winner in competition Oscar nomination race On Tuesday, it was “Oppenheimer” with 13 nominations after a tough year for the film industry, followed by the otherworldly “Poor Things” with 11 and the period epic “Killers of the Flower Moon” with 10.
The year 2023 was marred by strikes and work stoppages in the cinema world, and production and screening schedules were thrown into chaos.
Want to catch up before the Academy Awards on March 10? Here’s how to watch:
13 candidates. Digital purchase or rental. It will stream on Peacock starting February 16.
Christopher Nolan’s atomic opus “Oppenheimer” received widespread critical acclaim and broke box office records. That’s half the Barbenheimer phenomenon with last July’s “Barbie.” Semi-quirky and flashback-heavy, the three-hour film follows the trials and tribulations of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) of the secret Manhattan Project. Available for payment on YouTube, Apple TV, Prime Video, Vudu, iTunes, Google Play and elsewhere.
11 candidates. In theaters.
Think of the story of Frankenstein and his bride. Director Yorgos Lanthimos owes a debt to Emma Stone for her childish and extremely horny Bella in “Poor Things.” The comedy is dark and has the feel of Victorian fantasy. But did we mention gender? How Bella handles this activity is a talking point in film circles. No spoilers here, but rest assured his awareness has increased. Also starring Willem Dafoe and Mark Ruffalo.
10 candidates. Digital purchasing. It airs on Apple TV+.
In his drama “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Martin Scorsese explores the systematic killing of Osage Nation members for their oil-rich lands in the 1920s. It has a star-studded cast including Lily Gladstone, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Warning: Running time is 3 hours and 26 minutes. There is mastery in every shot. Payments can be made on iTunes, Prime Video, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu and elsewhere.
8 nominations. Digital purchase or rental. Broadcasts at maximum.
Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” which is in the billion-dollar club at the box office, is a live-action musical comedy that focuses on the 64-year-old plastic doll in various versions. It also took the world by storm in a cultural sense. The film stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling (as Just Ken). Robbie plays the stereotypical Barbie, who goes through an existential crisis but embarks on a path of self-discovery. Payments can be made on iTunes, Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu and elsewhere.
7 candidates. Digital purchase or rental. Streams on Netflix.
Bradley Cooper portrays Leonard Bernstein with the help of a prosthetic nose in “Maestro”, which he also directed. The famous conductor’s personal life and stage persona benefit from Cooper’s energy and chain-smoking. Cooper enlisted the help of Carey Mulligan, who played Bernstein’s stylish wife, actor Felicia Montealegre. Payments can be made at Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube and elsewhere.
5 candidates. In theaters.
“American Fiction,” Cord Jefferson’s directorial debut, is as satire should be: both funny and succinctly pointing to the facts. Jeffrey Wright plays an academic frustrated against the wall about what Black books should be selling for. He takes action. The film also depicts families and the weight of their struggles. Wright is joined by a great supporting cast including Leslie Uggams, Erika Alexander, Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown and Tracee Ellis Ross.
5 candidates. Digital purchase or rental.
Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” received the Palme d’Or at the 76th Cannes Film Festival. In the film, Sandra Hüller plays Sandra, a writer who tries to prove her innocence in court regarding the death of her husband in his chalet in the French Alps. Decision? We won’t tell. Did he or didn’t he? Triet co-wrote the film with her husband Arthur Harari. “It’s okay, he’s alive,” he told Jake Coyle of the Associated Press. Payments can be made on iTunes, Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube and more.
5 candidates. Digital purchasing. Streams on Peacock.
Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers” is set at Christmas time, but its themes of loneliness and belonging resonate well beyond the holiday and take on a comedy package. Set during the holiday break of a boarding school in 1970, there is plenty of nostalgia in the details. It stars Paul Giamatti with gruff grandeur as he becomes fixated on teacher Angus (Dominic Sessa) and other students with nowhere to go. Payments can be made on iTunes, Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu and elsewhere.
5 candidates. In theaters.
There is another important role for Hüller in the Holocaust story “The Zone of Interest,” directed by Jonathan Glazer. She plays Hedwig, the wife of Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel), the real-life bloodthirsty commandant of Auschwitz. The action largely follows Rudolf and Hedwig as they live their daily family lives, just steps away from the bakeries and trains that were instrumental in the murder of millions of Jews. Is it a story worth telling, given their monster status? You decide.
2 nominations. Digital purchase or rental. It will stream on Paramount+ starting February 2.
Celine Song’s feature debut, “Past Lives,” is a triumph for herself as a director and writer and for one of its stars, Greta Lee. Largely autobiographical, the film tells the story of childhood friends in Seoul who reunite and rekindle years later in New York and fall into a love triangle. The other third of the equation is played by Teo Yoo and John Magaro. It’s an understated triumph that induces tears of the best kind: they come honestly, without any major manipulation. Payments can be made on iTunes, Google Play and elsewhere.
2 nominations. Streams on Netflix.
Annette Bening plays Diana Nyad, the never-say-die marathon open water swimmer, and Jodie Foster plays Nyad’s best friend and coach, Bonnie Stoll. Enough said. “Nyad” is not an ordinary sports biopic. At the age of 60, Nyad decides to swim from Cuba to Miami in the shark-infested ocean, as he did in his youth. Nothing can stop him and he will try many things. A lesson in single-minded perfection.
2 nominations. Streams on Netflix.
The story of an amateur Uruguayan rugby team’s plane crash in the Andes in 1972, while they were on their way to Chile for a match with their relatives and friends, has been told many times in the film. There were 45 people on board. After 72 days in the mountains, 16 people survived. They faced bitter cold, massive snowstorms, avalanches, and hunger; Hunger pushed them to eat the dead. In “Snow Society,” JA Bayona wanted to honor the victims and survivors of the tragedy, including himself. It is indeed a sombre situation in the spirit of love and friendship.
1 nomination. Digital purchase or rental. In theaters.
It was a book (Alice Walker). It was a dramatic movie (Whoopi Goldberg as Celie). It was a Broadway musical (Fantasia Barrino as Celie). This “The Color Purple” got Barrino back. This is a musical adapted from the stage version and is directed by Blitz Bazawule. She extracts the power of Black women in her harrowing, maximalist film. Colman Domingo plays Mister and Halle Bailey plays Nettie; Taraji P. Henson and Danielle Brooks help move the story along amidst all the singing and dazzle. Available for payment on iTunes, Prime Video, Apple TV+ and elsewhere.
1 nomination. Digital purchase or rental. Streams on Netflix. In theaters.
Welcome to an animated, high-octane comic book sequel that works. In “Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse,” Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) is a 15-year-old teenager who is better able to handle his crime-fighting powers. Spider-Gwen is voiced by Hailee Steinfeld. By sequel, we mean the first half of the first sequel to “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” Here’s your exciting warning. Payments can be made on Apple TV, Prime Video, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu and elsewhere.
1 nomination. In theaters. Streams on Netflix.
The breakout star of Todd Haynes’ taut “May December” is Charles Melton, of Reggie fame on TV’s “Riverdale.” It’s a May to Julianne Moore’s December, with a whole lot of Natalie Portman involved. Inspired by the Mary Kay Letourneau case, Moore plays a headline-grabbing woman who goes to prison for her affair with a seventh-grade girl. he later marries. Portman’s character comes to visit Moore while she’s researching how to portray him in a movie. As they say, things fall apart. Although the film’s performances were not nominated, the “May December” script was.
1 nomination. Streams on Netflix.
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Who planned the 1963 March on Washington? Bayard Rustin was someone most people knew nothing about before Colman Domingo showed up in George C. Wolfe’s “Rustin.” Domingo tackles with great enthusiasm the experience of a racist and homophobic Black gay man in the 1960s. There are numerous guest stars: Jeffrey Wright, Adrienne Warren, Kevin Mambo, Audra McDonald, Chris Rock, Glynn Turman. It is produced by former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground. Obama posthumously awarded Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
1 nomination. Digital purchase or rental. In North America, it can be streamed on Frontline at: pbs.orgon Frontline on the PBS app and YouTube.
The documentary “Frontline,” a co-production of The Associated Press and PBS, “20 Days in Mariupol,” won critical acclaim and the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival. AP journalist Mstyslav Chernov directed the film from 30 hours of footage shot in Mariupol in the early days of the Ukrainian war. Chernov and his AP colleagues, photographer Evgeniy Maloletka and producer Vasilisa Stepanenko, were the last international journalists in the city before fleeing.
Payments can be made at Prime Video, Google Play, Vudu and elsewhere. “20 Days in Mariupol,” which has been shown in dozens of cities, begins airing on PBS stations in the United States starting Tuesday.
1 nomination. In theaters.
Dreamy and charming, director Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli do it again. Well. Beautifully animated Japanese fantasy “The Boy and the Heron”, World War II. It is about young Mahito, who is mourning the death of his mother towards the end of World War II, and his encounter with a talking, grumpy gray heron from whom he cannot get rid of. And there is a very important tower.
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