Earlier this week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced the full list of nominees for the 93rd Academy Awards.
Based on the buzz of many film aficionados, 2020 seems to have been a strong year for film, especially where long-overdue diversity is concerned.
That said, it was also undoubtedly one of the most complicated years for the industry. That’s because the COVID-19 pandemic ensured that release schedules were repeatedly upended, with films dropping months later across theatres (where open), streaming services and/or premium video-on-demand (PVOD) platforms.
Therefore, you’d be forgiven for being at a loss as to where you can even watch most of these films — especially in Canada, where the streaming market is even more fragmented than the United States.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up where you can watch each of the Best Picture nominees in Canada.
Co-writer/director Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his 2012 play Le Père stars Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs) as an aging man who grapples with dementia.
Judas and the Black Messiah
Directed by Shaka King (Shrill), this biographical drama chronicles the betrayal of Black Panther Party Illinois chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out), by FBI Informant William O’Neill (Lakeith Stanfield, Atlanta).
Notably, this is Warner Bros.’ second major 2021 film to come directly to streaming platforms, following January’s Denzel Washington crime thriller The Little Things. Last year, the company confirmed that it would bring all of its 2021 slate to its HBO Max service in the U.S., with Canada receiving the films via theatres where applicable.
Tom & Jerry and Godzilla vs. Kong have also since come to PVOD.
Gary Oldman (The Darkest Hour) plays Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz in The Social Network director David Fincher’s drama about the development of the iconic film’s screenplay.
Unlike most of the other films on this list, watching Mank is quite straightforward: since it’s a Netflix Original, you can just stream it there.
Mank is the most nominated film overall with 10 nods. Overall, Netflix has 35 nominations, more than any other distributor.
From writer-director Lee Isaac Chung (Abigail Harm) comes this semi-autobiographical about a South Korean immigrant family trying to make it in rural American during the 1980s, starring Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), Han Ye-Ri (Secret Zoo), Alan Kim (breakout role) and Youn Yuh-jung (Keys to the Heart).
Notably, Yeun is the first Asian-American in Oscars history to be up for Best Actor.
Writer-director Chloé Zhao (The Rider) takes a look at the life of a woman (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri‘s Frances McDormand) who leaves home to travel the American West.
While the U.S. got Nomandland on Hulu on February 19th, Canadians weren’t able to stream the film on Canada’s version of Hulu, Disney+ Star, until April 9th. Instead, Nomadland got a theatrical release in the Greater Toronto Area on March 19th in areas where cinemas were permitted to open.
Zhao is the first woman of colour to be nominated for Best Director.
Stream Nomadland on Disney+ here.
Promising Young Woman
Carey Mulligan (Mudbound) stars in writer-director Emerald Fennell’s (Call the Midwife) black comedy thriller about a med school dropout who leads a double life to right the wrongs of her past.
Promising Young Woman can be rented for $4.99 from the Cineplex Store and $6.99 on iTunes and Google Play. Meanwhile, it costs $24.99 to purchase the film on iTunes and Google Play and $26.99 from the Cineplex Store.
Notably, both Fennell and Zhao are up for Best Director, making it the first time in the history of the nearly 100-year-old Academy Awards to have more than one woman nominated in the category at the same time.
Sound of Metal
A punk-metal drummer (The Night Of‘s Riz Ahmed) loses his hearing. The Place Beyond the Pines writer Darius Marder co-wrote and directed the film.
Ahmed is the first-ever Muslim to be up for Best Actor at the Oscars.
Over the past few months, you might have seen Amazon promoting Sound of Metal, but unfortunately, it’s not actually streaming on Amazon Prime Video Canada. That’s because the company only acquired the American rights to the film; in Canada, the rights are held by Toronto-based Pacific Northwest Pictures.
Therefore, Canadians need to either rent Sound of Metal for $4.99 from Google Play and $5.99 from iTunes and the Cineplex Store or buy the film from Google Play for $9.99 and iTunes and the Cineplex Store for $14.99.
Alternatively, you can watch the “rent” the film for free through Hoopla using your public library card (only in participating municipalities).
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network), The Trial of the Chicago 7 tells the story of the eponymous group of anti-Vietnam War protestors who were charged with conspiracy and crossing state lines.
The film features an ensemble cast that includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen), Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Michael Keaton (Birdman) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (500 Days of Summer).
Like Mank, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a Netflix Original film, so subscribers can stream it at will.
There are the eight Best Picture nominees, which have also been nominated in many other categories. However, here’s where you can watch some of the other acclaimed films that are up for various Oscars:
- Another Round (Best Director for Thomas Vinterberg, other) — rent for $5.99 on iTunes, $6.99 on Google Play and $4.99 on the Cineplex Store, and buy for $12.99 on Google Play and $14.99 on iTunes and Cineplex
- Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Best Supporting Actress for Maria Bakalova, others) — Amazon Prime Video
- Da 5 Bloods (Best Original Score, also one of Chadwick Boseman’s final performances) — Netflix
- Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Best Actor and Actress for Boseman and Viola Davis, respectively) — Netflix
- One Night in Miami (Best Adapted Screenplay, others) — Amazon Prime Video
- Soul (Best Animated Film, others) — Disney+
- Wolfwalkers (Best Animated Film) — Apple TV+
The full list of nominations can be found here. The 93rd Academy Awards will be held on April 25th.
Image credit: A24
Update 16/03/2021 at 10:51pm ET: Added Hoopla as an option for Sound of Metal.
Update 2 27/03/2021 at 16:08pm ET: Added links to rent The Father.
Update 3 09/04/2021 at 1:56pm ET: Added link to stream Nomadland on Disney+.