How to Stream This Year’s Oscar Hopefuls

In a typical Oscar season, many contenders only perform in a few theaters when the nominations are announced. But like most of our lives today, the way we watch movies has been turned upside down. This year, most of the Oscar hopefuls are available for everyone to watch right now, across the country – not just in theaters, but on subscription streaming services and on video on demand.

Here are eight of those films, each of which is either streaming or will be streaming by the end of the month, and each of them will likely be nominated in one or more categories when the nominations are announced on March 15. it’s time to catch up – and see the Oscars like an insider.

‘Nomadland’

At the forefront of Best Picture and Best Actress, “Nomadland” stars Frances McDormand as a widow adjusting to a new economic reality after losing her job. She travels west, lives in her van, and seeks seasonal employment while camping alongside other near-homeless. Based on Jessica Bruder’s book – and adapted for the screen by Chloe Zhao – this moving and visually striking slice-of-life drama is a non-sensational look at the struggles of living paycheck to paycheck, mitigated only slightly by a sense of community and the freedom to move. Post it on Hulu.

“Minari”

Writer-director Lee Isaac Chung tells a version of his own story in the disarming “Minari,” a low-key drama about a Korean immigrant (Steven Yeun) and his wife (Yeri Han), who move to rural Arkansas and work in a local chicken factory while trying to start their own production farm. Yeun and Han, who play parents trying to preserve their cultural traditions while pursuing the American Dream, are good candidates in the acting categories. Chung surrounds his tracks in vivid detail, sharing this family’s humor, anxiety and hope. Available February 26 for rental or purchase on VOD.

[Read The New York Times review.]

‘The Chicago Trial 7’

Aaron Sorkin (who has an Oscar for his screenplay “The Social Network”) is likely to hear his name called again this year, for writing and directing the hard-hitting and relevant political drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” Based on the contentious legal consequences of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the film has an award-worthy cast (led by Sacha Baron Cohen, playing counterculture provocateur Abbie Hoffman) in the face of anti-war activists and conservative reactionaries. who argued over the difference. between “the right to demonstrate” and “incitement to riot”. Post it on Netflix.

[Read The New York Times review.]

Ma Rainey’s black background

Based on the 1982 Tony-nominated August Wilson play, “My Rainey’s Black Bottom” covers a busy 1927 day in a Chicago recording studio, where a blues singer (Viola Davis) argues with her partners. white salespeople while his group exchanges stories and practices his song. The film features the final on-screen performance of Chadwick Boseman, who will almost certainly get a posthumous nomination for his portrayal of ambitious and arrogant trumpeter Levee Green. This is an all-around gripping and eye-opening film, expertly directed by Broadway veteran George C. Wolfe. Post it on Netflix.

[Read The New York Times review.]

‘Sound of metal’

Riz Ahmed gives one of the best performances of 2020 in “Sound of Metal”, a quietly expressionist drama directed by Darius Marder (who also co-wrote the film with his brother Abraham and Derek Cianfrance). Ahmed plays Ruben, a drummer and recovering drug addict whose livelihood and sobriety are threatened when he begins to lose his hearing. Ahmed and Marder take the viewer inside Ruben’s experience, using sound effects and subtle gestures to convey the growing panic of someone worried that everything they enjoy will disappear. Post it on Amazon prime.

‘Welcome to Chechnya’

“Welcome to Chechnya,” an informative documentary on the treatment of LGBTQ citizens in Russian Chechnya could be nominated in the documentary and visual effects categories. In an attempt to safely capture the struggles of activists, journalist and filmmaker David France keeps their identities anonymous, using cutting-edge digital technology to replace their faces. This identity masking technique reinforces the themes of the film, which examine the lengths that some people are forced to go in order to hide who they are. Post it on HBO Max.

[Read The New York Times review.]

‘Another round’

The great Danish director Thomas Vinterberg made one of the best films of his career with “Another Round”, which he co-wrote with his frequent collaborator Tobias Lindholm. Mads Mikkelsen plays a depressed teacher who joins his middle-aged classmates in an experiment, to see if they’ll be happier, more honest, and more creative if they drink alcohol regularly throughout the day, every day. days. It might sound like the premise of a scorching comedy or dark drama, but Vinterberg, Lindholm, and Mikkelsen approach the idea with a fluid mix of seriousness and whimsy, candidly exploring the pains and pleasures of life. Rent or buy on Amazon prime, Apple tv, google play, Seen or Youtube.

[Read The New York Times review.]

‘Soul’

Pixar Animation Studios’ best picture since “Coco” is an equally playful fantasy, about an affable man running through the spirit world. Jamie Foxx is the voice of Joe, a music teacher who aspires to be a performing pianist in a jazz combo, but suffers from an almost fatal accident. Tina Fey is a shapeless unborn being who becomes Joe’s guide to the underworld between life and death, just as he becomes his mentor in the art of being human. With its beautiful music, upbeat tone and imaginative imagery, “Soul” isn’t just a clever cartoon, it’s a little burst of joy. Post it on Disney +.

[Read The New York Times review.]

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