We’re approaching the Oscar home stretch, y’all. Time to cram in as many Oscar-nominated films as you can
so you can feel impressive when it’s time to fill out your Oscar ballot because you really, really love movies. Most of the big players—Selma, American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Boyhood, Birdman—are still in theaters, and several that are out of theaters are waiting until after the big day for their home video release.
But there are still a good chunk of Oscar nominees floating around for rent or purchase online, if you look for ‘em. Or if you know a friendly neighborhood Pajiba writer who will look for them for you. The spreadsheet lives!
The Bigguns, aka the films nominated for Best Picture, the acting, directing, and screenwriting awards, and the like.
Of the Best Picture nominees, the only one that’s available online is The Grand Budapest Hotel, which you can buy on Amazon or iTunes. Ditto its Best Original Screenplay competition Nightcrawler. For those more of the rental persuasion, there’s Gone Girl and The Judge, also available on Amazon and iTunes. Three of the five Best Animated Feature films are available for purchase/rent: The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and Big Hero 6 (out today). And you can shell out ten bucks to buy The LEGO Movie, which—God and the devil and everyone else knows—should have been nominated for Best Animated Feature, but only got Best Original Song.
Foreign Films ‘n’ Docs
Show of hands: Who wants to watch a depressing, black and white Polish film about a wannabe nun who finds out that she’s Jewish? Hellllz yeah! Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography nominee Ida (which, despite my snarking, is actually really good) is on Netflix and Amazon Prime, plus iTunes if you don’t subscribe to either of those services. So you really have no excuse not to watch it, unless you don’t want to watch a depressing, black and white Polish film, which… fair. None of the other foreign nominees are available yet.
For docs, Virunga, about the efforts to save the last of the world’s mountain gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Virunga National Park, is a Netflixer. Finding Vivian Maier and Last Days in Vietnam are both available for rent/purchase on iTunes and Amazon. Wim Wenders’ Salt of the Earth and frontrunner Citizenfour, about Edward Snowden, aren’t out yet. More’s the pity.
Shots, shots, shots! Shorts, shorts, shorts!
Just a few here. Short doc Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, about veterans who staff a Veterans’ Crisis Line, is on HBO GO, Amazon, and iTunes. You can buy Best Animated Short nominees Me and My Moulton on its website and A Single Life on iTunes. And Disney’s Feast comes out today, bundled with Big Hero 6.
To take it offline for a moment, every year ShortsHD screens the Oscar-nominated shorts in theaters, and it’s really fucking awesome. These are some amazing films, and you’d probably never get a chance to see them at all otherwise, never mind on the big screen. I saw the Live Action program over the weekend, and there wasn’t a bad film in the lot. Check the website to see if any theaters near you are screening ‘em.
Miscellaneous and the Techies, aka your new band name.
Maleficent (Best Costume Design), Guardians of the Galaxy (Makeup and Visual Effects), Begin Again (Original Song), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Visual Effects), and X-Men: Days of Future Past (Visual Effects) are available for rental or purchase on iTunes and Amazon. If you haven’t already bought Visual Effects and Best Butt nominee Captain America: The Winter Soldier, that’s on Amazon and iTunes, but no rental, because you need to own that ass.