Is Netflix’s First Original Film An Early Awards Contender?

Netflix‘s move into original television content has been incredibly successful. The on-demand streaming service has produced a number of popular shows exclusive to Netflix subscribers such as House Of Cards, Daredevil and Orange Is The New Black. Naturally, having proven itself to be a successful model, Netflix decided to take this one step further and start producing its own movies. The first is Beasts Of No Nation, an adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s harrowing novel about a boy forced to join a mercenary unit in West Africa after the murder of his family.

The film, made by Jane Eyre and True Detective’s visionary director Cary Joji Fukunaga and starring Idris Elba, was selected to premiere as part of the Venice Film Festival on the island of Lido this week. It allowed critics and Italian audiences a first glance at the movie and the response has been overwhelmingly positive with many pundits hailing it as an early Oscar contender.

Robbie Collin at the Telegraph wrote a four star review in which he described it as a “pulverising war movie”. Peter Bradshaw at the Guardian matched the star rating and added that the film is a “violent and disorienting nightmare” while saying it bears some similarities with the Francis Ford Coppola classic Apocalypse Now. Meanwhile, Todd McCarthy in The Hollywood Reporter pointed out a common theme in Cary Joji Fukunaga’s film work Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre and Beasts Of No Nation: the “brutalizing rites of passage suffered by young people”. He said: “Beasts rates as the most disturbing of the three because of the way the pre-pubescent boy at its center is forced to become a ruthless killer” and called it “grim, grueling and gripping”.

Beasts Of No Nation will premiere on Netflix on October 26th after receiving screenings at the Toronto Film Festival, London Film Festival and others.

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