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Here's Where You Can Watch 36 of This Year's Oscar-Nominated Movies in Australia Right Now

The 2022 Academy Awards are almost upon us — and before its shiny trophies are handed out, these contenders are either screening or streaming near you.
By Sarah Ward
March 21, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
March 21, 2022
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Before Monday, March 28 comes to a close Down Under, Hollywood will have anointed a new batch of winners. After months of chatter — almost two since the nominations were announced, in fact — and even longer still of speculation, the Academy Awards will shower accolades upon its 94th round of recipients.

Sweeping revisionist westerns, heartwarming animated hits, sci-fi spectacles, history-making documentaries: amid the gorgeous gowns, snappy monologues and sweet speeches that'll inevitably come with 2022's Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes-hosted ceremony, they're all in the running. Yes, the list goes in.

And, in a bonus for movie lovers in Australia, you can watch 36 of this year's nominated features right now. Some are showing in cinemas, others are streaming, and a few give you options for either big- or small-screen viewings — and here's your pre-Oscars binging rundown on where to see them all.

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ON THE BIG SCREEN:

BELFAST

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (Kenneth Branagh), Best Supporting Actor (Ciarán Hinds), Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench), Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound

Our thoughts: Warm, cosy, rosy, charming, feel-good: typically when a film spins its story during The Troubles in Northern Ireland, none of these words apply. But with Belfast, Kenneth Branagh has made a movie set in its eponymous city when the Protestant-versus-Catholic violence was a constant sight, and also helmed a Jamie Dornan, Caitríona Balfe and Judi Dench-starring feature that's about a childhood spent with that conflict as a backdrop.

Where to watch: Belfast is currently screening in Australian cinemas.

Read our full review.

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CYRANO

Nominations: Best Costume Design

Our thoughts: Love can spring quickly, igniting sparks instantly. Or, it can build gradually and gracefully, including over a lifetime. In the sumptuous confines of Cyrano, all of the above happens — and, with director Joe Wright helming a handsome, detail-laden, rhythmic piece of cinema starring a fantastic Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett and Kelvin Harrison Jr, this musical adaptation of Edmond Rostand's 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac truly sings.

Where to watch: Cyrano is currently screening in Australian cinemas.

Read our full review.

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DRIVE MY CAR

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (Ryusuke Hamaguchi), Best International Feature, Best Adapted Screenplay

Our thoughts: Forget Green Book and Driving Miss Daisy, American Oscar-applauded films similarly about drivers, passengers and unexpected camaraderie — Drive My Car is in a lane of its own. Filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi takes his central pair and his audience on a patient, engrossing and rewarding trip that cuts to the heart of dealing with life, love, loss, pain, shame and despair, and also sees how fickle twists of chance unavoidably dictate our routes.

Where to watch: Drive My Car is currently screening in Australian cinemas.

Read our full review.

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FLEE

Nominations: Best International Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Animated Feature

Our thoughts: Pairing animation with factual storytelling is still rare enough that it stands out, but that blend alone isn't what makes Flee special. Writer/director Jonas Poher Rasmussen has created one of the best instances of the combination yet, all to share the story of an Afghan refugee who was once a kid in war-torn Kabul, then a teenager seeking asylum in Copenhagen, and now talks through the astonishing ups and downs in his tale.

Where to watch: Flee is currently screening in Australian cinemas.

Read our full review.

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LICORICE PIZZA

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson), Best Original Screenplay

Our thoughts: Paul Thomas Anderson's ninth feature births two new on-screen talents, both putting in two of the past year's best performances and two of the finest-ever movie debuts. In this sublime tale of friendship, romance, hanging out and navigating the 70s in San Fernando Valley, that's evident from the first grainy 35-millimetre-shot moments, as Alana Haim (of Haim) and Cooper Hoffman (son of Philip Seymour Hoffman) do little more than chat, stroll and charm.

Where to watch: Licorice Pizza is currently screening in Australian cinemas.

Read our full review.

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PARALLEL MOTHERS

Nominations: Best Actress (Penélope Cruz), Best Original Score

Our thoughts: Parallel Mothers is classic Pedro Almodóvar, but nothing about that description ever simply unfurls as expected. Once again, he puts Penélope Cruz at the centre of his frames, paints with the vibrant-toned costume and set design that make his movies such a blissful sight for colour-seeking eyes, and focuses on mothers of all shades navigating life's many difficulties — and the result is one of his best films so far.

Where to watch: Parallel Mothers is currently screening in Australian cinemas.

Read our full review.

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IN CINEMAS OR AT HOME:

DUNE

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Sound

Our thoughts: A spice-war space opera about feuding houses on far-flung planets, Dune has long been a pop-culture building block. It's always been something special, too — but as he did with Blade Runner 2049, writer/director Denis Villeneuve has once again grasped something already enormously influential, peered at it with astute eyes, built it anew and created an instant sci-fi classic in the process.

Where to watch: Dune is currently screening in Australian cinemas, and is also available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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ENCANTO

Nominations: Best Animated Feature, Best Original Score, Best Song

Our thoughts: Five years after Lin-Manuel Miranda and Disney first teamed up on an animated musical with the catchiest of tunes, aka Moana, they're back at it again with Encanto. To viewers eager for another colourful, thoughtful and engaging film — and another that embraces a particular culture with the heartiest of hugs, and is all the better for it — what can the past decade's most influential composer and biggest entertainment behemoth say except you're welcome?

Where to watch: Encanto is currently screening in Australian cinemas, and is also available to stream via Disney+,Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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HOUSE OF GUCCI

Nominations: Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Our thoughts: For the second time in as many movies, Lady Gaga is caught in a bad romance in House of Gucci. Yes, she's already sung the song to match. The pop diva doesn't belt out ballads or croon upbeat tunes in this true-crime drama about the titular fashion family, unlike in her Oscar-nominated role in A Star Is Born, but she does shimmy into a tale about love and revenge, horror and design, and wanting someone's everything as long as it's free.

Where to watch: House of Gucci is currently screening in Australian cinemas, and is also available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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KING RICHARD

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Will Smith), Best Supporting Actress (Aunjanue Ellis), Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing

Our thoughts: Stepping into Venus and Serena Williams' childhood as aspiring tennis stars, King Richard mostly lobs around smaller moments — and it's a tale about imperfections, struggles and contradictions in the pursuit of excellence, too. It spies the sporting greats' formative years through their father (Will Smith), but still steps through life-defining events for the entire family — and the end product is an easy win, though, rather than an all-timer

Where to watch: King Richard is currently screening in Australian cinemas, and is also available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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NIGHTMARE ALLEY

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design

Our thoughts: Don't mistake the blaze that starts Nightmare Alley for warmth; in his 11th film, Guillermo del Toro gets chillier than he ever has. A lover of gothic tales told with empathy and curiosity, the Mexican filmmaker has always understood that escapism and agony go hand in hand — and here, in a carnival noir that springs from William Lindsay Gresham's 1946 novel and previously reached cinemas in 1947, he runs headfirst into cold, unrelenting darkness.

Where to watch: Nightmare Alley is currently screening in Australian cinemas, and is also available to stream via Disney+, Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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SPENCER

Nominations: Best Actress (Kristen Stewart)

Our thoughts: Spencer joins Kristen Stewart's resume after weighty parts in Clouds of Sils MariaPersonal ShopperCertain Women and Seberg, and has her do something she's long done magnificently: let a world of pain and uncertainty seep quietly from her entire being. The new regal drama should do just that, of course, given its subject — but saying that director Pablo Larraín has cast his Diana well, pitch-perfect head tilt and all, is a royal understatement.

Where to watch: Spencer is currently screening in Australian cinemas, and is also available to stream via Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME

Nominations: Best Visual Effects

Our thoughts: Spider-Man: No Way Home isn't without its charms; Tom Holland and Zendaya's chemistry still sparkles, it's a definite treat to see Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina back in the fold, and, as blasts from the pasts keep popping up, director Jon Watts cleverly juggles the varying tones of all three different web-slinging franchises. But this spider-sequel is always happiest when it's trying to catch the audience's claps and cheers just like flies.

Where to watch: Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently screening in Australian cinemas, and is also available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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WEST SIDE STORY

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (Steven Spielberg), Best Supporting Actress (Ariana DeBose), Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Sound

Our thoughts: Tonight, tonight, there's only Steven Spielberg's lavish and dynamic version of West Side Story tonight — not to detract from or forget the 1961 movie of the same name. With this swooning, socially aware remake of one of cinema's favourite stories about star-crossed lovers, the veteran filmmaker pirouettes back from the atrocious Ready Player One by embracing something he clearly adores, and being unafraid to give it rhythmic swirls and thematic twirls.

Where to watch: West Side Story is currently screening in Australian cinemas, and is also available to stream via Disney+, Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD

Nominations: Best International Feature, Best Original Screenplay

Our thoughts: Capturing the relentlessly on-the-go sensation that comes with adulthood, as well as the inertia of feeling like you're never quite getting anywhere that you're meant to be, The Worst Person in the World is filled with running scenes that paint a wonderfully evocative and relatable image. Those are apt terms for Norwegian writer/director Joachim Trier's latest gem overall, actually, which meets Julie as she's pinballing through the shambles of her millennial life.

Where to watch: The Worst Person in the World is currently screening in Australian cinemas, and is also available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

 

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VIA STREAMING:

ASCENSION

Nominations: Best Documentary Feature

Our thoughts: Starting with factory recruitment on the streets, then stepping into mass production, then climbing the social hierarchy up to the rich and privileged, Ascension explores employment, consumerism and the everyday dream in China. Observational to a mesmerising degree, it lets its slices of life and the behaviour, attitudes and patterns they capture do the talking — and what a smart, telling, incisive and surreal story they unfurl.

Where to watch: Ascension is available to stream via Paramount+.

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ATTICA

Nominations: Best Documentary Feature

Our thoughts: Half a century after the infamous Attica uprising at the New York jail — which ended with 33 inmates and 10 correctional officers dead, all most all at the hands of law enforcement — this intelligent, compassionate and powerful documentary asks prisoners who were there to share their stories. Entwined with archival footage, it isn't an easy watch, but it's not just grim and infuriating but gripping and essential during every second.

Where to watch: Attica is available to stream via Paramount+.

 

BEING THE RICARDOS

Nominations: Best Actor (Javier Bardem), Best Actress (Nicole Kidman), Best Supporting Actor (JK Simmons)

Our thoughts: If Aaron Sorkin's name is attached to a project, film or TV alike, plenty of talk always ensues. That's no different in this Sorkin-written and directed biopic about Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) — which focuses on a difficult time in their marriage, and in their sitcom I Love Lucy, but largely just makes viewers wish that they were watching that television series and the real-life Ball instead.

Where to watch: Being the Ricardos is available to stream via Prime Video.

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CODA

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Troy Kotsur), Best Adapted Screenplay,

Our thoughts: CODA, the sophomore feature from writer/director Sian Heder (Tallulah), takes its cues from 2014 French hit La Famille Bélier — and it's a rare example of the remake bettering the original. Following 17-year-old Ruby Rossi's (Emilia Jones, Locke & Key) struggle to balance her commitments to her family, all of whom are deaf, with her dreams of attending music school, it's filled with warmth, naturalism, engaging performances and a welcome lack of cheesiness.

Where to watch: CODA is available to stream via Apple TV+.

Read our full review.

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COMING 2 AMERICA

Nominations: Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Our thoughts: Coming 2 America might make knowing jokes about pointless sequels made decades after original hits, but that winking attitude doesn't make this 33-years-later sequel to Coming to America any better. This time around, Eddie Murphy's Prince Akeem of Zamunda has to grapple with becoming king, finding out he has a 30-year-old son and realising that his country's patriarchal traditions need dismantling, and laughs are thin from start to finish.

Where to watch:

Coming 2 America is available to stream via Prime Video.

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CRUELLA

Nominations: Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Our thoughts: A killer dress, a statement jacket, a devastating head-to-toe ensemble: if they truly match their descriptions, they stand the test of time. Set in 70s London as punk takes over the aesthetic, live-action 101 Dalmatians prequel Cruella is full of such outfits — but if the Emma Stone-starring affair was a fashion item itself, though, it'd be a piece that appears fabulous from afar, but can't hide its seams.

Where to watch: Cruella is available to stream via Disney+, Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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DON'T LOOK UP

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing

Our thoughts: On paper, Don't Look Up sounds like a dream. Using a comet hurtling towards earth as a stand-in, Adam McKay parodies climate change inaction and the circus that tackling COVID-19 has turned into in the US, spoofs self-serious disaster blockbusters and enlists a fantasy cast. But he's still simply making the most blatant gags, all while assuming viewers wouldn't care about saving the planet, or their own lives, without such star-studded and glossily shot packaging.

Where to watch: Don't Look Up is available to stream via Netflix.

Read our full review.

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THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE

Nominations: Best Actress (Jessica Chastain), Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Our thoughts: Not for the first time, the eyes have it, but then they always have with Tammy Faye Bakker. The second film called The Eyes of Tammy Faye to tell the 70s and 80s televangelist's tale, this biopic, frequently puts its namesake's OTT and instantly eye-grabbing peepers in focus. That's apt, given the Jessica Chastain-starring flick hones in on perspective; however, it'd be a better film if it pondered what she truly saw, or didn't.

Where to watch: The Eyes of Tammy Faye is available to stream via Disney+, Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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FOUR GOOD DAYS

Nominations: Best Original Song

Our thoughts: Based on a true tale and coming to the screen via a Washington Post article, Four Good Days isn't subtle — but Mila Kunis and Glenn Close's performances still hit the mark with power and empathy. They play a mother and daughter, the former a ten-year heroin addict trying to get clean for the 15th time, the latter her long-suffering mother, and both wading through a lifetime of woes in search of a brighter future.

Where to watch: Four Good Days is available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

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FREE GUY

Nominations: Best Visual Effects

Our thoughts: Free Guy is a big-budget, star-led movie that primarily exists to answer two not-at-all pressing questions: what would The Truman Show look like if it starred Ryan Reynolds, and how would that 1998 classic would fare if it was about massive online video games instead of TV? In the process, it's firmly Hollywood's equivalent of mass-produced soft furnishings emblazoned with self-help platitudes and designed to sit on as many couches as possible.

Where to watch: Free Guy is available to stream via Disney+, Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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THE HAND OF GOD

Nominations: Best International Feature

Our thoughts: The Hand of God isn't a Diego Maradona biopic; however, Paolo Sorrentino's film takes its name from the soccer star's move during a 1986 World Cup match, where he used his hand to score a goal and helped win the game. Based on the filmmaker's own youth, it also tells of a time when the player was a deity to the not-yet-movie-obsessed future Italian cinema great — and the life-changing personal dramas that occurred with that soccer worship in the background.

Where to watch: The Hand of God is available to stream via Netflix.

Read our full review.

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THE LOST DAUGHTER

Nominations: Best Actress (Olivia Colman), Best Supporting Actress (Jessie Buckley), Best Adapted Screenplay

Our thoughts: Watching Olivia Colman play a complicated woman is like staring at the ocean: it's never the same twice; it couldn't be more unpredictable, no matter how comfortable it appears; and all that surface texture bobs, floats, swells, gleams and glides atop leagues of unseen complexity. The Lost Daughter is the latest example, and it's exceptional, with actor-turned-filmmaker Maggie Gyllenhaal making a bold directorial debut bringing Elena Ferrante's novel to the screen.

Where to watch: The Lost Daughter is available to stream via Netflix.

Read our full review.

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LUCA

Nominations: Best Animated Feature

Our thoughts: Even when Pixar makes a minor delight, like Luca, its usually swims well beyond most of the other family-friendly fare that gets pumped in front of young eyes. Set in Italy over a resplendent summer, this coming-of-age tale might be the closest that Pixar ever gets to making a Frankenstein movie. Forget the whole coming back from the dead part; instead, teenage sea monsters Luca  (Jacob Tremblay) and Alberto  (Jack Dylan Grazer) just want to belong.

Where to watch: Luca is available to stream via Disney+, Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES

Nominations: Best Animated Feature

Our thoughts: Fighting the robot apocalypse has rarely been as fun on-screen as it is in this feel-good, family-friendly (and family-loving) animated delight. Artificial intelligence takes over, the world's technological gadgets enslave humans, and it's up to a film-obsessed teenager and her quirky family to save the day, work through their baggage and ensure that humanity has a future — all of which makes for smart, funny, warmhearted and savvily playful viewing.

Where to watch: The Mitchells vs the Machines is available to stream via Netflix, Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

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NO TIME TO DIE

Nominations: Best Original Song, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound

Our thoughts: James Bond might prefer his martinis shaken, not stirred, but No Time to Die doesn't quite take that advice. While the enterprising spy hasn't changed his drink order, the latest film he's gives its regular ingredients both a mix and a jiggle. The action is dazzlingly choreographed, a menacing criminal has an evil scheme and the world is in peril. But, there's more weight in Daniel Craig's performance, more emotion all round, and a greater willingness to contemplate the stakes.

Where to watch: No Time to Die is available to stream via Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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THE POWER OF THE DOG

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (Jane Campion), Best Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Best Supporting Actor (Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee), Best Supporting Actress (Kirsten Dunst), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing, Best Sound

Our thoughts: Jane Campion has never helmed anything less than stellar, and she's immensely capable of unearthing rich new pastures in well-ploughed terrain. With The Power of the Dog, the New Zealand director is at the height of her skills trotting into her latest mesmerising musing on strength, desire and isolation — this time via a venomous western that's as perilously bewitching as its mountainous backdrop, and is also teeming with stunning performances.

Where to watch: The Power of the Dog is available to stream via Netflix.

Read our full review.

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RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON

Nominations: Best Animated Feature

Our thoughts: Featuring a vibrant animated spectacle that heroes vivid green and blue hues, a rousing central figure who is never a stock-standard Disney princess and lively voice work, Raya and the Last Dragon boasts plenty of highlights. It embraces southeast Asian culture with a warm hug; it's always detailed, organic, inclusive and thoughtful, and never tokenistic; and it benefits from the pitch-perfect vocal stylings of Awkwafina as the playful, mystical half of the film's title.

Where to watch: Raya and the Last Dragon is available to stream via Disney+, Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS

Nominations: Best Visual Effects

Our thoughts: In Marvel's 25th film, Simu Liu anchors a film about history and destiny, too — one that's about breaking free from the past and committing to the future — and he heartily embraces the occasion. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings itself flits between offering up a lively picture that strives to carve out its own space in the series, and simply serving up more of the usual Marvel template but in enticing packaging, however, but it's always entertaining.

Where to watch: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is available to stream via Disney+, Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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SUMMER OF SOUL (...OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED)

Nominations: Best Documentary Feature

Our thoughts: Much of Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) involves stunning archival footage, as recorded more than five decades ago and never seen since, capturing live performances by an astonishing lineup of musicians at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. Directed by Questlove, consider this glorious documentary an act of unearthing, reclamation and celebration, then. It's a gift, too — and a phenomenal one.

Where to watch: Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) is available to stream via Disney+, Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes and Prime Video.

Read our full review.

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TICK, TICK... BOOM!

Nominations: Best Actor (Andrew Garfield), Best Film Editing

Our thoughts: Lin-Manuel Miranda's filmmaking directorial debut, Tick, Tick… Boom! charts theatre composer Jonathan Larson's (Andrew Garfield) path to the autobiographical one-man-show that shares its name — before he went on to make a little production called Rent. It's a loving ode, albeit an inescapably overexcited one. And it's also clearly a case of art imitating life, with Larson's enthusiasm for the art form he cherished so feverishly coming through strong.

Where to watch: Tick, Tick... Boom! is available to stream via Netflix.

Read our full review.

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THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH

Nominations: Best Actor (Denzel Washington), Best Cinematography, Best Production Design

Our thoughts: Bringing Shakespeare to the big screen is no longer just about doing the material justice, or even letting a new batch of the medium's standout talents give their best to the Bard's immortal words. For everyone attempting the feat (a list that just keeps growing), it's also about gifting the playwright's material with the finest touches that cinema allows — and this version of Macbeth, directed solo by Joel Coen, bubbles not only with toil and trouble but with all of the above.

Where to watch: The Tragedy of Macbeth is available to stream via Apple TV+.

Read our full review.

Published on March 21, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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