With the Oscars just over a week away, some of us need to catch up on this year’s nominees. While some of the year’s biggest players have already been featured here, this article serves as a much-needed part 2. Battle on top of these prize contenders before they take home the big prize!
What to watch on Netflix
A true showcase for the ever-rising star that is Ana de Armas, Blond earned the actress her first Oscar nomination. Understandably controversial, the film is an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ novel of the same name, a semi-fictionalized take on Marilyn Monroe’s turbulent life. It’s hardly your traditional biopic, but that’s part of the film’s appeal. Whether you think it adds something new to the body of Marilyn Monroe images or you wallow in the familiar, the movie is sure to make you think. Nominations: 1, Best Actress.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story
Filmmaker Rian Johnson is now 2-for-2 in nominations for being irreverent Knives out series. Like the original, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story is recognized for his whip-smart writing. In this second installment of Benoit Blanc’s delightfully frenzied investigations, the accented detective heads to a strange murder mystery on the private island of a tech billionaire bordering Elon Musk. Daniel Craig returns as the star, but the film’s new ensemble features a bevy of brilliant performances from Edward Norton, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn, Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr. and Janelle Monae. Nominations: 1, Best Adapted Screenplay.
Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro
The film production of legendary filmmaker Guillermo del Toro now has a whopping 25 Academy Award nominations thanks to it Pinocchio. The director’s first foray into animation is a resounding success, with his trademark attention to whimsical detail fully reflected in the stop-motion medium. It’s a darker take on the children’s story than some might expect, set in Italy during World War II, but the story gets all the richer for that. The film is an artistically animated triumph and shows that del Toro still has plenty of new tricks up his sleeve. Nominations: 1, Best Animated Feature.
The sea beast
Disney-Pixar veteran Chris Williams turned to Netflix for his wonderful animated adventure film The sea beast. For centuries, humans have hunted the dangerous sea beasts, with ship crews held in high esteem by both the crown and the country. But when new naval advances threaten the hunters’ work, they must go after their own mystical Moby Dick – only to learn more about the creature than they ever expected. It is a film about a journey in more ways than one, both visually and emotionally. Nominations: 1, Best Animated Feature.
What to watch on Hulu
Triangle of sadness
Class (un)consciousness supports two-time Palme d’Or-winning director Ruben Östlund’s latest film, Triangle of sadness. This epic satire is set on a superyacht, targeting the ultra-rich and/or ultra-powerful. Models, influencers, techies and even gun manufacturers make up the cruise’s privileged guests, eagerly awaited by the ship’s crew. Their luxury is short-lived, however, as chaos begins to reign on board. The satire becomes an age-old survival story, equipped with a keen eye for the rich and their ultimate uselessness. Nominations: 3, including Best Picture.
Fire of love
One of the most fascinating, awe-inspiring documentaries in recent history comes to light in Fire of love. The film tells the love story of volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft, focusing not only on the couple, but also on their passion for the volcanoes they studied. It makes full use of archival footage, something the Kraffts had no shortage of; each had a flair for the dramatic and a penchant for filmmaking, and what they captured is some of the most amazing natural imagery you’ve ever seen. Nominations: 1, Best Documentary.
What to watch on Amazon Prime
A powerful legal drama that tells the true story of Argentina’s trial against the Juntas. Argentina, 1985 is an exciting movie. It focuses on a prosecutor’s mission to defend the case of the new democratic government against the military junta that had ruled the nation with deadly force. The repressive past collides with the hopeful present and plans for a liberated future, and the film sheds light on this optimism. It’s a courtroom drama that was already playing out before the eyes of the world, but the film makes it just as captivating 40 years later. Nominations: 1, Best International Feature Film.
What to watch on HBO Max
Everything that breathes
A winner at both Sundance and Cannes, Everything that breathes is a fascinating, beautiful film that captures the crisis inherent in much of modern life. The documentary focuses on two brothers who run a bird sanctuary and clinic in New Delhi, India. They grew up seeing birds soar overhead, but in the years since, the city has grown exponentially. Pollution covers the sky and birds are now dropping like flies. The film meditates on the environmental tragedy the brothers – and indeed their audience – find themselves in, but it’s not without hope. Nominations: 1, Best Documentary.
Perhaps made more poignant by the events that followed the film in the subject’s home country, Navalny examines the current state of resistance in Russia. The documentary revolves around Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the investigation into the poisoning that nearly killed him. As more things are discovered, the film begins to turn into a real espionage thriller of sorts, while at the same time showing the intensity of the fight against authoritarianism and Vladimir Putin’s iron-fisted rule in Russia. Nominations: 1, Best Documentary.
What to watch on Apple TV+
While Jennifer Lawrence has a well-deserved reputation as an award favorite, it’s her costar Brian Tyree Henry who got the nomination for his spectacular work in Elevated road. This small but poignant film follows the recovery journey of two traumatized individuals: Lynsey (Lawrence), a soldier who suffered a brain injury while overseas in Afghanistan, befriends James (Henry), a man who lost a lot in a fatal car accident, in a rehab clinic. . They find a much-needed connection in each other, which makes for a grounded, human drama that focuses on the reality and diversity of trauma. Nominations: 1, Best Supporting Actor.
What to watch on Paramount Plus
Marcel the shell with shoes on
Few films from the past year – or that last century, for that matter – have the heart of Marcel the shell with shoes on. Jenny Slate voices the titular shell in this stop-motion documentary-style exploration of a creature’s purpose. Director and co-star Dean Fleischer Camp discovers Marcel and his grandmother Connie (Isabella Rossellini) and sets out to help them find their long-lost community of other shells and curiously animated inanimate objects. Be prepared to laugh and cry at this uniquely beautiful film, one that captures the human experience using a small shell (with shoes on). Nominations: 1, Best Animated Feature.
Raw and raunchy, bold and divisive, Oscar winner Damien Chazelle’s latest ode to Hollywood is a far cry from his beloved La La Land. Babylon embraces the wild west of the developing film industry and is set almost a full century ago when the movies became a cultural staple. Margot Robbie, Diego Calva, Brad Pitt and Jean Smart serve as just a few of the players in the early Hollywood game, each finding (or losing) their niche in the industry as it evolves from silent to sound, bold to respectable. Nominations: 3, including Best Original Score and Best Costume Design.
What to watch on Disney Plus
A girl’s awkward early teens are inevitably some of her most memorable, and To blush takes the opportunity to tell a magical story about growing up and accepting yourself. Thirteen-year-old Mei has enough on her plate, from a strict mother to her blossoming boy band obsessions, but it all seems petty when she discovers she suffers from an ancestral curse: when her emotions get too strong, she transforms into a giant red panda . Both culturally specific and socially universal, it’s a wonderful step forward in Pixar’s storytelling goals. Nominations: 1, Best Animated Feature.
What to watch is a regular endorsement of movies and TV worth your streaming time.