Veteran actress Helen Mirren unloaded on the streaming giant Netflix at the CinemaCon presentation in Las Vegas, arguing that its in-house movies cannot compare to the real cinema experience.
“I love Netflix, but fuck Netflix,” Helen Mirren said, to laughter and rapturous applaud from the audience, addressing an audience of theater owners and Hollywood studios at the CinemaCon presentation for her upcoming film The Good Liar on Tuesday. “There’s nothing like sitting in the cinema and the lights go down. I would like to thank you guys for making that environment possible.”
Netflix’s decision to start producing movies for home consumption has proved increasingly problematic in the entertainment industry, with Mirren last year arguing it would have a “devastating” effect on the wider film industry.
“It’s devastating for people like my husband, film directors, because they want their movies to be watched in a cinema with a group of people,” she told Total Film magazine. “An audience, a movie, and you’re all in it together. You’re frightened, you laugh, you cry all together. So it’s a communal thing. And that’s beginning to disappear.”
Such concerns have also been raised by other prominent industry figures, including the iconic director Steven Spielberg, who recently called for Netflix films to be banned as potential Oscar recipients. At this year’s Academy Awards, Netflix production Roma became the first film to be nominated for Best Picture, but eventually lost out to comedy-drama Green Book.
“Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie,” Spielberg said last year. “You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar. I don’t believe films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theaters for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination.”