Oscars 2021: Where to watch the nominated movies

It has been an interesting and long path to get here, but the 2021 Academy Awards are finally on our doorstep.

The global pandemic delayed the awards, in line with production houses pushing back film premieres.

They’ll now be held in a socially distanced manner on April 25 (that’s April 26 Australian time), having been pushed back from February.

In September, the Oscars made a pledge to bring more diversity to its line-up.

From 2024, to qualify for the best picture category, films will have to meet stringent requirements related to the race, ethnicity, ability, sexuality, and gender identity of the cast, characters and storylines.

As mentioned, those guidelines aren’t in place for this year’s awards.

But we do start to see a hint of diversity, with two women nominated for the best director award for the first time.

(That’s Chloé Zhao for Nomadland, and Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman.)

In a sign that streaming platforms are becoming just as powerful as cinemas, Netflix-made Mank is the stand-out nomination in this year’s line-up.

It’s ahead of the pack with 10 nominations, including for best picture, best director, best actor and best supporting actress. Not a bad effort.

Before we find out the judge’s decision, here’s a quick look at the films that are up for the golden gong – and most importantly, where you can watch them.

The Father

Synopsis: “A man refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.”

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss.

What the critics are saying: “Zellman’s The Father is a lot more than a film that merely exists to tell you a story. This is an experience and a journey into an unstable world that is just as real, as it is make-believe.”

Where to see it: Screening in Australian cinemas now.

Judas and the Black Messiah

Synopsis: “Bill O’Neal infiltrates the Black Panther Party per FBI Agent Mitchell and J. Edgar Hoover. As Party Chairman Fred Hampton ascends, falling for a fellow revolutionary en route, a battle wages for O’Neal’s soul.”

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield, Jesse Plemons. Directed by Shaka King.

What the critics are saying: “A powerful, and candidly sympathetic, political biography with contemporary relevance.”

Where to see it: Screening in Australian cinemas now.


Synopsis: “1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of Citizen Kane (1941).”

Starring: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins.

What the critics are saying: “Fascinating, flawed and hugely ambitious.”

Where to see it: Streaming on Netflix.


Synopsis: “A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, Minari follows a Korean-American family that moves to a tiny Arkansas farm in search of their own American dream.”

Starring: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan S. Kim. Directed by Lee Isaac Chung.

What the critics are saying:Minari is deeply rooted in the earth, a wellspring of both hope and pain, of boundless promise and terrifying disaster.”

Where to see it: Screening in selected Australian cinemas now.


Synopsis: “After losing everything in the Great Recession, a woman embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.”

Starring: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May.

What the critics are saying: “This is a film you want to see on the largest screen you can find, to take in the stark beauty of the wide shots and the way the light caresses the creases on Fern’s face.”

Where to see it: Screening in selected Australian cinemas now.

Promising Young Woman

Synopsis: “A young woman, traumatised by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who crossed her path.”

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie.

What the critics are saying: “Emerald Fennell’s razor-sharp feature writing and directing debut could do for sexual assault what Fatal Attraction did with cheating: Scare men into thinking twice.”

Where to see it: Screening in selected Australian cinemas now, or rent it from YouTube.

Sound of Metal

Synopsis: “A heavy-metal drummer’s life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.”

Starring: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci. Directed by Darius Marder.

What the critics are saying: “Much like heavy metal music, Sound of Metal isn’t trying to give us warm, pleasant feelings.”

Where to see it: Stream it on Amazon Prime Video, or watch it in a handful of cinemas.

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Synopsis: “The story of seven people on trial stemming from various charges surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.”

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Alex Sharp, Sacha Baron Cohen. Directed by Aaron Sorkin.

What the critics are saying: “Despite its historical setting, The Trial of the Chicago 7 has a timely message: That Americans can’t always count on their leaders to pursue the noble aims of truth and liberty.”

Where to see it: Stream it on Netflix.

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