Hamilton is the buzz of the Internet once more, finally getting a wide release to the public via the Disney+ streaming service. The rave reviews for the Broadway show filmed back in 2016 have made many wonder if its artistry will garner it some award season buzz, but according to Academy rules the Lin-Manuel Miranda production won’t be eligible for Oscars despite even the recent changes the award show has made.
The Academy has long favored films released in the traditional theatrical format for consideration for its awards. It’s something Netflix has not-so-quietly battled for years, releasing films like Roma and The Irishman in extremely limited capacities in major cities to honor that requirement while featuring them on the streaming service. That also came with, mind you, a considerable For Your Consideration campaign to try winning the favor of Academy voters in an effort to, hopefully, eventually, ease those rules in favor of streaming services hoping for prestige glory.
Earlier this year, the Oscars changed its rules to allow films to be eligible for the 2021 Oscars awards despite not doing a one-week theatrical run in the Los Angeles area. But according to Vulture, those rule changes won’t be enough to give Hamilton an opening for a belated 2021 award season.
However, it appears that the Academy has in fact said no to this. Despite the various historical precedents that would seem to point toward Hamilton’s inclusion — most notably, the filmed version of Give ‘Em Hell, Harry, a one-man show about Harry Truman that earned a Best Actor nomination for James Whitmore at the 1976 Oscars — an AMPAS source says plainly that, as a recorded stage production, Hamilton is not eligible for awards consideration. (As for the Golden Globes, the HFPA has not yet responded to a request for comment.) Satisfied? Looks like Team Hamilton will just have to content themselves with the 11 Tonys, the Grammy, and the Pulitzer Prize.
It would certainly be a shame for Hamilton, especially considering it is one of the stronger films we’ve seen in a year that has been lean on new titles of any quality whatsoever. But considering the rave reviews and the truckload of trophies the musical won at other award ceremonies, including the Tonys, it seems like Hamilton will do okay legacy-wise either way.