Watch Oscar nominees shine (before their big roles) in these streaming classics

The announcement of this year’s Academy Award nominees has prompted quite a bit of discussion regarding the committee’s selection process, but you can’t argue that this year’s Oscar nominees gave audiences some impressively memorable performances.

While you can still see many of the year’s Oscar-nominated films in theaters, you don’t have to let a film’s limited theatrical run or disappointing box-office performance stop you from seeing this year’s nominees do what they do best. In fact, you don’t even need to leave your home.

There are plenty of fantastic films featuring each of this year’s top Oscar contenders available to stream online, including a few that earned their own Oscar nominations — and wins — for their cast and crew. We’ve put together a list of some of the best projects from each of this year’s Best Actor and Best Actress nominees that you can watch online — complete with links directly to the flicks —  so you can get your Oscar movie marathon started a little early this year.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Bryan Cranston for Trumbo

Breaking Bad

Sure, Trumbo star Bryan Cranston earned multiple Primetime Emmy nominations as the bumbling father on family sitcom Malcolm in the Middle, but it was his portrayal of chemistry teacher Walter White that will be remembered as one of the most iconic roles in television history. Over the course of five seasons, Cranston and series creator Vince Gilligan put Walter White through one ordeal after another in his quest to secure his family’s well-being after he’s diagnosed with cancer and turns to making methamphetamine in order to earn fast money. The series is widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time, and earned 16 Primetime Emmy Awards by the time its series finale aired in 2013. Breaking Bad currently hold the Guinness World Record as the highest-rated show in television history.


Matt Damon for The Martian

Good Will Hunting

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck co-wrote this 1997, Oscar-nominated drama that casts Damon as a brilliant Boston laborer who hides his genius from the world, but is forced to confront his potential when he begins court-mandated therapy with a psychology professor played by Robin Williams. Along with earning universal acclaim from critics and audiences alike, Good Will Hunting was also nominated for nine Academy Awards — including the coveted “Best Picture” nomination. Williams earned a well-deserved Oscar for his role in the film, and co-writers Damon and Affleck took home the Academy Award for the year’s “Best Original Screenplay.” Read our full review of The Martian here.

Netflix Hulu Plus iTunes Google Play

Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant

The Wolf of Wall Street

Although he has yet to take home an award, Leonardo DiCaprio is no stranger to the Academy Awards. Just two years ago, he received his fourth nomination in the “Best Actor” category for his performance in The Wolf of Wall Street, legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s black comedy about a Wall Street stockbroker’s meteoric rise and subsequent downfall amid the corruption, fraud, and excesses that he built his fortunes upon.

Hulu Plus EPIX iTunes Google Play

Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs

Inglourious Basterds

Before his starring role as Apple’s iconic co-founder, Michael Fassbender played one of many memorable supporting roles in Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-nominated World War II ensemble film Inglourious Basterds. The film casts Fassbender as Lieutenant Archie Hicox, a film critic specializing in German cinema, who becomes a key player in a mission to assassinate Adolf Hitler during a screening of a Nazi propaganda film. Along with eight Academy Award nominations, Inglourious Basterds also earned a Screen Actors Guild Award for the year’s best cast.

Netflix iTunes Google Play

Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl

The Theory of Everything

On the hunt to become only the third actor to win back-to-back Academy Awards in the “Best Actor” category (joining Spencer Tracy and Tom Hanks), Eddie Redmayne took home the coveted award last year for his portrayal of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. The film is a big-screen adaptation of Jane Wilde Hawking’s memoir about her life with her ex-husband, who’s recognized as one of the modern era’s most brilliant minds despite suffering from a debilitating motor neuron disease that slowly took away much of his physical control and left him paralyzed.

HBO iTunes Google Play

Next page: Best Actress in a Leading Role

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