It’s that time of the year again when we award the minds behind the most entertaining, thought-provoking, and revolutionary movies of 2020! The prestigious Academy Awards is finally happening this April 26, 2021 after facing constant delays due to the pandemic. That said, the glitz and glam we’re used to is getting a makeover this year. For its 93rd year, the award ceremony will be directed by Glenn Weiss and will be shot like a movie rather than a regular telecast. We’re definitely intrigued to know how they're going to pull that off!
But while we wait to see what the Oscars has in store, here’s a list of nominated movies you can stream right now on Netflix so you can create your own golden statue predictions.
1. My Octopus Teacher
This true-to-life story recounts the journey of filmmaker and free-diver, Craig Foster, as he swims in South Africa’s freezing waters every day for a year. There, he develops an unlikely friendship with a young octopus who reveals what it is like to live in her world.
Category: Documentary (Feature) [Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster]
Starring: Craig Foster, Tom Foster
2. Hillbilly Elegy
Hillbilly Elegy showcases Amy Adams and Glenn Close in unrecognizable roles. No wonder it’s nominated for Makeup and Hairstyling! Based on J.D. Vance’s bestselling personal memoir, this narrative follows the point of view of a Yale Law student who gets pulled out of his current life to return to his hometown. He recalls how his family’s past struggles have affected his present and, ultimately, his future.
Categories: Makeup and Hairstyling [Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle and Patricia Dehaney], Actress in a Supporting Role [Glenn Close]
Starring: Amy Adams, Glenn Close, Gabriel Basso
3. EuroVision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
In the mood for a slapstick comedy musical starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams? This movie might be right up your alley. The opportunity of a lifetime comes for two siblings who dream of having a music career. They enter a global music competition as a duo, but as much as the journey to success is exciting, it ends up testing their close bond as well.
Category: Music (Original Score) [Husavik - Music and Lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus and Rickard Göransson]
Starring: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Dan Stevens
4. The Trial of the Chicago 7
Based on the real life events of the Chicago 7 trial in 1986, this ensemble movie has powerful visual storytelling and dialogue. During the supposedly peaceful protest and meet up of various activist groups, a riot broke out with local authorities. Seven individuals were placed on an unfair trial revealing political motives and systemic problems that gained the nation’s attention. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is nominated for 6 categories.
Categories: Actor in a Supporting Role [Sacha Baron Cohen], Cinematography [Phedon Papamichael], Film Editing [Alan Baumgarten], Music (Original Song) [Hear My Voice - Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite], Best Picture [Marc Platt and Stuart Besser, Producers], Writing (Original Screenplay) [Aaron Sorkin]
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Alex Sharp, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
5. The White Tiger
Here’s an offbeat rags to riches kind of movie! Based on the New York Times bestselling novel, a determined driver for a wealthy Indian family climbs out of poverty with just his wits and craftiness, as he rebels against an unjust system to become a successful entrepreneur.
Category: Writing (Adapted Screenplay) [Written for the screen by Ramin Bahrani]
Starring: Adarsh Gourav, Rajkummar Rao, Priyanka Chopra
6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom has actors Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman in a blues music scene struggle. The story starts when a strong-willed horn player joins renowned blues singer Ma Rainey’s band, creating tension within the group. The film narrates the revolutionary power of blues in a collective where black artists are discriminated against and undermined by their white management. It was adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name by August Wilson. Known as the last project Chadwick made before his passing, the movie honors his versatility and talent as an actor.
Categories: Actor in a Leading Role [Chadwick Boseman], Actress in a Leading Role [Viola Davis], Costume Design [Ann Roth], Makeup and Hairstyling [Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson], Production Design [Production Design: Mark Ricker; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara and Diana Stoughton]
Starring: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman
7. The Midnight Sky
Set in a dystopian world, Augustine, a scientist in an isolated Arctic research center, battles the clock before a global catastrophe strikes. He meets a strange girl and together they try to prevent a crew of astronauts from returning to Earth. Aside from playing the main character, George Clooney also claims credit as the director of the movie.
Category: Visual Effects [Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon and David Watkins]
Starring: George Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo
8. Pieces of A Woman
Pieces of a Woman is a strong film that narrates the tormenting heartbreak a young woman experiences after a failed home birth. She goes through a world of anguish that isolates her from her family and loved ones as she learns to live with the tragedy.
Category: Actress in a Leading Role [Vanessa Kirby]
Starring: Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn
9. The Life Ahead
The Life Ahead is an Italian movie that aims to tug at our heartstrings. A former prostitute and Holocaust survivor starts a home business which cares for other female worker’s children. She forms an unexpected friendship with a street kid she meets after he attempts to rob her. They eventually both start to lean on each other and learn the meaning of humanity.
Category: Music (Original Song) [Io So (Seen) - Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini]
Starring: Sophia Loren, Ibrahima Gueye, Renato Carpentieri
10. Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
This documentary tells the stories behind the groundbreaking summer camp that lit a fire in the hearts of disabled teens in the 1970s. Camp Jened created a sanctuary that broke the restrictive walls placed on the handicapped by forging an empowered and united community that pursued equality. The Higher Ground production company, owned by Michelle Obama and former US President Barack Obama, produced this movie.
Category: Documentary (Feature) [Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht and Sara Bolder]
Starring: James Lebrecht, Lionel Je'Woodyard, Joseph O'Conor
11. Da 5 Bloods
Academy Award Winning Director, Spike Lee, creates a masterpiece in this American war drama. Da 5 Bloods depicts the return of four African-American veteran soldiers as they search for the body of their departed squad leader and the gold bars they hid in Vietnam. This movie garnered multiple awards and nominations including being named Best Film of 2020 and Best Director for Spike Lee by the National Board of Review.
Category: Music (Original Score) [Terence Blanchard]
Starring: Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters
12. Two Distant Strangers (Available April 9)
This less than 30 minute film is packed with social issue commentary presented in a rather unusual way. Carter James is a cartoonist who just wants to see his dog but instead gets stuck living the same life-threatening police encounter over and over again.
Category: Short Film (Live Action) - Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe
Starring: Joey Bada$$, Andrew Howard, Zaria
Mank takes the lead for the movie with the most nominations in the list. It got 10 to be precise! Set in 1940, RKO film studio allows the young Orson Welles full control over his films. For his first movie, Welles gives the washed-up screenwriter, Herman J. Mankiewicz, better known as Mank, a shot. This movie revisits Mank’s creation of the film Citizen Kane in true black and white fashion, while giving a nod to the aesthetics of 1930s and early 1940s Hollywood production.
Category: Sound, Actor in a Leading Role [Gary Oldman], Actress in a Supporting Role [Amanda Seyfried], Cinematography [Erik Messerschmidt], Costume Design [Trish Summerville], Directing [David Fincher], Makeup and Hairstyling [Gigi Williams, Kimberley Spiteri and Colleen LaBaff], Music (Original Score) [Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross], Best Picture [Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth and Douglas Urbanski, Producers], Production Design [Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale]
Starring: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins
14. Over the Moon
Blasting us off to a magical place, Over the Moon pays respect to Chinese mythology through this vibrant musical. Thirteen-year-old Fei Fei grew up believing the legend of Chang’e, the moon goddess who lives in perpetual sadness after losing her lover. When her father decides on a life milestone that troubles her, she sets on her own journey to the goddess by creating a rocket to the moon.
Category: Animated Feature Film [Glen Keane, Gennie Rim, and Peilin Chou]
Starring: Glen Keane, Brycen Hall, Ruthie Ann Miles, Cathy Ang, John Cho
15. A Love Song For Latasha
This biographical documentary chronicles the events before the unjust shooting that killed Latasha Harlins, which sparked an uprising in LA in 1992. Her cousin and best friend narrates the memories and intimate moments that they shared with Latasha to capture her in a different light and to remember her aside from her death. The documentary poetically reflects Latasha’s past and aspirations.
Category: Documentary (Short Subject) [Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan]
Starring: Raigan Alex, Zoe Flint, Shinese Harlins
16. If Anything Happens I Love You
This short animation had the internet in tears when it first came out! It goes through the experiences of grieving parents who are trying to cope amidst the tragedy of losing their child after a horrific school shooting.
Category: Short Film (Animated) - Will McCormack and Michael Govier
For the full list of the Oscar 2021 nominees, click here.