There's plenty of great TV and movies streaming right now, starting with these Oscar-nominated films
The Oscar nominations were announced last month with the live show expected to take place on March 29 and hopefully, some sense of normal life restored after two years of chaos for the film industry.
However, there’s no denying that the pandemic has irrevocably changed how we consume film and TV. Each year, the big streamers gather more and more award show nods and 2022 has seen an explosion, thanks to rolling lockdowns that saw cinemas around the world shut up shop for the guts of two years.
Many productions opted to launch exclusively online, bypassing the typical fanfare of a theatre opening in the hopes that their films would perform in a crowded streaming market and avoid the reputation damage of a potentially dreadful box office weekend. Because you can’t bomb at the box office when you don’t release to the box office, right? Streaming sites offered a much safer, although arguably less profitable bet.
But while the film industry reassesses exactly what it terms a “success” – it’s worth noting here that those that did take the risk of the box office, like Ridley Scott’s poor-performing The Last Duel and the runaway success story of Spiderman: No Way Home, garnered any nods for their theatrical release ventures – it does mean that there are a plethora of 2022 Oscar-nominated movies to watch right now from the comfort of our own homes.
The Power of the Dog, Netflix
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and her real-life husband Jesse Plemons (all nominated in the acting categories for their performances), The Power of the Dog follows a domineering yet charismatic rancher who uses intimidation and force to control his brother’s new wife and her teen son, that is, until long-hidden secrets come to light.
On top of being able to see Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast in cinemas right now, you can also rent it for €17.99 on YouTube, allowing you up to 48 hours of watching time for this Best Picture nominee. Based on Branagh’s childhood growing up in a working-class area of Belfast during the 1960s under the shadow of the Troubles.
The Tragedy of Macbeth, Apple TV
Denzel Washington stars alongside Oscar winner Frances McDormand and Brendan Gleeson in Joel Coen’s stripped-down take on the Shakespearean drama. Allowing the acting skills to take full precedence, it’s already got a 94% Rotten Tomato approval rating and the critics have been raving about it.
Being the Ricardos, Amazon Prime
Written by Aaron Sorkin of The West Wing and Trial of the Chicago Seven fame, Being the Ricardos follows I Love Lucy co-stars and real-life husband and wife Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) and Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) through one tumultuous week of their show, encapsulating the personal and professional crises that threaten the show, their relationship and their careers.
The Lost Daughter, Netflix
Directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starring Olivia Coleman, Dakota Johnson, Ed Harris and our own Jessie Buckley and Paul Mescal, Coleman plays Leda, a woman who becomes obsessed with a young mother and her daughter while on a seaside vacation. Watching their relationship sparks her own memories of early motherhood, with Buckley playing a young Leda who makes unconventional choices for her family. An impulsive act while on vacation forces Leda to confront her own experiences.
King Richard, YouTube
Another one you can buy on Youtube for €17.99, Will Smith plays Richard Williams, father and longtime coach to Venus and Serena in this biopic about the tennis players’ upbringing in Compton, California. Determined to see his children thrive, Richard sets out a strict plan for his girl’s tennis careers, beginning from the day they were born.
CODA, Apple TV
Perhaps a surprising nominee considering the film’s simplicity, CODA is a beautiful depiction of how the parent-child dynamic so often flips back and forth, especially when you are the only hearing spokesperson for your family. CODA stands for child of deaf adult and the film follows teenager Ruby who finds herself torn between saving her family’s fishing business and pursuits dreams of her own in a small town outside of Boston. It’s a beautifully moving portrait of family love and the sacrifices we all make for one another, often quietly and without fuss.
Encanto, Disney Plus
If you have a child under ten, you know all about this movie. If not, then lucky you because you’ll get to hear all of its great songs for the first time (and hopefully not too frequently after that). Encanto centred on a magical house that has bestowed gifts on its family for generations, helping their small village ot survive. However, when the magic is threatened and her family seems to be losing their powers, non-magical Mirabel set out to find out what is happening to her home.
Don’t Look Up, Netflix
The most-stacked film in cinema history, there’s basically not an Oscar winner alive who does not star in Don’t Look Up. Lawrence, DiCaprio, Streep, Blanchett, Chalmet and Hill star in a story of two astronomers who must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy the planet.
Adapted from Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel of the same name, Dune was directed by Denis Villeneuve and features quite an ensemble cast with Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya at its helm. Described as a “mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey”, it centres on Paul Atreides; a brilliant and gifted young man who is born into a great destiny beyond his understanding. It’s currently available to rent (€5.99) or buy (€17.99) on YouTube.
West Side Story, Disney Plus from March 2
Not without its many, many controversies, most of them circling around sexual assault allegations against lead Ansel Elgort and production’s decision to hide him from West Side Story‘s press events, let’s not rule Steven Speilberg’s reimagination of the musical classic so quickly. As well as righting the blatantly racist casting from the first film, newcomer Rachel Zegler is sensational as Marie in this all-singing, all-dancing reincarnation of the classic Shakespearean tale of Romeo and Juliet.
Tick, tick… BOOM!, Netflix
Andrew Garfield (with a decent voice) stars as musical composer Jonathan Larson as he was writing his soon-to-be debut success Rent. However, then working in a diner and stuck drafting and redrafting his musical during the height of the AIDS epidemic, it’s based on Larson’s autobiography and directed by Lin Manuel Miranda.