Last Updated: January 27, 2019
The 2019 Oscar nominations have been announced, so how can cinephiles watch the films in the running for Best Picture? This was one of the more bizarre awards seasons in recent memory, and the Academy found themselves at the center of several unwanted headlines. Whether it was the backlash over the proposed Best Popular Film category (which is now off the table) or the controversy surrounding the Kevin Hart hosting debacle (which will lead to the first host-less Oscars in 30 years), it seemed like the Academy couldn’t do anything right. Many were hoping the waters would steady once the Oscar nominations came out and viewers could celebrate the best in film.
Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Many curveballs were thrown on the campaign trail, as several presumed frontrunners (First Man, If Beale Street Could Talk) fell off and gave way to other titles that didn’t seem like Oscar contenders at first blush. As such, movie fans might be wondering how they can catch up on any Best Picture nominees they missed along the way. In this space, we’ll go over viewing options for all eight Best Picture contenders.
Other Nominations: Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing
Despite having three Avengers movies under its belt, Black Panther might be Marvel Studios’ most impressive accomplishment to date. Director Ryan Coogler brought his unique sensibilities to the comic book realm, telling a compelling story that dealt with serious, real-world topics and themes. The movie’s social relevance to today’s political climate struck a chord with millions around the world, and Black Panther made history by becoming the first superhero movie to be nominated in this category.
Black Panther has been on Blu-ray since May 2018. It is also currently available on Netflix, iTunes, Redbox, and Movies Anywhere.
Other Nominations: Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Adam Driver), Best Director (Spike Lee), Best Film Editing
A film only Spike Lee could make, BlacKkKlansman announced its Oscar candidacy with a strong screening at Cannes in May 2018 and rode the buzz from there. It was lauded for its deft handling of wildly contrasting tones, with scenes that showcased both the humor and the horror of Ron Stallworth’s situation. Lee also tapped into contemporary social commentary with a bold and daring ending that illustrated how far we still have to go in the fight against racism.
BlacKkKlansman has been on Blu-ray since November 2018. It is also available on iTunes, Redbox, and Movies Anywhere.
Other Nominations: Best Actor (Rami Malek), Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing
Perhaps the year’s least likeliest nominee, Bohemian Rhapsody chronicles the life of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and his rise to superstardom. The film was no stranger to controversy itself, be it the involvement of Bryan Singer or its questionable handling of key details about its subject. Nevertheless, awards voters enjoyed what they saw and showered Bohemian Rhapsody with nominations all through the season. The exhilarating Live Aid recreation landed the mark, apparently.
Bohemian Rhapsody is now available for purchase on iTunes and is on Movies Anywhere. It will hit Blu-ray on February 12. The film also played in 1,423 theaters nationwide this past weekend.
Other Nominations: Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Director (Yorgos Lanthimos), Best Actress (Olivia Colman), Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone), Best Supporting Actress (Rachel Weisz), Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing
Leader of the pack (alongside Roma) with 10 nominations, Yorgos Lanthimos’ deliciously delightful costume period piece ended up being a huge player across the board. The director is an acquired taste for many, so this is definitely one of the quirkier offerings of the season. But film buffs willing to give it a chance will be treated to a trio of excellent performances and a fresh spin on a classic genre.
This past weekend, The Favourite played in 1,540 theaters nationwide. No Blu-ray release date has been announced as of this writing, but the film is available to pre-order on iTunes and Movies Anywhere (expected date: February 12).
Other Nominations: Best Actor (Viggo Mortensen), Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing
Other than Bohemian Rhapsody, this is arguably the most polarizing of the eight nominees. Based on the true story of Italian-American bouncer Tony Lip driving African-American pianist Dr. Don Shirley through a concert tour in the deep South during the 1960s, the film has been hit with one controversy after another. Some criticized it for its antiquated approach to its subject matter and themes, dismissing it as a modern Driving Miss Daisy that played things too safe. There was also the recent outrage when co-writer Nick Vallelonga (an Oscar nominee for the screenplay) deleted his Twitter account after a racist, pro-Trump post of his went viral. Still, Green Book is hanging around and is a favorite thanks to its wins at the Golden Globes and PGA.
This past weekend, Green Book played in 2,430 theaters nationwide. It is available for pre-order on iTunes and Movies Anywhere (expected date: February 19) and will hit Blu-ray on March 12.
Other Nominations: Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón), Best Cinematography, Best Actress (Yalitza Aparicio), Best Supporting Actress (Marina de Tavira), Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing
Related: Read Screen Rant’s Roma Review
Just the 11th foreign language film in history to receive a Best Picture nomination, Roma is certainly deserving of its praise. Alfonso Cuarón returned to deliver a beautiful and personal look at the life of a middle-class family’s maid in the 1970s. Unsurprisingly, the director remains at the top of his game in terms of technical filmmaking, but it was the autobiographical touch that elevated Roma and made it something truly special.
Roma is now streaming on Netflix.
A Star is Born
Other Nominations: Best Original Song, Best Sound Mixing, Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Actress (Lady Gaga), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Elliott), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography
During the earliest days of the fall festivals, Bradley Cooper’s remake of the old Hollywood classic seemed destined to steamroll everything in its path, but things didn’t really turn out that way. A Star is Born has earned plenty of precursor nominations, but hasn’t won any of the big ones yet. Still, this romantic musical boasts plenty of star power and catchy tunes and is still very much a player (it seems tailor-made to do well on a preferential ballot). Cooper’s snub in Best Director is noteworthy, but Warner Bros. has done this before with Ben Affleck’s Argo.
A Star is Born is now available for purchase on iTunes and Movies Anywhere. It will hit Blu-ray on February 19. For those interested in catching it on the big screen, the film played in 1,192 theaters nationwide this past weekend.
Other Nominations: Best Makeup & Hairstyling, Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell), Best Actor (Christian Bale), Best Director (Adam McKay), Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing
Adam McKay followed up The Big Short with another skewering takedown of recent American history – this time putting former vice president Dick Cheney in his sights. Though Vice didn’t receive the most glowingly positive reviews from critics, McKay’s distinct stylistic choices and extremely committed performances from the cast helped it stand out. Far from your typical Hollywood biopic, Vice used everything from Shakespearean dialogue to mock end credits to tell its story about Cheney’s rise to power and how his actions continue to impact the country today.
This past weekend, Vice played in 1,557 theaters nationwide. No home media release date has been announced yet, but it is available for pre-order on iTunes and Movies Anywhere.