Hollywood provides us all with the ultimate distraction each winter: the Academy Awards®! Oscar nominations came out earlier this month (you can view the entire list here), as did the news that Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes will emcee the March 27th ceremony—which has been host-less for the past 3 years.
The show is already mired in controversy after producers announced that 8 categories—Original Score, Makeup and Hairstyling, Documentary Short, Film Editing, Production Design, Animated Short, Live Action Short and Sound—would be cut from the telecast in order to cut down on the event’s running time. Feelings are hurt and egos are bruised, but it’s unclear if there will be any retaliation from those in categories that will still be televised. I expect at least one A-list star to speak out about this snub while giving their acceptance speech…
So if you want to catch up on some of the nominees before the big night, here are several of the nominated movies we have now (or will have soon) at Redbox:
Belfast – Kenneth Branagh’s black-and-white film about a boy (Jude Hill) growing up in Northern Ireland during The Troubles is a fictionalized version of Branagh’s own childhood. It’s racked up 7 nominations total, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ciarán Hinds) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Judi Dench). Whew!
Dune – With 10 nominations comes the first half of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel. Starring Timothée Chalamet as the possible prophesized savior of the desert planet Arrakis, it’s quite the sight to behold between its sweeping landscapes and futuristic tech.
King Richard – In this inspiring biopic that’s earned 6 nominations, Will Smith as Richard Williams makes all other dads look like lazy slackers as he begins planning Venus and Serena’s path to tennis-world domination from the moment they were born. Smith is up for Best Actor, his on-screen wife Aunjanue Ellis is up for Best Actress in Supporting Role, and the film earned Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay nods as well.
Licorice Pizza – Up for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, this charming coming-of-age story written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson introduces two new and amazing talents to the big screen: Cooper Hoffman (son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Alana Haim (of the band Haim), who play an enterprising high-schooler and his older crush.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Spencer and Parallel Mothers – All 3 of these films earned their leading ladies a shot at taking home a gold statue. The first two are biopics, with Jessica Chastain playing televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker and Kristen Stewart portraying Princess Diana. In Parallel Mothers, Penélope Cruz plays a new mom whose life becomes intertwined with a younger woman she meets at the hospital.
Encanto, Luca, The Mitchells vs. The Machines, and Raya and the Last Dragon – This is a strong year for family-friendly movies, with these four—plus the riveting documentary Flee—earning Best Animated Feature Film nominations. Besides their obvious animation connection, these movies also all have inspiring, positive messages.
To all those who plan to watch the show, enjoy!