Although the company has long since mostly moved past its origins as a DVD mail-rental service—Although not entirely! We know! Please don’t yell at us, still-using-Netflix-for-physical-discs people!—Netflix has recently started getting into the physical media game from a very different direction. Just a few months after Alfonso Cuarón’s 2018 Oscar nominee Roma was added to the ranks of the venerable Criterion Collection, THR reports this week that four more Netflix films—The Irishman, Marriage Story, American Factory, and Atlantics—will now also receive the prestige DVD and Blu-ray treatment, allowing people to finally enjoy these fine films in the comforts of their homes at last.
Of the four movies, only Mati Diop’s Atlantics isn’t nominated for at least one award at the Big Show this year (although Diop’s supernatural romance story was shortlisted for Best Foreign Film). Martin Scorsese and Noah Baumbach’s movies are practically weighed down in nominations, of course, while Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s fly-on-the-wall examination of twin factories in Ohio and China is nominated for Best Documentary. All of them are, in other words, perfectly primed as candidates for Netflix’s ongoing push for exactly the same species of mainstream credibility that Criterion’s picks are generally held up to represent. (The company’s releases don’t explicitly come with a sticky-note labeled “Suck it, Spielberg,” but the implication is certainly there.)
And while we might joke about the idea of buying DVDs of films that are literally four clicks away via an object that’s probably in your hands as you’re reading this, the Criterion releases will be still good news for fans of those elements of film release that the streaming marketplace is in ever-escalating danger of killing off: Special features, deleted scenes, commentary tracks, etc. Those sorts of materials (to say nothing of the presence of remastered version of the films, freed of any buffering-inflicted wounds) are one of Criterion’s specialties, and the thought of getting lots of great behind-the-scenes material on some of 2019's most exciting films—streaming, or otherwise—is likely to be worth the price of admission on its own.