We trawl the streaming services for this year’s Oscar-nominated films – and two female actors neglected by the Academy
It’s the Academy Awards on 26 February, and while the Oscars’ extreme bias towards late prestige releases means you still have to head to the cinema to do most of your pre-ceremony catch-up, a handful of nominees can be accessed from your couch. I’ve already enthused about scrappy underdog best picture nominee Hell or High Water, which is available on the usual on-demand channels; ditto Captain Fantastic and Florence Foster Jenkins. Netflix can hook you up with Yorgos Lanthimos’s wicked dating satire The Lobster, a pleasingly against-the-grain screenplay nominee, and Ava DuVernay’s stirring, Bafta-winning civil rights doc 13th. Head to Curzon Home Cinema, meanwhile, to check out Tanna, a rapturously shot Vanuatuan tribal romance that is very much the dark horse in the foreign-language race, and for a mere £2.20, Gianfranco Rosi’s sparse, shivery refugee-crisis meditation Fire at Sea, handily the most deserving of this year’s documentary nominees.
The one that will likely win, however, is currently streaming on BBC iPlayer, and if you have eight hours of a lazy Sunday to set aside for OJ: Made in America, Ezra Edelman’s mammoth inquisition into the trial of another century, you’ll find yourself duly engrossed. Edelman makes the most of the considerable time he’s been allotted, leaving no investigative stone unturned on the matter of OJ Simpson’s murder case, but also skipping off them into morally ruminative sidebars on racial prejudice and socioeconomic imbalance in the US. It’s not startling to anyone of newspaper-reading age in 1995, nor is it assembled with much cinematic ingenuity, but it’s honestly compulsive. Continue reading...