Reel Dad: Watch the Oscar-winners at home
And, before you forget which films and stars won, take a fresh look at the honorees now available On Demand and streaming online. You don’t even need to leave home!
Take a look at what’s available today.
How can a movie that looks so simple be so meaningful? By studying the characters within the situations, not just the situations. This surprise Best Picture winner is a wonder to savor, a lovely tale of time and friendship, recovery and relationship. Oscar-winning screenwriter Barry Jenkins reminds us that no one’s story must end before its time, while Best Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali creates an indelible impression as a man who discovers what people can mean when they simply reach out. No matter the unusual nature of the Best Picture announcement on Oscar night, the meaning of this win reaches beyond Hollywood.
Manchester by the Sea
How can a story so sad be so inspiring? By stepping beyond the tragedy to examine how the characters reach for each other. This deserving winner of Oscars for Best Actor (Casey Affleck) and Best Original Screenplay reminds us that people who love each other will always try to do what they can to love, support and believe. As a man desperate to put his life together, Affleck breaks our hearts as someone who cries for understanding, hopes for miracles but absorbs his despair. And Oscar-winning writer Kenneth Lonergan makes us believe in the power of people who want to share.
How can a theatrical piece play like a movie? By exploring what matters to people who can’t articulate the love they feel. Director Denzel Washington preserves the magic of August Wilson’s stage classic by capturing the meaning of the words and the power of the performances. As a woman trying to hold a family together as she faces her truth, Viola Davis was deservedly named Best Supporting Actress for recreating the role for which she won her second Tony Award in 2010. She is simply magnificent in a role that demands every layer of her rich talent to create moments of truth.
How can a new war movie make us think it’s the first we’ve seen? By getting to know the leading character, and his challenges, before he goes to war. Director Mel Gibson reminds us that he still knows how to make moving movies by delivering a film of scope, power and impact. And, as a man determined to serve his country during war – despite refusing to pick up a gun – Best Actor nominee Andrew Garfield impresses with his power and depth. The film won Oscars for its editing and sound mixing.
How can a recreation of a familiar moment in time offer fresh insights into a well-known chapter in history? By focusing on what happens inside the hearts and minds of the people most immediately impacted by the tragedy. As a woman searching for words to express her grief – and, when she fails, uses her eyes to communicate her sadness – Natalie Portman brings the tragedy of November 22, 1963 to life once again. And she was a most deserving nominee for Best Actress.
Watch More Oscar Winners at Home
Want more movies for your in-the-home Oscar festival?
Check out these Oscar-honored films that are available today On Demand and online.
Hell or High Water
How can a movie that looks so comfortable be so thought provoking? By making the movie about the journey and not the moral. Thanks to Oscar-nominated filmmaker Taylor Sheridan, we see a lot in these Lone Star sunsets. As a Texas Ranger nearing retirement, Best Supporting Actor nominee Jeff Bridges reveals all the anxiety and aspiration this change can bring. With minimal dialogue and maximum expression, Bridges reaches to more than 45 years of lessons from acting to use his distinctive voice and manner to make us believe in a man who lives the value of wisdom.
How can a movie about parenting entertain as it enlightens? By focusing on the human moments that parents try to create with their children. Like the best of movies about fatherhood, this film reveals the flaws of its characters without apologizing for their behavior. This father so wants the best for his children that he dares to make unconventional choices. As the man fighting to keep his family together, Best Actor nominee Viggo Mortensen willingly reveals the character’s weaknesses without letting these realities stifle his love for family.
How can a movie about relationships show something so new? By exploring the challenges people face as well as the love they share. As a young couple in love, Best Actress nominee Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton brim with happiness, hope and humility as two people who strongly believe in the power of dreams. That she is Black and he is White complicates their aspirations in the South in the late 1950s when a marriage between races is against the law in their home state of Virginia. Jeff Nichols’ film brings their bravery to life through situations that feel real and messages that fill hearts.
How can a documentary about a most significant issue reveal something new we haven’t yet considered? By discovering new voices to share new insights. this powerful drama – of race relations in the United States past, present and, hopefully, future – dares to explore the layers of hatred, deception and denial that create the tension that defines too many confrontations in our country. While politicians may argue what dignity people should be able to expect, this Best Documentary nominee reminds us how easy it can be to pretend that all people are treated in equal ways.
How can a story that feels so familiar be so surprising? By focusing on the characters instead of the planets. Yes, this is another movie about visitors from outer space, a favorite topic for moviemakers since films began to talk. But director Denis Villeneuve, fresh from Sicario, figures out how to make a formula picture feel original. And the performances from Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner bring more truth to the screen than the script provides. Whether or not the film deserved all the attention is up for debate. But it can provide an entertaining evening at home.
Florence Foster Jenkins
How can an actress so accomplished and honored continue to impress year after year? By focusing on how a character feels not just on what lines an actress must remember. As a woman who refuses to believe how she sounds when she sings, Best Actress nominee Meryl Streep recognizes the lady’s weaknesses while rejoicing in her aspirations. Streep digs beneath the surface to reveal what this woman fears when the music stops. And, with her 20th nomination for acting, she again proves that there is not a role that she cannot play.