Over the last few years, Netflix has run itself ragged chasing Oscar gold—and perhaps lost some of its verve in the process—so what happens now that Apple has beat them to the big award? Undoubtedly it’ll make more plays, but now that CODA has demonstrated what a successful run looks like, will Netflix just mimic that success? Will Amazon? Will studios? Apple TV+’s win proves that the old grudges against streamers are gone (or at least waning) and that it’s possible one of them can win. Audiences now know that the best films in the world are a click away. Traditional studios understand that their distribution models can, and maybe should, change without impacting how their movies are received.
The Academy, like Hollywood in general, is frightened that no one cares about movies any more. Well, the good news is that this year, at least, Best Picture came down to two movies that people cared about quite a lot, even if most of the viewership took place at home. They both deliver profound experiences, even if those experiences have very little to do with each other.
In a statement Sunday night, Zack Van Amburg, Apple’s co-head of Worldwide Video, said, “On behalf of everyone at Apple, we are so grateful to the Academy for the honors bestowed on ‘CODA’ this evening. We join our teams all over the world in celebrating Siân, Troy, the producers, and the entire cast and crew for bringing such a powerful representation of the Deaf community to audiences, and breaking so many barriers in the process. It has been so rewarding to share this life-affirming, vibrant story, which reminds us of the power of film to bring the world together.”
Jamie Erlicht, the other co-head of Apple’s Worldwide Video group, added, “What an incredible journey it has been since the moment we first saw ‘CODA’ to today’s historic recognition from the Academy. It has been a true joy to witness the positive impact on humanity that this story and its performances have had worldwide. We send our warmest congratulations to Siân; Troy; the cast; the creative team; producers Patrick, Philippe, and Fabrice; and everyone who helped bring inclusion and accessibility to the forefront through this remarkable film.”
The rake Apple charges covers the totality of the value it provides: security, quality checks, access to customers, and, yes, payments processing.
The right fee may not be 30%, but it’s not 0%, either.
The app, which is the FT’s first major product launch in a decade, will provide a curated, daily selection of eight articles at 8am each weekday. At weekends, subscribers will see a “best of the week” selection.
On the one side is that intrinsic philosophy, trotted out at many a keynote presentation, about how the company loves to surprise and delight its users. That’s embodied in way that Apple creates solutions to problems that users didn’t even know they had. And when it works, it’s truly incredible: Apple’s best products, like the iPhone and the original Mac, are direct end results of this kind of creativity.
But there’s a dark flip-side to this ideal for which Apple is no less well-known: the “Apple knows best” dogma. It’s often compounded with the company’s fixation on form over function, or with its practice of providing only one way to do something. It’s the side of Apple that seems to think that its products would be perfect, if only it didn’t have to deal with those pesky users all the time.
We love that Apple had the courage to beef up their desktop, allowing for awesomely modular ports and a hefty heat management system. But the Mac Studio falls short thanks to odd choices like buried fans and non-upgradable storage. Not to mention baked-in RAM.
In five years', ten years' time, Apple will, most likely, still be answerable to its customers, on the bugs, security, and privacy issues of the products they sell. But I'll bet today's politicians, even if they are still in power then, will not care, let alone take responsibilities, about any security and privacy issues that surfaced due to forcing laws onto Apple. At most, they'll just introduce more laws with 'magical' powers that can hand-wave security and privacy issues away.
A good movie is a good movie, no matter if most watched it in a theatre or on a phone. Hopefully, soon, we can award good movies based on artistic merits, and not whether the moviemakers have the money to exhibit in a theatre.
(Yes, I am aware a lot of money still goes into marketing and other non-artistic endeavors during award seasons.)
(With my aging eyes, I can no longer watch anything on my iPhone mini. I watch movies and television shows mostly on my iPad.)
Thanks for reading.