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Netflix now chasing an Oscar in its growing awards addiction

Netflix recently got its first taste of sweet, sweet prestige at the Emmys, setting it down a road to the kind of awards-junkie behavior that can lead to ugly scenes—like when chief content officer Ted Sarandos recently accused theaters of “strangling innovation” and trying to “kill movies,” all because they don’t want first-run movies to also be available instantly on Netflix. And while those comments have already inspired backlash from the National Association of Theater Owners—as they retorted that it was Netflix who was behaving selfishly and liable to kill cinema, and it’s like they don’t even know Netflix at all anymore, man—they haven’t served as much of an intervention in the service’s growing addiction to exclusivity and acclaim.

Indeed, Variety reports that Netflix is now making a serious bid to get into the Oscar race by acquiring rights to Jehaine Noujaim’s documentary The Square, about Egypt’s ongoing unrest. Of course, any Oscar bid for the movie still depends on its getting a theatrical run—which it’s currently getting in New York and Los Angeles—in order for the film to qualify. But as Variety notes, this move is “likely just a prelude” to what the company hopes to do to become a bigger and bigger player and slake its now-unquenchable thirst for accolades. Until, someday soon, maybe Netflix finds itself down some back alley producing a Broadway show, chasing the dragon on its next trophy fix.  

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