On February 24, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present the 91st Academy Awards ceremony (aka the Oscars), and this year’s field of nominees covers an unusually wide variety of genres and subject matter. If you want to join in on the debate, but missed this year’s Oscar-nominated films in theaters, there’s good news: Many of them are already streaming. While you can buy or rent many of the movies on services like Amazon, the following films can be watched with just a subscription to various services.
Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Original Score (Ludwig Göransson), Best Original Song (All the Stars by Mark Spears, Kendrick Lamar), Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design
The first superhero movie ever nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category, Black Panther broke all kinds of records on its way to becoming the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time in U.S. theaters and the highest-grossing movie of 2018. The Marvel Studios movie also shattered industry myths when it came to films with predominantly African-American casts, and put the superhero genre on a pedestal critically with its powerful story of an African hero who returns home as heir to his nation’s throne, only to face a challenge from a dangerous outsider.
Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón), Best Actress (Yalitza Aparicio), Best Supporting Actress (Marina de Tavira), Best Original Screenplay (Alfonso Cuarón), Best Foreign Language Film, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography
Filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón first earned the attention of Hollywood with his 2002 drama Y Tu Mamá También, and later went on to earn more mainstream acclaim with 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2006’s Children of Men, and 2013’s Gravity. The first Latin-American director to receive the prestigious Best Director Academy Award (for Gravity), Cuarón wrote, directed, produced, and co-edited this semiautobiographical film about a family in Mexico City during the early ’70s. Along with being tied with The Favourite for the most nominations at this year’s Academy Awards, Roma is also tied with 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for the most nominations received by any non-English language film.
Nominated for: Best Original Screenplay (Paul Schrader)
Ethan Hawke portrays a Protestant minister in rural New York whose faith is shaken when he meets a pregnant woman whose husband is a radical environmentalist with a dangerous secret. Critically acclaimed for its unique spin on religious themes and environmental activism, First Reformed was named one of the top 10 films of the year by the National Board of Review and American Film Institute.
‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’
Nominated for: Best Adapted Screenplay (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen), Best Original Song (When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings by David Rawlings, Gillian Welch), Best Costume Design
Acclaimed (and frequently Oscar-nominated) brothers Joel and Ethan Cown wrote, directed, and produced this Western anthology film inspired by short stories penned by Jack London, Stewart Edward White, and the Coen brothers’ own works. The film’s titular gunslinger is a sharp-shooting, singing cowboy portrayed by Tim Blake Nelson, and the film follows the exploits of several colorful characters throughout the American Western frontier across a set of six stories.
Nominated for: Best Animated Feature
A sequel 14 years in the making, Incredibles 2 picks up where Brad Bird’s 2004 hit left off, but puts the spotlight on family matriarch Elastigirl (voiced by Holly Hunter) this time around as she’s tasked with restoring the public’s trust in superheroes. While Elastigirl is out saving the world, Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) attempts to keep the superpowered family’s house in order — a task that includes dealing with the newly empowered baby of the family, Jack-Jack. Samuel Jackson also reprises his role from the original film, which won a pair of Academy Awards, including that year’s Best Animated Feature honor.
‘Isle of Dogs’
Nominated for: Best Animated Feature, Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat)
Wes Anderson wrote, produced, and directed this stop-motion animated feature that follows a boy whose quest to locate his lost dog brings him to an isolated island where all canines have been exiled following the outbreak of a deadly canine-borne sickness. At a time when stop-motion animation has become a dwindling cinematic art form (excluding the Oscar-nominated films from Laika Studios, of course), this film from seven-time Oscar nominee Anderson earned widespread acclaim for its innovative visual aesthetic, unique story, and quirky humor.
‘Minding the Gap’
Nominated for: Best Documentary (Bing Liu and Diane Quon)
This documentary following the lives of three young skateboarders from Rockford, Illinois, as they transition into adulthood won considerable acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival, taking home the Special Jury Award for documentary films. The film explores the “gap” between childhood and adulthood, and all of the pressures and responsibilities that come with growing older, while also taking a deep dive into the love of skateboarding and the emotional — and social — outlet it provides.
Nominated for: Best Documentary (Betsy West and Julie Cohen)
The life of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the focus of this documentary, which chronicles her decades-spanning career, the landmark court cases she was involved with over the years, and her growing status as a pop-culture icon. The film explores a side of the famously reserved former law professor rarely seen in the courts, and offers a broad view of her long-standing advocacy for women’s rights and gender equality in various forums.
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