Awards season is finally drawing to a close, and the grand finale is right around the corner: the 95th Academy Awards. The broadcast is on March 12—which means there are only a couple of weeks left to binge all the major contenders, so you’re properly equipped to contribute to all of the snubbed, overrated, and well-deserved convos sure to go down on the big night. Some of the nominees are still only in theaters but a lion’s share of the Best Picture contenders as well as the movies up for the big acting awards are right there on all the streaming services you likely already subscribe to. Here’s a handy streaming guide.
Everything Everywhere All at Once (Showtime)
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director (Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert), Best Actress (Michelle Yeoh), Best Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan), Best Supporting Actress (Jamie Lee Curtis), Best Supporting Actress (Stephanie Hsu), Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Original Song, Best Original Score
With 11 Oscar nods Everything Everywhere All at Once continues a march to awards season glory that’s been all but guaranteed since the film hit the $100 million mark.. Earning shared nominations for both Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, The Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) bring their unlikely hit about the multiverse to life with the help of Michelle Yeoh and former child-star Ke Huy Quan, whose characters embark on a break-neck Sci-Fi adventure grander than anything else on offer this year. It’s the film’s ability to span so much ground while remaining true to the core themes of love and family however that make Everything Everywhere All at Once the favorite to win big at this year’s 95th Academy Awards.
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director (Todd Field), Best Actress (Cate Blanchett), Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing
Cate Blanchett has done it again. Written and directed by Todd Field, Tár is a psychological drama about Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) the first female chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. Before you bother looking her up, no she’s not a real person. Although after watching Blanchett’s performance, anyone mistaking this for a biopic would be forgiven. Tár is a conductor at the top of her game, trolls through every aspect of her life like a force of nature. But as stress mounts from her ever-present drive for perfection, Tár’s armor begins to crack— allowing Blanchett room to shine. Taking what could have been a merely good film and spinning it to gold through Tár’s subtle deterioration, Blanchett proves yet again why she is one of this generation’s finest actors. Exposing her character’s flaws, fears, strengths, and eventual self-destruction with complete abandon, Cate Blanchett has got to be the favorite to win Best Actress.
Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount)
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Original Song
Top-to-bottom, the most entertaining, crowd-pleasing, capital-b Blockbuster film out of this year’s nominees, Top Gun: Maverick sees Tom Cruise reprising his seminal role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) after more than a thirty-year absence. Accompanied by a new group of characters, played by a stacked cast comprised of Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, and Jennifer Connelly (plus a cameo from Val Kilmer as Ice Man), the sequel manages to merge 80s bravado and nostalgia with a fresh sense of depth, maturity and self-awareness. And yes, there are aerial dog fights and stunts made especially breathtaking by that perfectionist Tom Cruise touch. Remakes and revisits—especially those decades overdue—are hardly ever worthwhile, let alone Oscar-worthy. Maverick is the exception.
All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix)
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best International Feature Film, Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Production Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Earning a nod for Best Picture and Best International Feature Film along with seven nominations in other categories, All Quiet on the Western Front pays homage to the groundbreaking 1930 film of the same name while striking out on its own in large part due to director Edward Berger’s stunning visuals. Capturing the atrocities of World War I through the eyes of a young German soldier, visceral elements of terror and the ever shrinking proximity to death sit alongside a more decidedly character focused plot than that of the original. Berger’s set pieces throughout the film continuously grow in scale, while continuing to put you deeper in his character’s headspace, building to a finale that brings an unbelievable magnitude of horror to its undeniable conclusion.
Elvis (HBO MAX)
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Actor (Austin Butler), Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Sound, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling
The king of musical dramas, Baz Luhrmann, tackles the story of Rock & Roll royalty, Elvis Presley. Starting with Elvis (Austin Butler) as a poor boy singing on the streets of Memphis, the soothing narration of Tom Hanks as Presley’s long-time manager Colonel Tom Parker takes us from the King’s early days through his meteoric rise to become the biggest star the world has ever seen. A shoddy casino impersonation wouldn’t land Butler an Oscar nod for Best Actor though. Practicing Presley’s tone, mannerisms, and dance moves to the point of still not having completely shaken them, Butler fills some of the biggest shoes to ever be given the biopic treatment.
The Banshees of Inisherin (HBO MAX)
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director (Martin McDonagh), Best Actor (Colin Farrell), Best Supporting Actor (Barry Keoghan), Best Supporting Actor (Brendan Gleeson), Best Supporting Actress (Kerry Condon), Best Film Editing, Best Original Score
Re-teaming for the first time since their 2008 cult classic In Bruges, writer-director Martin McDonagh, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson strike [dark] comedy gold to grab the runner up spot of most nominations with nine nods across eight categories. The story is set on a remote island off the coast of Ireland in the 1920s, where lifelong buddies Colm Doherty (Gleeson) and Pádraic Súilleabháin (Farrell) seem have hit a fork in their relationship—Pádraic refuses to let their friendship die, forcing Colm to go to increasingly ridiculous measures to keep him away. Armed with McDonagh’s brilliant script and an innate understanding of the off-brand Irish pub wit plugged into nearly every scene, Farrell and Gleeson deliver a classic straight man/funny man pairing guaranteed to make you laugh so hard you won’t even notice the emotional rug being pulled out from under you.
Nominated For: Best Actress (Ana de Armas)
Determined to tell the true story of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable figures, this NC-17 rated film pulls no punches as it explores the cruelty Marilyn Monroe (Ana de Armas) endured on her path to stardom. More hellscape than walk of fame, Blonde exposes show business and society as the beautiful and naïve girl we’re introduced to is subsequently broken down by studio execs, sport stars, and even presidents. Shouldering a role as heavy as this has overwhelmed some of the most seasoned actors, but de Armas doesn’t miss a step, hitting every emotional beat in what stands to be a career best performance.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Disney Plus)
Nominated For: Best Supporting Actress (Angela Bassett), Best Visual Effects, Best Original Song, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Costume Design
With Chadwick Boseman’s tragic passing in 2020, the world lost one of its most promising young actors, and the films that were supposed to become the first Black led billion-dollar franchise lost their lead. Unable to gloss over this fact, director/writer Ryan Coogler instead sought to face it through art. Rewriting large portions of the script, Coogler took aim at the grief both fans and those close to Boseman were feeling by making the death of Boseman’s character, King T’Challa, the central plot point of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Keeping all the entertainment from the series’ first film while adding a new layer of meaning makes Wakanda Forever a must watch for more than just marvel fans, but for movie lovers alike.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix)
Nominated For: Best Adapted Screenplay
The sleuth who won over hearts and minds in Knives Out is back for a second go with Glass Onion. This time, Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) tries to unravel the murder of a disavowed tech genius on a private island in Greece, amidst a cast of Hollywood greats. Kate Hudson, Edward Norton, Ethan Hawke, Dave Bautista, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, create enough suspects to stump even the most diehard cinematic sleuths while also gifting Glass Onion with enough memorable lines and plot twists to measure up against its predecessor.
Causeway (Apple TV+)
Nominated For: Best Supporting Actor (Brian Tyree Henry)
Brian Tyree Henry’s skills are finally getting their due recognition, as he picks up a Best Supporting Actor nod in this Jennifer Lawrence-led drama. Having suffered a traumatic brain injury during her last stint with the Army Core of Engineers, Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence) is forced to return home to New Orleans. Struggling with depression while trying to find a new meaning for her life she befriends James ( Henry) a local mechanic with past traumas of his own. Steadily breaking down each other’s barriers in an attempt to heal one another, it’s Henry’s raw surrender into vulnerability that offers the audience the most understanding of the kind of pain these two characters are experiencing. Foregoing expensive set pieces for pure emotive drama, Causeway never feels lacking as it pulls you in from the start and doesn’t let go till its guaranteed tearjerker of an end.
Argentina, 1985 (Prime)
Nominated For: Best International Feature Film
Already having won Best Foreign Language Film at the 2022 Golden Globes, Argentina, 1985 comes in the clear favorite to take the Academy award for Best International Feature Film. The film tells the story of the 1985 Trial of the Juntas, where prosecutors Julio César Strassera (Ricardo Darín) and Luis Moreno Ocampo (Peter Lanzani) try to prove the leaders of Argentina’s military dictatorship were responsible for unspeakable crimes against humanity, one quote rings out over an over — “Nunca más” (‘Never again’). It is this theme which is present throughout the film that helps the audience understand why Strassera and Ocampo spare no discomfort on their quest for the truth. Brilliantly acted by both Darín and Lanzani, their passion translates to screen to turn what could have been just another piece of historical plundering into one of the most powerful courtroom dramas we’ve seen in decades. As Argentina’s newly installed democracy teeters on the edge of existence, these two men and the result of their work will determine whether their country moves forward towards a better future or falls back into chaos.
Empire of Light (HBO MAX)
Nominated For: Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins)
Set within a classic movie palace in the coastal town of Kent, the master of cinematography Roger Deakins doesn’t make waste of what he’s given. As theater workers Hilary Small (Olivia Coleman) and Stephen (Micheal Ward) try to navigate the toils of bipolar disorder, love, and racism in 1980s England, Deakins uses his unrivaled control of light and shadows to tell his own story parallel to theirs. While the harsh realities of life seek to crush our characters, Deakins creates an escape through the magical glow of film. When skinheads attack in blinding light, Stephen seeks shelter in the warm dim of the theater. As Hilary hits a new depressive low the light of a familiar movie scene offers her a way out of the darkness. Transporting you to another world while simultaneously showing the ugly truth of our own, Empire of Light stands as a love letter to cinema from one of the best to ever do it.