Despite most of the movies being available on streaming services, the films up for this week’s Academy Awards ceremony are little-seen. But there are definitely some independent and thoughtful gems to check out before Sunday’s ceremony. Here’s where you can find the eight movies up for Best Picture plus three others which could factor into the winner’s circle:
Minari (On demand) – This movie about a Korean-American family starting a farm in ‘80’s Arkansas is a heartwarming drama. Expect Youn Yuh-jung as the feisty and funny grandmother to get noticed.
Sound of Metal (Amazon Prime) – Riz Ahmed gives one of the year’s best performances as a heavy metal drummer and former addict who is losing his hearing. It features moving characters and some really good sound design.
Mank (Netflix) – Up for 10 awards including acting nominations for Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried, this black and white tale of classic Hollywood screenwriting and politics is inspired by the look and feel of Citizen Kane, whose screenwriter’s life it chronicles.
Promising Young Woman (On demand) – Carey Mulligan teaches men a dark lesson in this smart and sassy film blending topical themes about relationships with a bubble-gum pop soundtrack and brightly colored cinematography.
The Father (On demand) – Anthony Hopkins gives a master class performance as a man losing his mind in this drama also starring fellow past Oscar winner Olivia Colman.
Judas and the Black Messiah (On demand) –LaKeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya are both up for the gold for this historical action film about an FBI informant who infiltrates the Black Panther Party.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix) – Aaron (The West Wing) Sorkin writes snappy dialogue for an ensemble of 1960’s political protesters including multiple award nominee Sacha Baron Cohen.
Nomadland (Hulu) – Director Chloe Zhao and lead actress Frances McDormand take a road trip across America to discover what truly matters in this fiercely independent and gorgeously filmed story featuring real people discovered along the journey.
These additional three movies have a good chance to take home some prizes:
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix) – The late Chadwick Boseman gives a fierce performance opposite an amazing Viola Davis in this story about a powder-keg of a blues recording session.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu) – Newcomer Andra Day is a leading Best Actress contender for playing the title part of the troubled songstress (The same role also got Diana Ross a nomination for an Oscar years ago).
One Night in Miami (Amazon Prime) – Regina King’s directorial debut features Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr. in a star-making silver screen performance as soulful singer Sam Cooke.