But Spielberg does have a point. Under the current Academy rules, movies barely have to be shown in theaters (and only in LA) to qualify for awards consideration. That makes it far too easy for studios (like Netflix) to abuse the minimum requirements and snag some Oscar noms for a sweet marketing bump. And the director knows what he's talking about. After all, his movie The Post showed in only nine theaters for one week in 2017, which was all it needed for that precious Best Picture nomination a month later, by which time the movie was in wide release.
And that's the problem. It's not that we doubt Spielberg is trying to save the medium; it's that the way he does it makes him sound like a big ol' hypocrite who's defending an aging industry that's out of touch with audiences. That's why Netflix easily clapped back at the accusations, saying that just because people watch movies on their laptops doesn't mean they love cinema any less than theater-goers. Maybe, just maybe, it has more to do with them not wanting to spend 100 bucks on tickets and a babysitter just so they can drive for an hour to the nearest theater for the privilege of sitting in room full of nacho-eating a-holes and staring at a screen that's barely the quality of their own TV.