the gold rush

Here’s Where You Can Stream This Year’s Oscar Movies

Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins in The Father. Photo: Sean Gleason/Sony Pictures Classics

After what feels like 2,021 years, the 2021 Oscar season is finally in full swing. Ahead of its April 25 ceremony, the Academy announced this year’s Oscar nominations, full of of snubs and surprises but also a lot of things that just made sense — and things you should watch. After a long year of theater closures, constant movie calendar reshuffles, and a lot of confusion over what’s streaming where, we’ve put together a handy guide for catching up with all of this year’s feature-length Oscar noms. Prep your watchlists.

Another Round

Four teachers conduct an experiment where they decide to drink daily to see how it’ll affect their lives. Starring Mads Mikkelsen, the Danish comedy broke out late last year during its U.S. release, making Vulture’s top-ten films of 2020, and now, director Thomas Vinterberg nabbed a top nomination for Best Director, along with Best International Feature. (Available to stream on Hulu and to rent on iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, and Amazon.)

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Sacha Baron Cohen’s sequel to Borat made headlines thanks to a certain moment, but Borat Subsequent Moviefilm shined beyond that thanks in large part to newcomer (and now Oscar nominee) Maria Bakalova as Borat’s daughter. (Available to stream on Amazon.)

Da 5 Bloods

Spike Lee’s drama around the poignant journey of four Vietnam War vets reuniting has been weirdly snubbed throughout the awards season. No Delroy Lindo nom? No Best Director love? Still, it is exciting to see that Terence Blanchard’s score managed to nab a nomination. (Available to stream on Netflix.)


It’s only proper that one of last year’s most lavish-looking films — based on the classic Jane Austen novel and starring Anya-Taylor Joy — earned some love in the Costume and Makeup and Hairstyling categories. (Available to stream on HBO Max and to purchase on iTunes, YouTube, and Amazon.)

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga

It’s no doubt been a weird year for everyone, so why not nominate a weirdly delightful movie like Eurovision Song Contest? Starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as a pair of offbeat Icelandic singers striving to make it big in the annual Eurovision contest, Eurovision is real silly but with a warm, emotional center. While it’s unfortunate that there’ll be no “Jaja Ding Dong” performance at the Oscars, “Husavik” is still such a fun addition to the Best Original Song category. (Available to stream on Netflix.)

The Father

Based on director Florian Zeller’s own play of the same name, The Father focuses on Anthony (played by Anthony Hopkins, who received a Best Actor nom) as he struggles with the onset of dementia, from losing his things to forgetting what his daughter Anne (Olivia Colman, who also earned a nomination) looks like. Along with acting noms, The Father also earned Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Production Design, and Film Editing nominations. Not too bad for Zeller’s directorial debut. (Available to rent on Amazon, YouTube, and Google Play.)


Despite some choppy reviews, Tom Hanks’s film about boats in battle surprisingly managed to sail on to the Oscars with a Best Sound nomination. (Available to stream on Apple TV+.)

Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy is a contentious Oscar film, from the leading performances to the suspect political premise behind J.D. Vance’s memoir about his small Appalachian hometown. While the Oscars seem to have seen through it, the film still managed to get nominations for Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Supporting Actress for Glenn Close, who absolutely deserves an Oscar but maybe not for this. (Available to stream on Netflix.)

Judas and the Black Messiah

Unfortunately, Judas and the Black Messiah’s window on HBO Max has expired but it is in theaters (if you go, be safe). Chronicling the real-life events surrounding the FBI’s infiltration of the Black Panther Party, the film stars Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya as William O’Neal and Fred Hampton, which earned both of them nominations in the Supporting Actor race. The movie also earned a Best Picture nom, along with Original Screenplay, Cinematography, and Original Song. (Available to rent on Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, Vudu, and Google Play.)

The Life Ahead

The Sofia Loren–starring The Life Ahead from director Edoardo Ponti was well received but still only managed to secured one nomination — for its original song “Io Sì (Seen).” (Available to stream on Netflix.)

Love and Monsters

A lack of big 2020 blockbusters opened up some doors for movies like Love and Monsters, a quirky big-budget film about finding love in the apocalypse. The Dylan O’Brien starrer managed to nab a Best Visual Effects nomination. (Available to rent on iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and Amazon.)

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Adapted from the August Wilson play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom struck a chord with its exceptional performances — most notably from the nominated Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman, who earned a posthumous Best Actor nod and may likely win. The movie was overlooked for top prizes like Best Picture or Director, but it did also get noms for Costume and Production Design. (Available to stream on Netflix.)


The Academy was definitely feeling Mank: David Fincher’s trip through 1930s Hollywood via Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz leads the Oscars with ten nominations, because there’s really nothing Hollywood loves more than a story about Hollywood. The film earned noms for what seemingly feels like everything — Best Picture, Director, and acting noms for Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried, along with Best Score, Cinematography, Production Design, and more. (Available to stream on Netflix.)

The Midnight Sky

Another post-apocalyptic choice on this list, The Midnight Sky stars (and is directed by) George Clooney as a scientist in a wintery, uninhabitable Earth who is determined to warn a group of astronauts on a mission in space the depressing news that there’s no Earth to come back to. The film gained middling reviews but it did earn itself a Best Visual Effects nomination. (Available to stream on Netflix.)


Director Lee Isaac Chung’s story of a Korean American family trying to make a life for themselves in America tugged on our heartstrings when it was making the festival rounds last year, and it hasn’t let go yet. Steven Yuen and Youn Yuh-jung earned nominations for Best Actor and Supporting Actress, and Chung also nabbed a slot in the Best Director category; the movie is also competing for Best Picture, Score, and Original Screenplay. (The snubbed Alan Kim would’ve also been a fun pick, but alas.) (Available to rent on YouTube, Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.)


The latest live-action Disney adaptation focuses on a more austere Mulan, played by Liu Yifei, as she disguises herself as a man to take her father’s place in the emperor’s army. The film earned noms in Costume Design and Visual Effects. (Available to stream on Disney+ and to purchase on iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube.)

News of the World

Tom Hanks brings star energy to Paul Greengrass’s Western as an old Civil War veteran who’s tasked with delivering a lost young girl across Texas to her aunt and uncle. Hanks wasn’t nominated in the end, but News of the World still received nods for Cinematography, Score, Production Design, and Sound. (Available to rent on YouTube, Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.)


Chloé Zhao’s quietly moving portrait of American life has seemed poised for big awards and recognition since the minute it premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Now it’s a heavy favorite: Nomadland received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress for Frances McDormand. (Available to stream on Hulu.)

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan (starring a barrage of stars, including Bryan Cranston, Angelina Jolie, and Sam Rockwell) is another theaters-to-Disney+ film that managed to nab its one and only nomination for Best Visual Effects. (Available to stream on Disney+.)

One Night in Miami

One of the most notable snubs was the exclusion of Regina King’s One Night in Miami in big categories like Best Picture or Best Director. But it’s not all bad news: Playwright Kemp Powers’s screenplay did earn a nom, and Leslie Odom Jr. is in contention for both Original Song and Best Supporting Actor, thanks to his portrayal of Sam Cooke. (Available to stream on Amazon.)


A victim of unfortunate timing, Onward premiered in theaters for just a few weeks, only to quickly transport itself onto Disney+. Director Dan Scanlon’s emotionally rooted tale may have performed with mixed success, but the Pixar film naturally gained the Academy’s recognition with a Best Animated Feature nomination. (Available to stream on Disney+ and to rent on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, and Google Play.)

Over the Moon

Speaking of Disney, former animator Glen Keane’s film Over the Moon managed to score a Best Animated Feature nomination as well. Cathy Ang voices the young heroine Fei Fei, who builds a rocket to fly to the moon in an attempt to discover the goddess of the moon. (Available to stream on Netflix.)


No, this isn’t Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. This isn’t even Robert Zemeckis’s Pinocchio. This is Matteo Garrone’s live-action retelling of the classic fairy tale of a young puppet yearning to be a real boy, which received nominations for Costume Design and Makeup and Hairstyling. (Available to rent on YouTube, Amazon, and Google Play.)

Promising Young Woman

Emerald Fennell’s feature film debut really hit the ground running. Since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in (wait for it) January 2020 (!), Fennell’s explosive film has been in the conversation among critics for awards potential for a while now. And at the center of the film is Carey Mulligan’s performance, for which she earned a Best Actress nom. Along with Mulligan, Fennell nabbed some big awards with Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, and Film Editing. (Available to rent on YouTube, Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.)

Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

Joining Over the Moon in the Best Animated Feature category, Shaun the Sheep Movie adds another animated Netflix affair into awards consideration. But unlike Over the Moon, this quirky film follows a character we know, this time during an alien invasion. (Available to stream on Netflix.)


The second Pixar film of 2020 (and the second one to receive an Animated Feature nom for 2021), Pete Docter and Kemp Powers’s Soul is a stirring piece of work trying to balance kid-like sensibilities with grander midlife woes and ideas, all set to a backdrop of jaw-dropping 2-D and 3-D animation. (Available to stream on Disney+ and to purchase on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, and Google Play.)

Sound of Metal

It’s been a good year for directorial debuts; count Darius Marder’s Sound of Metal as part of the club. The tender film stars Riz Ahmed as Ruben Stone, whose life is turned upside down when he begins to lose his hearing. His performance earned him a Best Actor nod, while his co-star Paul Raci is in the running for Best Supporting Actor. But that’s not all: Sound of Metal is also vying for Best Picture, Original Screenplay, Sound, and Film Editing trophies. (Available to stream on Amazon.)


Christopher Nolan’s indulgent mystery-box-within-a-mystery-box of a film made waves as the first 2020 blockbuster to attempt to release in theaters and because the plot itself was, as Nate Jones puts it, “one of 2020’s most intriguing mysteries.” (Even as someone who has seen it, I couldn’t tell you what happened, though this can!) Despite a weird release and mixed reviews, Nolan’s film definitely didn’t go unnoticed, earning nominations for Production Design and Visual Effects. (Available to rent on iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube.)

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Aaron Sorkin may have not been nominated for Best Director, but his talky, star-studded courtroom drama did earn some top nominations: Best Picture, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, and Original Song. (Available to stream on Netflix.)

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

The United States vs. Billie Holiday retells the history behind the FBI’s aggressive pursuit of singer Billie Holiday. How compellingly it succeeds at that is another thing, but Andra Day’s portrayal of Holiday is what really stands out, hence her Best Actress nomination. (Available to stream on Hulu.)

The White Tiger

Released late in the Oscar nominations calendar, The White Tiger was just able to nab an Adapted Screenplay nom. Adapted from the novel by Aravind Adiga, the crime drama revolves around a driver for a rich Indian couple with ambitions to rise up to the top. (Available to stream on Netflix.)


One of the most magical films of last year is one you probably haven’t seen yet. A stunningly animated film from Irish directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart, Wolfwalkers uses the medium to tell a moving fable of a young girl who meets a friend named Mebh Óg MacTíre, a girl by day and a wolf by night. The film is going up against some big guns for Best Animated Feature, but we wouldn’t be upset if it won. (Available to stream on Apple TV+.)

Best International Feature

Another Round
Not only did director Thomas Vinterberg nab a nomination, but the Mads Mikkelsen drama is pulling for Best International Feature. (Streaming on Hulu, iTunes, YouTube, and Amazon.)

Better Days
This twisted, star-crossed romance stars Zhou Dongyu and Jackson Yee as a bullied high-schooler seeking refuge with a petty criminal. (Streaming on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, and Google Play.)

Collective is an enthralling look at the investigative journalism into the fire at Bucharest’s Colectiv club. (Streaming on Amazon, YouTube, and Google Play.)

The Man Who Sold His Skin
As the title suggests, this film tells the story of Sam, a Syrian refugee who agrees to have his back tattooed by a contemporary artist. (Streaming on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Vudu, and Google Play.)

Quo Vadis, Aida?
Set in 1995, Aida works as a U.N. translator in the town of Srebrenica when the Serbian army takes over, leaving her with some difficult decisions to make. (Streaming on Amazon and Vudu.)

Best Documentary Feature

Along with Best International Feature, Collective’s dive into health-care fraud following the fire at Bucharest’s Colectiv club scored a Documentary nomination as well. (Streaming on Amazon, YouTube, and Google Play.)

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
Executive produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, Crip Camp shows the grassroots activism of a group of teenage campers who fight for disability civil rights. (Streaming on Netflix.)

The Mole Agent
This documentary feature follows the story of an 83-year-old who has been hired by a private investigator to pose as a resident in a nursing house suspected of abuse. (Streaming on Hulu, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, and Google Play.)

My Octopus Teacher
A diver learns from an octopus. What more is there to say? (Streaming on Netflix.)

Director Garrett Bradley’s gripping documentary on the injustice of the prison-industrial complex follows Fox Rich as she campaigns for the release of her husband Rob, who was sentenced to 60 years for a robbery. (Streaming on Amazon.)

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Here’s Where You Can Stream This Year’s Oscar Movies