The big news at this year’s Academy Awards is that there will be no host. This marks the first time in 30 years that a movie star, comedian or other show biz personality won’t be onstage to guide us on the three-hour-plus journey into glitter and glitz.
Host or no, the annual cinema celebration, which airs Feb. 24, will be viewed by millions (although last year’s broadcast drew a historic low of 26.5M viewers to the ABC broadcast). Those who would rather watch a live stream on their devices have a couple of options.
Canadian viewers can tune into the awards show (and the red carpet pre-show) on CTV.ca and via the CTV app.
Meanwhile, if you want to catch up on this year’s nominated movies, here’s a look at where you can watch some of them online right now.
Streaming on Netflix
Another hot news item from this year’s Academy Awards is the nomination of Roma in the Best Picture category. The Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) film is the latest Netflix-distributed entry at the Oscars, joining Icarus (winner of last year’s Best Documentary Feature) and Mudbound (nominated for four awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Mary J. Blige, last year). But the way in which the streaming service has upended conventional movie-release models has not been without controversy.
Also streaming on Netflix is Black Panther. Even critics who regularly thumb their noses at superhero movies had to admit that the film was a cut above the pack. The Academy agreed; it’s the first in the genre to be nominated in the night’s most prestigious category, Best Picture. (In 2008 Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight received more nominations, eight, but not for Best Picture.)
Speaking of superhero movies, Best Visual Effects nominee The Avengers: Infinity War is also streaming on Netflix, as is Best Animated Feature nominee Incredibles 2.
The Coen Brothers are Academy favourites—they won Best Picture in 2008 for No Country for Old Men. So, it’s no surprise that their latest, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, is up for a few Oscars (Best Adapted Screenplay, Original Song, Costume Design). What is surprising is that, like Roma, it too is distributed by Netflix. Unlike Roma—or any other Oscar-nominated film in recent memory—is its structure: it’s comprised into six short films.
Available as digital rentals
If you have accounts with services such as iTunes, Google Play, PlayStation Plus, Xbox Live, and CinemaNow you can rent a slew of films from this year’s awards. Most notably, you can rent and stream Best Picture nominees BlacKkKLansman and First Man.
First Removed (Best Original Screenplay) is available on several platforms as well.
The Wife is available for rental (Best Actress nom for Glenn Close). Isle of Dogs, another Best Animated Film nominee, is available to stream with a Crave Movies + HBO subscription.
Available documentary nominees include RBG, about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which was also nominated for Best Original Song (“I’ll Fight,” written by Diane Warren and sung by Jennifer Hudson). Hale County This Morning, This Evening, which follows two African-American men from rural Alabama over the course of five years, is rentable on iTunes.
Digital versions available for purchase
A handful of the most noteworthy films from this year’s awards are available digitally but only for purchase from services such as iTunes and Google Play. These nominees include Can You Ever Forgive Me?, with Melissa McCarthy as a misanthropic writer (as if!), the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, and the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga hit A Star is Born.
Bohemian Rhapsody will be available to Bell on Demand subscribers Feb. 12 and A Star is Born on Feb. 19—five days before the Academy Awards. The remake of a remake of a remake might not be the year’s most original movie, but as a popcorn movie, warm-up to the awards show it can’t be beaten.