Casey Affleck won the best actor nod for his role in Manchester by the Sea, and Billy Bob Thornton won for best performance in a television series for Goliath. Affleck’s win for Manchester by the Sea—which Amazon distributed in partnership with independent studio Roadside Attractions—marked the e-commerce giant’s first ever Golden Globe win in a film category. Much like its streaming rival Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN) is spending billions of dollars each year on its original content, which includes a growing portfolio of original feature films.
Amazon rival (and customer) Netflix received six nominations and also picked up two golden statues. Claire Foy won for best actress for role as a young Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s historical drama The Crown, and the program won for best drama series while beating out such prodigious rivals as HBO’s (TWX) massively popular fantasy epic, Game of Thrones. In a twist, Netflix relies heavily on Amazon Web Services cloud technology to run its business.
The battle between the two rival streaming sites was one of the industry’s top storylines heading into an awards show that typically serves as a foreshadowing event ahead of next month’s Academy Awards— even on a night featuring a few memorable political speeches from celebrities. Last year, Amazon managed to take home more Golden Globes (two) than Netflix (zero), despite the latter receiving more nominations. This year, though, the two popular streaming services both walked away with two statues.
Manchester by the Sea, the devastating drama from director Kenneth Lonergan, received five nominations in total, including for supporting actress Michelle Williams and in the category for the best drama. Amazon paid a whopping $10 million for the film at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, and it generated a strong buzz for the Academy Awards throughout the past year before losing last night’s best drama motion picture award to independent studio A24’s Moonlight.
Still, Affleck is considered a frontrunner to pick up his first Academy Award for his lead role in the film next month. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who has made no secret of his Oscar ambitions, sat in the audience with a beaming smile during Affleck’s Globes acceptance speech on Sunday night.
Meanwhile, Golden Globes host Jimmy Fallon scored at least one good zinger last night by joking about Bezos’ presence. The comedian claimed the tech CEO “actually arrived yesterday, but there was no one around to sign for him,” a winking reference to Amazon’s primary e-commerce business.