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Oscars 2022: Binge this year’s best in show

Get ready to walk the carpet and take the best seats in your house for this year's Oscar nominated movies. Here are the ones to watch (and where)…

It’s been a weird year for film. Cinemas have been closed, streaming has been huge and iced movie projects finally reached their big screen destiny. So with the Oscars 2022 taking place this weekend, what can we expect? Well, it’s a year of snubs and surprises. The Academy did not go Gaga over the House of Gucci and Jennifer Hudson’s starring role in Aretha Franklin biopic got no Respect. As for the Brits, well there’s plenty in the mix. Grab the popcorn, here’s are our ones to watch and where you can find them…

The Power Of The Dog

The POwer of the Dog
Image: Netflix

Oscar noms: 12 – Best Picture, Best Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Best Supporting Actress (Kirsten Dunst), Best Supporting Actor (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Best Supporting Actor (Jesse Plemons), Best Director (Jane Campion), Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay (Jane Campion), Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Film Editing and Best Sound.

What you need to know: Benedict Cumberbatch stares ominously out into the hills and looks gritty in this beautifully shot, brawny western, which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. Directed by Jane Campion (The Piano; Bright Star), it tells the story of two weather-beaten cattle ranchers, and the issue one of them (Cumberbatch) takes when the other suddenly acquires a wife (Kirsten Dunst) — particularly on account of her soft, somewhat effeminate son. To say the critics loved it is frankly an understatement.

Where to watch it? Netflix, baby. If you want a big screen experience you’ll find it some cinemas, but why bother when you can stream from the sofa.

Dune

Oscar noms: Seven – Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best Sound.

What you need to know: At 2hrs 35mins long, it’s excruciatingly long. So if you’re not a sci-fi fan, take the opportunity to have a snooze. Adapted from Frank Herbert’s novel, Dune boasts an all-star cast – Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem – who take us on a mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey with the usual malevolent forces getting in the way. Be warned it’s a two-parter and part two won’t be coming until October 2023.

Where to watch it? Now available to rent or buy from all digital platforms. Also available on old school BluRay.

West Side Story

SPielberg West Side Story 2021
Image: 20th Century Studios

Oscar noms: Seven – Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Ariana DeBose), Best Director (Steven Spielberg), Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Sound.

What you need to know: The 1961 original scooped a whopping 10 Oscars, so no pressure. It’s a much-loved classic and this Spielberg remake – his first musical – had movie buffs clutching their weiners. Critics loved and hated it, but the the public fell in love with Ariana DeBose’s Anita, Ansel Elgort as Tony and newcomer Rachel Zegler’s Maria. Grab a super-sized box of tissues because this Romeo & Juliet storyline of forbidden love caught up in a racially-motivated turf war is sweet, sweaty and emotionally charged.

Where to watch it? Now available on Disney+. The original 1961 West Side Story is available to rent on Amazon Prime.

Belfast

Oscar noms: Seven – Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench), Best supporting Actor (Ciarán Hinds), Best Director (Kenneth Branagh), Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound and Best Original Song.

What you need to know: Belfast positively shimmers with stardust. Sir Kenneth Branagh wrote, directed and produced this semi-autobiographical film, starring hottie Jamie Dornan, Caitríona Balfe, Ciarán Hinds, Judi Dench and Jude Hill as 10-year-old Buddy. Set in the 1960s, tells the story of a young couple’s struggle to keep their family safe during The Troubles. Despite the violence of the era, the film leans into the child’s perspective delivering hope and warmth. Will it win? It’s got a chance for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay.

Where to watch it? In cinemas and available to rent on Sky Cinema, Amazon Prime and Google Play TV.

King Richard

Will smith KING RICHARD
Image: Warner Brothers Studio

Oscar noms: Six – Best Picture, Best Actor (Will Smith), Best Supporting Actress (Aunjanue Ellis), Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song.

What you need to know: Will it be third time lucky for Will Smith? The gold statue has eluded him to date but this year it could be game, set and match. King Richard is one of my favourite films of 2021. It tells story of tennis legends Serena and Venus Williams as they rise from rags to the riches of pro tennis. Their dad Richard was the man with the plan – nothing and nobody was going to get in their way.

Where to watch it? Available to rent in on demand stores.

Don’t Look Up

Don't Look Up
Image: Netflix

Oscar noms: Four – Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Film Editing.

What you need to know: One of the big surprises on this year’s shortlist. The four nods have seemingly come out of nowhere – much like the story’s deadly comet that’s hurtling towards Earth. It’s got a phenomenal cast – Leo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Mark Rylance. I’m not sure it gets better than that. But not one of them made the cut. Will it win? It’s unlikely, but if you haven’t seen it, Don’t Look Up is a fun watch.

Where to watch it? On Netflix.

Being the Ricardos

Lucille Ball BEING THE RICARDOS Javier Bardem and Nicole Kidman
Image: Glen Wilson/ Amazon Studios

Oscar noms: Three – Best Actress (Nicole Kidman), Best Actor (Javier Bardem), Best Supporting Actor (JK Simmons).

What you need to know: The Academy go weak at the knees over films set in the halcyon days of old Hollywood. So seeing Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem nominated is unsurprising. Aaron Sorkin’s Being The Ricardos depicts the life of Lucille Ball who led an unprecedented charge for women in the film industry, essentially writing for, producing, directing herself as she performed in the iconic I Love Lucy. Nicole and Javier are superb as Lucille Ball and hubby Desi Arnaz. It’s shocking to think Kidman last took Oscar home 20 years ago for her role in The Hours. She hasn’t aged a bit.

Where to watch it? Exclusively available on Amazon Prime Video.

Licorice Pizza

Oscar noms: One – Best Picture

What you need to know: Licorice Pizza has nothing to do with a weird date night menu. The title plays homage to the iconic 1970s Californian record store chain of the same name, setting the tone for writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s teen love story which has critics gushing. Fifteen-year old Gary – played by Cooper Hoffman, son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman – falls in love with 25-year-old Alana (Alana Haim) but their romance is rocky. Shocker. Eyes peeled for some gloriously hammy A List cameos. We see you Bradley Cooper and Sean Penn.

Where to watch it? Cinemas only.

Nightmare Alley

nightmare-alley-bradley-cooper
Image: Searchlight Pictures

Oscar noms: Four – Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.

What you need to know: The master of the monster movie Guillermo del Toro directs Bradley Cooper and Rooney Mara in this shocking thriller about a conman who takes the clairvoyant tricks he learns in a carnival to the city in the hope of making a fortune. Looking into my crystal ball, it doesn’t stand a chance of winning, but I’d watch it for Brad alone.

Where to watch it? Now on Disney+.

The Lost Daughter

Oscar noms: Three – Best Actress (Olivia Colman), Best Supporting Actress (Jessie Buckley) and Best Adapted Screenplay.

What you need to know: Everything Olivia Colman touches turns to gold, which is a pretty good omen for her to walk way with an Oscar. The unnerving tale of a woman (Colman) enjoying a sunny Italian beach holiday footloose and fancy free. But her past comes to haunt her as she becomes obsessed with a woman and her daughter. Maggie Gyllenhaal makes her directorial debut with this adaptation os Elena Farrante’s novel.

Where to watch it? On Netflix

Tick Tick… Boom!

Oscar noms: Two – Best actor (Andrew Garfield) and Best Film Editing.

What you need to know: For starters, who knew Andrew Garfield can sing and dance? Before this film the last time he sang was at a karaoke bar belting our Will Smith’s Welcome To Miami. Tick Tick… Boom! is an adaptation of the autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, who revolutionised theatre as the creator of Rent. Sounds great, but we all want is a Garfield win so the man… can ‘Party in the city where the heat is on…’

Where to watch it? Available on Netflix.

Cruella

Cruella Emma Stone Leather
Image: Disney

Oscar noms: Two – Best Costume Design and Best Make Up and Hair Styling.

What you need to know: Lock up your puppies! Cruella is hunting an Oscar and we’re hoping the fur will be flying and the fashion fierce. Another spin off of Disney classic 101 Dalmatians, this time with Emma Stone, in the titular role. Set in the 70s Britain, the soon-to-be Cruella wants to innovate in the fashion world. With 45 costume changes it’s got to win for stamina alone.

Where to watch it? Disney+.

Encanto

Oscar noms: Two – Best Animated Film and Best Original Score.

What you need to know: Disney’s 60th animated film and Mirabel is the first protagonist to wear glasses. Say what?! Since it was released in November 2021, children all over the world have gone nuts for Encanto. It’s beautifully written has catchy tunes and obviously it’s super sweet. It’ll give some grown ups toothache, but a sugar rush is just what’s needed right now. It’s nailed on for Best Animated Film, surely?

Where to watch it? Disney+

The 94th Academy Awards take place on Sun 27 March 2022.

Words: Rachel Jane, Editor Muddy Berkshire

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