How to watch this year’s Oscar-nominated films

Netflix drama Mank leads the pack in this year’s Academy Award nominations[1], with 10 nods – showing that the Oscars [2]are still a navel-gazing affair[3] – but it has fierce competition in all of its categories, including Best Film. Since cinemas aren’t due to reopen[4] in the UK until May 17, where and how can you see all these great movies?  

How to watch Oscar-nominated movies

Mank

Hollywood lore always does well in awards season, and David Fincher’s black-and-white film[5] about the writer of Citizen Kane, Herman J Mankiewicz, is no exception. It’s up for 10 awards, including Best Film and Best Actor for Gary Oldman, and you can see it now on Netflix.

Nomadland

Chloé Zhao[6]’s sensitive and thought-provoking film[7], about America’s drifters, scored six nominations, including nods for Best Film, Best Director (setting a record, with two women nominated) and Frances McDormand for Best Actress. Nomadland premieres on Disney+ (£7.99 a month) on April 30, and will be in UK cinemas when they reopen – so likely mid May.



Director Chloé Zhao is Oscar nominated for Nomadland


Credit: Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP

The Father

The film adaptation of Florian Zeller’s searing stage play[8], about a man suffering from dementia, is also up for six awards, including Best Film and Best Actor for Anthony Hopkins. Although it premiered at Sundance over a year ago, it hasn’t yet been released in UK cinemas, but good news: it’s due out on June 11. 

Promising Young Woman

Emerald Fennell’s dark-comedy rape revenge thriller[9] has been an awards season talking point – boosted by star Carey Mulligan’s beef[10] with a Variety film reviewer. It’s up for six awards, including Best Film, and UK viewers can finally see it when it comes to Sky Cinema and streaming service NOW on April 16.

Minari

Lee Isaac Chung’s tale[11] of a South Korean family pursuing the American dream has six nods – including Best Director and Best Film. It will have an initial on demand and virtual cinema release via minari.film from April 2, and will hopefully hit cinemas when they reopen.

The Trial of the Chicago 7

A crack ensemble cast revisits the story of the anti-Vietnam War protestors who were prosecuted following the riots at the National Democratic Convention in 1968. The Trial of the Chicago 7[12] has six nominations, including for Best Film and Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay, and is available to watch on Netflix.

Sound of Metal

Riz Ahmed plays a hard rock drummer and recovering addict who loses his hearing in this Darius Marder drama. He’s up for Best Actor, and the film has six nominations in total. UK viewers can see it on Amazon Prime from April 12, and it will be in cinemas when they reopen, so likely May 17.

Another Round

Thomas Vinterberg’s film[13] is the Danish entry for this year’s Oscars, and also picks up a nomination for Best Director. Mads Mikkelsen plays a depressed teacher who tests out a theory that constant, low-level drinking can improve your life. It played at the London Film Festival, and is due to hit cinemas on June 25.

Judas and the Black Messiah

Daniel Kaluuya has already won a Golden Globe for his performance as Black Panther leader Fred Hampton – although many are puzzled about why he’s in the Best Supporting Actor category, along with his co-lead Lakeith Stanfield. The film[14] is up for six Oscars total, and is available on video on demand via BFI Player and others from March 11.

Pieces of a Woman

Kornel Mundruczo’s film[15] is an unflinching portrait of loss, featuring a 24-minute scene of a home birth ending in tragedy. The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby scores a nomination for her extraordinary lead performance, and it’s available to watch now on Netflix.

The United States vs Billie Holiday

Also up for Best Actress is Andra Day, who plays the legendary jazz singer in this biopic[16] from Lee Daniels. The film sees Holiday targeted by the government, who want to prevent her from performing the civil rights anthem Strange Fruit, and succumbing to drug addiction. You can watch it now on Sky Cinema.



Vanessa Kirby (right) is Oscar nominated for Pieces of a Woman


Credit: Benjamin Loeb/Netflix

Soul

The likely winner for Best Animated Film – and also up for Best Sound and Best Original Score – is Pixar’s dazzling movie[17] about a jazz musician trying to reunite his body and soul, as well as figuring out his purpose in life. It premiered exclusively on Disney+ on Christmas Day 2020, and is still available on the streamer.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

The screen adaptation[18] of August Wilson’s stage play – about the real-life blues singer Ma Rainey – is up for five awards, including Best Actor for the late, great Chadwick Boseman[19] as ambitious trumpeter Levee. You can catch in now on Netflix.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Probably best known for “that scene” with Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Sacha Baron Cohen’s mockumentary sequel[20] also proved a breakout role for Maria Bakalova, who played his fictional daughter Tutar. She is nominated, as is the adapted screenplay. You can watch it now (from behind a cushion) on Amazon Prime.

News of the World

The Tom Hanks-starring, Civil War-era Western[21] has scored four nominations – although none for Hanks himself, playing a former Confederate officer who makes a living reading out newspapers, and who must return a young girl to her family. It’s on Netflix now.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Can you spoof something as preposterous as Eurovision? Will Ferrell gives it a good go in this loopy musical comedy[22], which sees an eccentric Icelandic duo representing their country; Dan Stevens is game as a flamboyant Russian rival. The film is nominated for Best Original Song, so warble along (if you can) while watching on Netflix.



Tom Hanks and Johanna Leonberger in News of the World, which has four Oscar nominations


Credit: Bruce W. Talamon/Universal Pictures/Netflix

Da 5 Bloods

Spike Lee’s critically acclaimed film[23] – about four Vietnam War veterans in search of both their missing squad leader and their buried treasure – missed most of the big categories, but does have one Oscar nomination for its score. It’s available to watch now on Netflix. 

The White Tiger

This propulsive adaptation of Aaravind Adiga’s Booker Prize-winning novel – which highlights inequality and corruption – sees Balram escaping from his poor Indian village by becoming the local landlord’s chauffeur. It’s nominated for its adapated screenplay, and you can find it now on Netflix.

Quo Vadis, Aida?

Jasmila Žbanić’s unflinching war drama – set during the Srebenica massacre of 1995 – is nominated for Best International Feature Film, as the entry from Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s available on Curzon Home Video (£9.99 for non-members).

Hillbilly Elegy

Ron Howard’s family melodrama[24], based on the memoir by JD Vance, has certainly divided opinion. Glenn Close scored an Oscar nomination for her supporting role, but the film has also racked up three nominations at this year’s Razzies. Judge for yourself: it’s available now on Netflix.



Leslie Odom Jr received an Oscar nod for his performance as Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami


Credit: Patti Perret/Amazon

One Night in Miami

Regina King directs the screen incarnation[25] of Kemp Powers’ stage play, about a fictional meeting between Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke. Among its three nominations is Leslie Odom Jr (already a Tony winner for musical Hamilton) for Best Supporting Actor for playing Cooke, and it’s available now on Amazon Prime.

Tenet

Christopher Nolan’s time-twisting, head-spinning sci-fi thriller[26] was one of the major new cinema releases post-lockdown in 2020, but it hasn’t proved the awards juggernaut some predicted. Still, it gets two nods here for its impressive production design and visual effects, and it’s available now on Amazon Prime.

Emma

Likewise, Autumn de Wilde’s vivid take on Jane Austen[27] (with a screenplay by Eleanor Catton) has only picked up two nominations , for its costumes and make-up and hairstyling. But its charming cast features Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Josh O’Connor and Bill Nighy, and you can find it now on Amazon Prime.

Greyhound

Another Tom Hanks entry – this time an Aaron Schneider film[28] based on C. S. Forester’s novel The Good Shepherd, about a US Navy commander defending merchant ships under attack by German U-boats. It’s nominated for its sound, and is available to watch on Apple TV+ (£4.99 a month).

References

  1. ^ Academy Award nominations (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  2. ^ Oscars (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  3. ^ a navel-gazing affair (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  4. ^ cinemas aren’t due to reopen (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  5. ^ David Fincher’s black-and-white film (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  6. ^ Chloé Zhao (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  7. ^ film (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  8. ^ searing stage play (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  9. ^ thriller (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  10. ^ Carey Mulligan’s beef (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  11. ^ Lee Isaac Chung’s tale (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  12. ^ The Trial of the Chicago 7 (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  13. ^ Thomas Vinterberg’s film (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  14. ^ The film (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  15. ^ Kornel Mundruczo’s film (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  16. ^ biopic (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  17. ^ Pixar’s dazzling movie (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  18. ^ screen adaptation (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  19. ^ Chadwick Boseman (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  20. ^ mockumentary sequel (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  21. ^ Tom Hanks-starring, Civil War-era Western (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  22. ^ loopy musical comedy (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  23. ^ critically acclaimed film (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  24. ^ family melodrama (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  25. ^ screen incarnation (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  26. ^ sci-fi thriller (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  27. ^ vivid take on Jane Austen (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  28. ^ Aaron Schneider film (www.telegraph.co.uk)

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