The Movie Guru: Your streaming guide to this year’s Oscar nominations
The release of the Oscar nominations always causes a frenzy among entertainment columnists, but the general public doesn’t usually get all that excited. How can they, when the nominated movies are usually ones people haven’t seen?
This year, you can change that. COVID means that movies are streaming quickly and more often than ever before, particularly the kind of serious titles that get the Oscar committee so excited. All but one of the most nominated titles are available to stream on various platforms, giving movie fans the chance to get more invested in this year’s Oscars than ever before.
Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director (David Fincher), Best Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Supporting Actress (Amanda Seyfried), Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound
The movie dips into 1930s Hollywood by focusing on Herman J. Mankiewicz, the alcoholic screenwriter for “Citizen Kane.” “Mank” is seeped in period feel and is full of old-school style wit, but it’s definitely not a comedy. Oldman is the biggest name here, but Seyfried has the most memorable performance.
‘Minari’ (on-demand services like Youtube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime)
Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director (Lee Isaac Chung), Best Actor (Stephen Yeun), Best Supporting Actress (Youn Yuh-jung), Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score
This is the most expensive of the nominated movies (renting it will set you back a cool $19.99), but it’s also one of the most talked-about movies on the year. This one is worth watching if you’ve been looking for a quiet, deeply nuanced family drama with some beautifully bittersweet moments but no easy answers.
‘The Sound of Metal’ (Amazon Prime)
Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actor (Riz Ahmed), Best Supporting Actor (Paul Raci), Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Sound
Watch this one for Ahmed’s absolutely captivating performance as a drummer who goes deaf. Also, this is the kind of movie that makes you realize why there’s a Best Sound award in the first place.
Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director (Chloe Zao), Best Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing
This is a very quiet, low-key movie, but it’s definitely worth watching if you love McDormand or have ever dreamed of being a nomad yourself.
‘The Father’ (available on on-demand services after March 26)
Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Supporting Actress (Olivia Coleman), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing
A heartbreaking portrayal of dementia and how it affects a father-daughter relationship, be prepared to cry if you decide to watch this one.
‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ (Netflix)
Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Sacha Baron Cohen), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing
A wonderfully engaging, vivid and easy-to-follow look at an incredibly relevant moment in history. The script is classic Aaron Sorkin in the best possible sense, and Cohen is the shining star out of a stellar cast.
‘Promising Young Woman’ (on-demand services)
Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director (Emerald Fennell), Best Actress (Carey Mulligan), Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing
This movie is generating a lot of buzz for a reason, but the ending might be incredibly traumatic for some. Research carefully before giving this one a try.
‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ (Netflix)
Nominated for: Best Actor (Chadwick Boseman), Best Actress (Viola Davis), Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Watch this one just to see Boseman’s last magnetic onscreen turn, and the Boseman/Davis faceoff we all wish we could see more of.
Jenniffer Wardell is an award-winning movie critic and member of the Denver Film Critics Society. Find her on Twitter at @wardellwriter or drop her a line at email@example.com.