Apple TV+ has picked up its first ever Oscar nominations — although it still looks like a bit of an underachievement for the Cupertino tech company.
With Academy Award noms now announced, Apple has picked up two: Best Animated Feature Film for Wolfwalkers and Sound Design for Greyhound. The results will be announced April 25.
To be eligible for an Oscar, movies have to have opened in the previous calendar year, sometime between midnight at the start of January 1 to midnight at the end of December 31, and played for seven consecutive days in LA. There are also representation and inclusivity rules for eligibility, among other standards such as film length.
Both of Apple’s nominations are for films that received a good amount of critical acclaim. Wolfwalkers was labelled by Cult of Mac‘s Scout Tafoya as the “best animated film of the year” in 2020. It scored 99% in critical reviews and 100% in audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Meanwhile, Greyhound — starring Tom Hanks — has a critical score of 78% and an audience score of 75% on that same platform. (You can read Cult of Mac‘s broadly positive review here.)
Good, but could be better
Apple executives will, no doubt, be exchanging pleased emails over the Oscars nominations. But it’s still likely not the dream performance. Netflix’s Mank cleaned up with a massive 10 nominations. Amazon and Netflix both hoovered up major nominations.
Without diminishing Apple’s noms, none of them are in the major categories of Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, or Best Director.
Apple has supposedly made winning awards a big part of its Apple TV+ campaign. It’s also embracing original movies in a big way. Nonetheless, Apple has some big projects coming up in 2021 — including the next movie made by Martin Scorsese, Emancipation, a film starring Will Smith and directed by Antoine Fuqua, and more.
I don’t doubt that it won’t be long before Apple starts getting its name bandied around for major Apple awards. It’s already starting to happen in the TV realm as the recent Golden Globes showed. But picking up some major Academy Awards seems like it’ll remain out of reach for at least another year.