Before the much-anticipated awards night on 26 April, try to binge-watch these incredible films online and join in the fun of predicting who will be this year's winners

1. The Trial of Chicago 7

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Sacha Baron Cohen), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original Song, Best Film Editing

This historical legal drama portrays the events that happened outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention, focusing on the anti-Vietnam War protesters and their court trial after the riots. Featuring an ensemble cast including Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, John Carroll Lynch, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Jeremy Strong, and Ben Shenkman.

Originally intended to be directed by Steven Spielberg, screenplay writer Aaron Sorkin stepped into the directorial post after the script was shelved for over 10 years. Due to restrictions brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic, Netflix was given the distribution rights to the film and released it globally almost a month after its limited theatrical release in the US. Besides its six nominations at the 93rd Academy Awards, the film also received accolades at the 78th Golden Globe Awards, 27th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, and the 74th British Academy Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards.

Available on Netflix

2. Mank

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Supporting Actress (Amanda Seyfried), Best Director (David Fincher), Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound

This biographical drama film directed by David Fincher is like a time warp on its own for taking technical influences from the 1930s Old Hollywood films. The story follows Academy Award-winning screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz at the time he was writing the screenplay for Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941), which is still considered today as the greatest American film made. It stars Gary Oldman in the title role, alongside Amanda Seyfried and Lily Collins, to name a few.

After its limited theatrical release in November 2020, Netflix began streaming it worldwide and since then received critical acclaim for technical achievement and the cast's acting prowess. Befittingly, Mank leads this year's Oscars with 10 nominations, including Best Picture.

Available on Netflix

3. Sound of Metal

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Riz Ahmed), Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Paul Raci), Best Film Editing, Best Sound

Directed and co-written by Darius Marder, Sound of Metal is a poignant drama film starring Riz Ahmed, the first Muslim actor to be nominated ever for Best Actor at the Academy Awards. Ahmed brings to life a heavy metal drummer character who lost his hearing in the middle of a band tour and struggles to accept this pivotal moment in his life. Besides its Oscar nominations, Sound of Metal also received accolades at the recent BAFTA awards, particularly for the performances of Ahmed and veteran actor Paul Raci who played a supporting role in the film.

After its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, Amazon Studios gave the film a limited theatrical release in 2020 and streamed it globally on the Prime Video app. 

To really make the film genuine and sincere in its message, a large number of the cast were hired from the deaf community. This includes Raci who was raised by deaf parents and a staunch advocate of the community. Also, Ahmed prepared for the role by learning American Sign Language and taking drum lessons.

Available on Amazon Prime Video

4. Promising Young Woman

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actress (Carey Mulligan), Best Director (Emerald Fennell), Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing

This comedy thriller film stars Carey Mulligan in a very iconic performance as Cassie Fisher who sought vengeance for her abuse victim best friend. Written and directed by Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman serves as the feature directorial debut of Fennell and had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2020.

Besides its Oscar nods, it also received critical acclaim at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, and named as one of the ten best films of 2020 by the National Board Review.

Rent or buy this on Amazon

Read also: Tatler Review: Why People Hated The Ending Of "Promising Young Woman" (2020)

5. Judas and the Black Messiah

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography

This biographical drama film depicts significant events in the life of Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya), chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s. Hampton was also depicted in some scenes of The Trial of Chicago 7, another Oscar-nominated picture this year. This biopic has been in the works for several years already with a different director. Finally, the film premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, which had its hybrid screenings (limited theatrical releases and digital streaming). Warner Bros Pictures released the film in the US simultaneously in theatres and digital platform over a week after. Praised for Shaka King's direction and the performances of Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield, who portrayed FBI informant William O'Neal, the film earned accolades at the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice Award, SAG Awards, and BAFTA Awards.

Rent or buy this on Amazon

6. The Father

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Supporting Actress (Olivia Colman), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing

This directorial debut film by Florian Zeller is based on his 2012 play Le Pére. Starring veteran actors Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman, this French-British co-production follows an ageing man struggling with the progression of his dementia. Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020, the film received nominations at the Golden Globe, BAFTAs, and SAG Awards. The poignant portrayal of dementia and how it affects families brought the film to universal acclaim, not to mention the impressive performances of its actors for such a heartrending film.

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7. Minari

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Steven Yeun), Best Supporting Actress (Youn Yuh-jung), Best Directing (Lee Isaac Chung), Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score

Also another heartwarming family film is the American drama Minari that follows a closer look at a South Korean family who immigrated to the United States during the 1980s. Written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung, it stars Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, Will Patton, and Youn Yuh-jung, who has taken the award circle by storm for her performance.

When it premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, it won US Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the US Dramatic Audience Award. It also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and was nominated at the SAG and BAFTA Awards.

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Read also: Tatler Review: Korean Immigrant Drama "Minari"

8. Nomadland

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Director (Chloé Zhao), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing

Chinese-American filmmaker Chloé Zhao breathes life into the non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder with this drama film she has written, edited, produced, and directed. On the lead role is veteran actress Frances McDormand as a woman who leaves the company hometown of US Gypsum Corporation in Empire, Nevada after her husband died and the company closed down. Travelling across the United States to earn enough living to sustain her daily needs, she comes across real-life nomads Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells. Actor David Straithairn is also in the film in a supporting role who develops an intimate relationship with Fern, McDormand's character. 

It premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year and won the prestigious Golden Lion. A moving film with an authentic and nuanced performance from McDormand, the film has been praised by critics for its authenticity, screenplay, and cinematography. Currently the frontrunner in the Oscar race with six nominations, Nomadland has just won major awards at the Golden Globes and BAFTA.

Rent or buy this on Amazon

Read also: 5 Things to Know About Chloe Zhao, The Award-Winning Director Of "Nomadland"

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Photo 1 of 3 "My Octopus Teacher" screencap / Netflix
Photo 2 of 3 "The White Tiger" screencap / Netflix
Photo 3 of 3 "Over The Moon" / Netflix

There are also other Academy Award-nominated films available on Netflix like Da 5 Bloods (Best Original Score), Over The Moon (Best Animated Feature Film), The Midnight Sky (Best Visual Effects), The White Tiger (Best Adapted Screenplay), News of the World (Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Sound, and Best Original Score), Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (Best Original Song), The Life Ahead (Best Original Song), Crip Camp (Best Documentary Feature Film), and My Octopus Teacher (Best Documentary Feature Film).

Check out also on Netflix this year's Academy Award nominees for Best Actress Vanessa Kirby and Viola Davis in their films Pieces of a Woman and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom—which also includes Chadwick Boseman, posthumously nominated for Best Actor. Also on the streaming giant is Hillbilly Elegy, which stars Best Supporting Actress nominee Glenn Close.

For those who are using HBO Go, watch the visual feast titled Emma. which is nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Costume Design. It was initially released online on Apple TV. Also available on Apple TV is Best Animated Feature Film nominee, Wolfwalkers. Meanwhile, check out One Night in Miami and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm on Amazon Prime Video. Both are nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, not to mention its actors Leslie Odom Jr and Sacha Baron-Cohen are also nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

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