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Catching up on this year’s Oscar winners

Mar 16, 2023 11:50AM ● By Jenniffer Wardell

Credit for photo ©A24

If you haven’t seen one or more of this year’s Oscar winners, now is the perfect chance to change that. All the big winners are available online for either streaming or rental, giving you the chance for an award-winning experience right in your own home. 

Everything Everywhere All at Once

(Best Picture, Best Director – Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Best Actress – Michelle Yeoh, Best Supporting Actor – Ke Huy Quan, Best Supporting Actress – Jamie Lee Curtis, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing – Paul Rogers) 

If you’re only going to watch one Oscar movie this year, make sure it’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” A hilarious, deeply moving epic unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, it swept every major category where it had a nominee. Yeoh and Quan’s wins were both literally history-making, but once you watch it all you’ll be able to think about how incredibly good it all is. It’s the rare Oscar winner that’s also just a delight to watch.

Seeing the movie is also vitally important if you’re going to be involved in any post-Oscar conversation. Jamie Lee Curtis is a great actress, and she gave a perfectly nice performance, but it’s nothing compared to watching Stephanie Hsu’s incredible portrayal of both Joy and Jobu Topaki. Once you’ve seen it, you’ll understand why it’s an absolute crime she didn’t win Best Supporting Actress.

Available on: Showtime, Showtime on Hulu, various online rental platforms

All Quiet on the Western Front

(Best International Feature Film, Best Original Score – Volker Bertelmann, Best Cinematography – James Friend, Best Production Design – Christian M. Goldbeck, Ernestine Hipper)

“All Quiet on the Western Front” isn’t the first movie adaptation of the 1929 novel, but its searing message on the futility of war is timelier than ever. Though the added scenes off the battlefield were mostly to get Daniel Bruhl into the movie, the scenes that bring viewers back to the front are tenser and more harrowing than any horror movie. The production design and cinematography puts audiences right on the battlefield, then makes it clear that’s the last place anyone should ever want to be. 

Available on: Netflix

The Whale

(Best Actor – Brendan Fraser)

Though critics are divided on how they feel about “The Whale,” everyone agrees that Brendan Frasher’s performance is the best thing about the movie. A reclusive English teacher suffering from obesity who attempts to reconnect with his daughter, Fraser delivers a raw, emotional performance that will likely leave you in tears. Even if you don’t like what director Darren Aronofsky did with the material, Fraser will absolutely make you care about the man at the heart of it. 

Available on: various online rental platforms

Women Talking

(Best Adapted Screenplay)

When Sarah Polley decided to adapt “Women Talking” into a movie, she faced a tough challenge – how to adapt a novel that was basically a series of transcribed debates about a horrific topic into a film people wanted to see? Though the result is still a little cerebral, Polley’s tale of Mennonite women trying to reckon with the horrible, systematic rapes they endured is a powerful look at women, agency, and what it means to survive. It’s not an easy movie to watch, but it’s just as hard to forget. 

Available on: various online rental platforms

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

(Best Animated Film)

Though the movie has a timeless sweetness that brings back memories of childhood, it also wrestles with fascism and WWII in a way that is desperately important for adults. “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” is infinitely more complex than the Disney version, a beautifully animated tale of love and regret that feels like the best, most memorable kinds of fairy tales. 

Available on: Netflix

Jenniffer Wardell is an award-winning movie critic and member of the Utah Film Critics Association. Find her on Twitter at @wardellwriter or drop her a line at [email protected].  

Credit for photo ©A24

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