Culture / Entertainment

The 2022 Oscars Best Picture Nominees — How to Watch The Films Before The Ceremony

Stream, Rent, or Catch The Most Critically-Acclaimed Movies of the Year at the Theater

BY // 02.08.22

The 2022 Oscars nominations are in and there are several surprising (and deserving) films competing for Best Picture. A Western psychological drama, a disaster comedy, and a slow-burn Japanese epic are just a few of the notable contenders.

One of the best things about the prestigious annual awards ceremony is the light it shines on movies many may have missed throughout the year. Fortunately, half of the 10 best films are currently streaming, several are available to rent, and a few can still be caught in theaters.

To help you brush up before the 94th Academy Awards ceremony on March 27, we’ve outlined a handy guide for how (and where) to watch the 2022 Oscars Best Picture nominees.

The 2022 Oscars Best Picture Contenders Currently Streaming

where to watch oscars best picture
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Power of the Dog” is a haunting psychological drama.

The Power of the Dog (Netflix)

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, this Western psychological drama keeps you on the edge of the seat for the entire film. Adapted from the novel of the same name by Thomas Savage, the story follows a rancher (Cumberbatch) and his cruel response to his brother (played by Jesse Plemons) getting married to single mom Rose Gordon (Kirsten Dunst). She brings along her teenage son, Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who unexpectedly forms a bond with Phil, the intrusive rancher. Directed by Jane Campion (The PianoTop of the Lake), this film is haunting, thrilling, and features an ending that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

 

where to watch oscars best picture
Sundance award-winning film “CODA” is now streaming on Apple TV +.

CODA (Apple TV+)

Winner of Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award this year, this new drama film is a must-watch on Apple TV+. The story follows a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) named Ruby, her older brother is deaf as well, as the only hearing person in her family. When the family begins to struggle with their fishing business, Ruby has to make a choice between her love of singing and fear of leaving her family to pursue her own goals. Written and directed by Sian Heder, this film is funny, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting.

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Don’t Look Up Movies
“Don’t Look Up” is a satirical disaster movie about climate change.

Don’t Look Up (Netflix)

I’m still struggling with how I feel about Adam McKay’s latest satirical film. I enjoyed The Big Short and Vice, but the writer and director’s latest disaster comedy hit a little too close to home this time. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as astronomer professor and Ph.D. student, Don’t Look Up tells a poignant story of the world coming to an end. Of course, it’s heavily satirical, especially at the beginning as the U.S. President (played by Meryl Streep) and son (Jonah Hill) completely disregard a giant comet coming straight for Earth. The star-studded film is definitely worth the watch for the cast alone — Ariana Grande plays a flighty pop star, Cate Blanchett is an image-obsessed reporter, and Timothée Chalamet is a vagabond of some sort. But be aware, the realistic aspects of climate change are a real punch in the gut. You won’t forget this one.

 

King Richard Will Smith
“King Richard,” streaming on HBO Max, stars Will Smith as Richard Williams — Venus and Serena Williams’ father.

King Richard (HBO Max)

Focusing on Richard Williams and his determination to launch his two daughters, Venus and Serena, into tennis history, this new sports drama film stars Will Smith. The story starts out on a tennis court in Compton, California with one father’s plan to turn his youngest daughters into the greatest tennis pros of all time. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the film also stars Tony Goldwyn (Scandal) and Jon Bernthal (Fury). The film is a must-see for tennis fans and sports lovers alike.

 

Nightmare Halley Oscar nominees
“Nightmare Alley” is a nominee for Best Picture at the 2022 Oscars.

Nightmare Alley (HBO Max)

Currently streaming on HBO Max, this gorgeous new thriller from director Guillermo del Toro has a slow, prodding start, but the last 30 minutes of twisty action might very well be worth it. Starring Bradley Cooper as a down-on-his-luck New Yorker in the 1940s, the film gets started when he happens upon a traveling carnival. There, he meets a mentalist and his wife (Toni Collette) and learns how to do his own act. He convinces Molly (played by Rooney Mara) to head into the city with him and create a scheme to swindle the elite. Cate Blanchett (a psychiatrist) challenges him at one of his shows and the two eventually hatch the biggest con of them all.

 

The 2022 Oscars Best Picture Films Available to Rent or Purchase

Belfast Oscars 2022
“Belfast” is the only black-and-white nominee in the Best Picture category.

Belfast (Rent on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, and more)

The black-and-white Irish dramedy stars Jamie Dornan as a father of a young son in the late 1960s in the Northern Ireland capital. A coming-of-age tale, the story is semi-autobiographical for writer-director Kenneth Branagh. The movie chronicles the life of a working-class Ulster Protestant family from the perspective of Buddy, a nine-year-old boy. It takes place during “The Troubles” in Belfast — a tumultuous time of conflict between the loyalists and Irish nationalists.

 

Dune Oscars 2022
“Dune” is director Denis Villeneuve’s remake of the classic sci-fi film from 1984.

Dune (VOD Purchase)

Probably the most visually stunning film of the year, this sci-fi movie briefly streamed on HBO Max. But if you missed it, Denis Villeneuve’s take on the 1965 novel is available for rent or purchase. However, it might be worth hunting down a theater to catch this one (for those in the Dallas area, Dune is currently playing at LOOK, Cinemark in Plano, and AMC in Grapevine). Starring Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, and (not nearly enough 0f) Zendaya, the film tells the story of a young man who must follow his destiny of following in his father’s footsteps as the leader of his new planet (Arrakis) and people.

 

Best Picture Films Currently in Theaters

where to watch oscars best picture
Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Licorice Pizza, ” a romantic comedy film, lands a Best Picture nom.

Licorice Pizza

Paul Thomas Anderson’s highly-anticipated romantic comedy about two young adults living in San Fernando Valley in 1973 was just as good as you’d imagine. Starring Alana Haim (from the band HAIM) and Cooper Hoffman (the late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son), the film focuses on the ups and downs of forbidden first love. Hoffman plays Gary, a 15-year-old kid who meets Alana at his high school photo day. In her 20s, she is working, but he continues to ask her out until she says yes. Throughout the film, Hoffman creates businesses (like a water bed company that Jon Peters [played by Bradley Cooper], boyfriend to Barbara Streisand at the time, hires for a comedic installation). Alana teams up with him until she decides that she needs to move on and work at the local mayoral campaign. But the two just can’t seem to stay away from each other.

 

West Side Story Oscars 2022
The “West Side Story” remake from Stephen Spielberg made the cut.

West Side Story

Stephen Spielberg’s vibrant remake of West Side Story follows the same story as the classic play by Arthur Laurents. Ansel Elgort plays Tony, but newcomers Rachel Zegler and Ariana DeBose shine most in the roles of Maria and Anita (respectively). If you don’t know the story, it’s essentially Romeo and Juliet but with fantastic music.

 

Drive My Car Oscars 2022
Japanese drama “Drive My Car” is a Best Picture nomination in 2022.

Drive My Car

Coming to theaters in Dallas and Houston this week, this Japanese drama (based on a short story by director Ryusuke Hamaguchi) focuses on Yusuke Kafuku (played by Hidetoshi Nishijima) following the unexpected death of his wife. Kafuku receives an offer to direct a production of Uncle Vanya in Hiroshima. After beginning the job, he realizes he must face the mysteries that his late wife left behind. The movie is also up for Best Director, Best International Feature Film, and Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars. It won Best Foreign Language Film at the 79th Golden Globe Awards.

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