An explanation of each Best Picture nominated movie and where you can watch them
Ford v Ferrari
Ford v Ferrari looks like just an action film about race car drivers, but it hides hidden depth and great acting, creating a tense but simple plot. This film wasn’t just nominated for Best Picture, but also best Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. Starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, two Academy Award winners, it’ll be an on-the-edge-of-your-seat experience. Sadly, it’ll be a movie seat, because the only place to see it is a theater.
Director Taika Waititi may be known for his comedies (Ragnarok, What We Do In The Shadows), and while Jojo Rabbit is undeniably hilarious, it forces you to confront the beliefs you’ve been taught your entire life. It’s the story of a young german boy, Jojo, in Nazi Germany who has to fix his blind nationalism when he discovers that his family is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. There’ll be tears alright, both from laughing and from sobbing. Jojo Rabbit is currently on a limited rerelease, with showings at places like AMC Veterans and Tampa Theatre.
Greta Gerwig makes a 151 year old story feel new again with Little Women, starring world-famous actors such as Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan (nominated for Best Actress) and Florence Pugh (nominated for Best Supporting Actress). The movie follows the March sisters as they navigate the transition into adulthood, with all the hardships women have to face in 19th century America. The film came out on Christmas, so it’s still showing in theaters nationwide.
A movie about World War One might not feel new, but 1917 has a twist. The two main characters, soldiers desperately trying to survive, are sent on a mission that could save over 1600 fellow soldiers–including one of the main character’s brother. It realistically depicts the brutality of the first World War, as humanity struggled to adjust to the horrific weapons they could now make. It won Best Picture at the Golden Globes, and is still showing in most theaters because of its December release date.
The Irishman is a mob story, told through the narration of a man who accidentally became a hitman in the last half of the 20th century. Earning 10 Academy Award nominations, this film boasts a cast of Hollywood icons such as Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. It was initially released in international film festivals, where it met wide acclaim, and was then released in theaters nationwide. Currently, it’s available to stream, so anyone with a Netflix password can watch it.
Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver play distraught spouses in Marriage Story, a Netflix film all about the complications of marriage and divorce. Johansson and Driver play two people in a failing marriage, each person accusing the other of being the reason for a lack of love. The topic may be dark, but both leads were nominated for Best Actor for their sex, promising an intriguing performance. The film only had a small release to be able to qualify for nominations, so it is available to everyone on Netflix.
Marvel may have started 2019 being the biggest comic book movie producer, but DC ended it, with Joker being nominated for 11 Academy Awards–the most of the show. The film is about the rise, or the fall, of famous comic book villain the Joker, otherwise known as Arthur Fleck. Joker has been praised for it’s portrayal of mental illness and other dark themes, and is currently the highest grossing R-rated movie ever. It’s in theaters as part of a rerelease, but you can also rent or buy it on websites like Amazon.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Once Upon a Time demonstrates the clash of old vs. new Hollywood in 1960s Los Angeles, all while depicting the rise of serial killers during the same time period. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt simultaneously deal with feeling out of place among young people, while also trying not to get murdered by Charles Manson. It came out in July, so it’s available to rent or buy most places, but you can also see it in a theater for a limited time.
Parasite made history for being the first Korean film nominated for Best Picture, and it deserves the spot. The film is mind-numbingly good, perfectly combining black comedy with thriller, which snagged it six nominations from the Academy Awards. Parasite follows the relationship between the filthy rich Kim family and the dirt poor Park family, and it has a 99 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Currently, you can buy the film on websites like Amazon, or you can watch it during its rerelease in a theater.