The 92nd Academy Awards took place on Sunday, Feb. 9, with a hostless, three-and-a-half-hour ceremony that ended with the prestigious Best Picture Oscar going to Bong Joon-ho’s South Korean class satire Parasite. The other eight films nominated for Best Picture this year run the gamut from historical dramas (1917, The Irishman, Ford v. Ferrari) and darkly comedic alternate histories (Jojo Rabbit, Once Upon A Time…in Hollywood) to a portrait of a messy divorce (Marriage Story) and a fresh interpretation of classic literature (Little Women). And then there’s Joker.
While streaming services have made it easier to watch Oscar movies (two of the nominees are Netflix Originals), catching up is still a daunting task. We’ve done the math — these films add up to nearly 21 and a half hours in total run time.
If you prefer to watch movies in a dark room surrounded by strangers, several theater chains, including AMC, Regal Cinemas, and Alamo Drafthouse have been hosting special Oscars showcases, and many of the nominees have returned to theaters. But Alamo Drafthouse is the only major chain that will be airing all nine nominees; AMC and Regal refuse to screen films that didn’t get traditional theatrical releases, i.e. Netflix’s Oscar movies. (Alamo is also spotlighting a few Oscar snubs, like The Farewell, Hustlers, and Uncut Gems.)
But for those who’d rather binge in the comfort of their own homes, there are streaming options. Most of the nominees are available to stream, rent, or buy digitally. Here’s how to catch each of the nine Best Picture nominees.
Matt Damon and Christian Bale are perfectly matched as good ol’ boy race-car designer Carroll Shelby and curmudgeonly driver Ken Miles in this film based on Ford Motors’ attempt to build a vehicle to win France’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race. It’s a classic dad movie that’s elevated by James Mangold’s propulsive directing and a stick-it-to-The-Man attitude.
Also nominated for: Best Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing
The Irishman is a showcase of talent at the top of its game, starring some of cinema’s heaviest hitters (Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino), and featuring actors who could soon be our next De Niros or Pacinos (Bobby Cannavale, Jesse Plemons, Anna Paquin). Yes, Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half-hour epic based on the crime memoir I Heard You Paint Houses is unglamorous and meandering. It’s also Scorsese’s magnum opus. Both a commentary on and a culmination of the mafia movies that Scorsese is famous for, The Irishman strips the gangster lifestyle of any romantic allure. The decade-spanning format reveals how the few mafiosos who escape being murdered end up lonely and empty old men.
Also nominated for: Best Supporting Actor (Al Pacino and Joe Pesci), Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Editing, Production design, Visual Effects, Adapted Screenplay
How to watch: Streaming on Netflix.
Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi took some liberties when adapting Christine Leunens’ book about Jojo, a 10-year-old member of the Hitler Youth, who becomes infatuated with Elsa, a Jewish girl his mother secretly hides inside their walls. For one thing, the movie ends with the fall of the Third Reich, while in the novel, Jojo allows Elsa to believe that the war is still ongoing long after the Nazi occupation ends. Waititi also invents an imaginary friend for Jojo: a cartoonish Adolf Hitler played by Waititi himself. Billed as “an anti-hate satire,” JoJo Rabbit is a pitch-black comedy about the dismantling of white nationalism, but critics are divided on whether that message is sharp or toothless.
Also nominated for: Best Supporting Actress (Scarlett Johansson), Costume Design, Film Editing, Production Design, Adapted Screenplay
With Joker, director Todd Phillips set out to make the type of morally ambiguous character piece, like Taxi Driver or Serpico, that he believes no longer gets made these days without a franchise attached. (As a rebuttal to that assertion, see Uncut Gems.) What we got instead was a comic book movie that tries so hard to not be a comic book movie that it ends up saying absolutely nothing.
Admittedly, Joaquin Phoenix’s squirmy performance as the aspiring comedian Arthur Fleck is hard to look away from, and the whole movie is worth watching to at least participate in the discourse around the movie.
Also nominated for: Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix), Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Adapted Screenplay
Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the beloved Louisa May Alcott novel brings a fresh perspective to the 150-year-old story. Rather than recount the lives of Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Beth (Eliza Scanlen), Amy (Florence Pugh), and Meg (Emma Watson) linearly, Gerwig jumps back and forth between the March sisters’ childhood and adulthood. With this new format, Gerwig highlights the themes she wants to convey: female desire, agency, and anger, even adding some ambiguity to the novel’s “happy” ending.
Gerwig brings powerful, tender performances out of all of her actors, but Ronan and Pugh shine especially bright as Jo and Amy, revealing new facets of their contentious sisterly relationship.
Also nominated for: Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Supporting Actress (Florence Pugh), Costume Design, Original Score, Adapted Screenplay
How to watch: Now playing in theaters.
As husband and wife navigating a divorce, Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson run an emotional marathon in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story. They laugh, cry, yell, and sing songs from Sondheim musicals with naked vulnerability, all while guarding themselves behind shark-like lawyers (Laura Dern and Ray Liotta).
Though Baumbach attempts to show divorce as an awful, grueling process with no heroes or villains, Driver’s character does get a little more attention. That makes sense, though, given that Marriage Story seems at least loosely inspired by Baumbach’s own divorce from Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Also nominated for: Best Actor (Adam Driver), Actress (Scarlett Johansson), Supporting Actress (Laura Dern), Original Score, Original Screenplay
How to watch: Streaming on Netflix.
Designed to look like a single shot following two British soldiers’ race across a WWI-era no man’s land to deliver an urgent message to another unit, 1917 is more of a technical marvel than a meditation on the horrors of war. Director Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road, Skyfall) and cinematographer Roger Deakins (No Country for Old Men, Skyfall) are like a pair of magicians as they seamlessly merge set pieces into one long shot. While the single-take trick isn’t a new gimmick, it’s used to create a specific effect here: Mendes wanted to highlight the exhausting, disgusting, human side of the journey, based on stories he heard from his WWI-vet grandfather.
Also nominated for: Best Cinematography, Directing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Original Screenplay
How to watch: Now playing in theaters.
Quentin Tarantino’s obsessions with 1960s Hollywood, exaggerated violence, and feet are on full display in Once Upon A Time...in Hollywood. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt star as an aging TV cowboy, Rick Dalton, and his loyal stunt man, Cliff Booth, and both bring a lonely, tired energy to Tarantino’s buddy-cop banter. In 1969, Rick and Cliff cross paths with the central figures in the horrible murders that brought the Summer of Love to a halt: Charles Manson (Damon Herriman) and Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). With Once Upon A Time...in Hollywood, Tarantino offers a cathartic alternate history.
Also nominated for: Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt), Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Original Screenplay
It’s best to know as little as possible about Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece of class satire before watching it. The winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize is beautifully crafted, revealing itself gradually. Bong lets you think it’s going to be one thing before unfolding another layer to uncover a new twist. Haunting performances from Jang Hye-jin, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, and frequent Bong collaborator Song Kang-ho keep the central working-class Kim family feeling grounded, even when the plot gets more and more absurd.
Bong is a sharp critic of capitalism, as seen from his entire body of work, which includes Snowpiercer, Okja, and The Host. Parasite reveals the ways in which an unfair economic system brings out the worst in us all.
Also nominated for: Best Directing, International Film, Production Design, Original Screenplay