In a year that has given us many large film ensembles, Netflix’s “The Prom” is another awards season hopeful that could crack multiple acting categories. In an exclusive to Variety, Netflix has confirmed the acting submissions for the upcoming Academy Awards. Three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep and newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman will campaign for lead actress, while Emmy winner James Corden will seek consideration in lead actor. Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells will be submitted in the supporting actor categories. Ariana DeBose, Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman and Emmy-winner Kerry Washington will look for love in supporting actress.
Adapted from the Broadway musical, “The Prom” tells the story of a troupe of self-obsessed theater stars who swarm into a conservative Indiana town to support a high-school girl who wants to take her girlfriend to prom.
The acting category submissions for “The Prom” match the Broadway production, which was nominated for seven Tony awards in 2019. It garnered three acting nominations for Caitlin Kinnunen and Beth Leavel in best leading actress in a musical, which mirror Pellman and Streep’s roles, along with Brooks Ashmanskas for best leading actor, which Corden portrays.
Streep, who has the record for the most Oscar nominations by any actor with 21, could easily tack one more onto her long list of accolades. She also holds the record at the Golden Globes with 32 nominations across film and television. She is currently tied with Judi Dench as the most nominated actress at the BAFTA awards with 15, something she could take for herself this year. Playing the hilarious Dee Dee Allen, Streep is likely to be a heavy favorite at the Globes, perhaps even being a double nominee. She will have the lead role in Steven Soderbergh’s “Let Them All Talk” from HBO Max, set for release in December.
The best actress race is very competitive this year, with many former winners delivering outstanding performances, like Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Sophia Loren (“The Life Ahead”) and Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”). With Pellman campaigned alongside her in her feature film debut, she’s likely to face an uphill climb. Double nominations in the best actress category have only happened five times in Academy history. Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, who were both nominated for “Thelma and Louise” in 1991, was the last occurrence. A similar arduous path seems likely for Corden, although the HFPA may bite for this picture in a big way.
Directed by Ryan Murphy, the film is written by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin, who also co-wrote the musical book.
“The Prom” will be released on Netflix on Dec. 11.