Recently, legendary director Steven Spielberg went on record stating that he believes that films premiered on streaming services like Netflix should be considered TV movies eligible for Emmys rather than Oscars. This topic isn’t new as the Cannes Film Festival has had issues with Netflix Originals. Attempting to differentiate films by their distribution, however, will lead to a dangerous, elitist territory in Hollywood.
I first came across the work of Dee Rees a few years ago, during a search for good quality LGBTQ+ cinema to add to my viewing list – ‘Pariah’ is, to this day, one of the best lesbian films I have ever seen. It was to my complete joy, then, that I heard her name bandied around film circles once more earlier this year, this time in the context of a potentially awards-worthy Netflix original, ‘Mudbound’ (2017). Regardless of that ongoing debate, and the overall impact of Netflix on the prestige of cinema, Rees’ work contains a depth of character and attention to detail that is befitting of a director with much more experience than her current three feature films; her introduction into a more mainstream circuit can only result in a great gain for the industry in the future.