Entertainment

Where to watch Oscar-nominated movies in Canada and who has the best price

After a bizarre awards season and even stranger Academy Awards ceremony, CBC outlines where Canadians can go to watch the nominees — and who has the cheapest options.

Pandemic theatre closures led to confusion over where to view the year's top films

With one of the most peculiar Academy Awards ceremonies wrapping up Sunday night, CBC has a comprehensive list of some of the nominated films and where you can watch them. (Elevation Pictures, Searchlight Pictures, A24)

The 93rd Academy Awards came to a close on Sunday night, offering a slightly long — and definitely unique — showcase of the past year's biggest films.

But with theatre closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in parts of the world, many bigger productions decided to push their release dates from 2020 into 2021 and beyond. That left a slate of films many audiences hadn't previously heard of and confusion in many cases over where to watch them.

Many Canadian cable and satellite providers — like Shaw and Rogers — offer a number of these movies to rent through their "on demand" services. But for those who rely on streaming platforms instead of traditional TV, some films can be difficult to find.

To help, CBC compiled a list of the award show's major nominees, where you can stream or rent them in Canada and who has the cheapest options. 


Nomadland

Frances McDormand won an Oscar for best actress for her starring role in Nomadland. The film was also named best picture, and its director, Chloé Zhao, took home a trophy, becoming only the second woman to win an Academy Award for best director. (Searchlight Pictures/The Associated Press)

Where to watch: Available to stream on Disney+

Chloé Zhao's film about an itinerant Amazon worker who lives in her van won top prizes at the Academy Awards, taking home best picture, best actress for Frances McDormand and best director. 


The Father

Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins, who won the best actor Oscar, star in The Father. (Elevation Pictures)

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Cineplex, YouTube, TIFF

The Father was adapted from French writer Florian Zeller's 2012 play of the same name and earned Anthony Hopkins a best actor Oscar. It's available for rent from various streamers, but the price can be high. Currently, Amazon is offering it for the lowest price at $14.99.


The Trial of the Chicago 7

Jeremy Strong and Sacha Baron Cohen from a scene in Netflix's The Trial of the Chicago 7. (Nico Tavernise/Netflix)

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Although Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7 has been in the works for years and pulled in six nominations, it left the Oscars with zero trophies. 


Judas and the Black Messiah

The cast of Judas and the Black Messiah. (Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

Where to watch: Available to rent on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube

Both Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield, the film's two stars, received best supporting actor nominations for their role in this biopic, with Kaluuya taking home the honour. At $24.99, it is currently one of the most expensive of the selections. As of this writing, Cineplex does not have the film available to rent, but does have a 4K HDR version available for purchase at $29.99.


Minari

From left, Steven Yeun, Alan S. Kim, Yuh-jung Youn, Yeri Han and Noel Cho in Minari. (A24)

Where to watch: Available to rent on Apple TV, Google Play, YouTube, Cineplex, Amazon Prime, TIFF

Minari's Yuh-jung Youn, nominated for best supporting actress, became the first Korean actor to win an Academy Award. She gave an endearing shout-out in her acceptance speech to Brad Pitt, who presented the award and was a co-producer of the film, which is currently renting for a pricey $19.99.


Promising Young Woman

Carey Mulligan in a scene from Promising Young Woman. (Focus Features)

Where to watch: Available to rent on Cineplex, Google Play, Apple TV, YouTube

Promising Young Woman, a risqué genre-blending story about revenge, is one of the cheaper options on the list. Cineplex currently has it for the lowest price, at $4.99.


Sound of Metal

Riz Ahmed stars as Ruben Stone in Sound of Metal. (Amazon Studios)

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hoopla; available to rent on Apple TV, Google Play, Cineplex, YouTube, TIFF

Riz Ahmed's turn as a deaf drummer took home both best editing and best sound awards. It's available to stream for free from Hoopla — which works through participating libraries — and to rent on various platforms. Google Play and YouTube offer the film for $4.99, though for $1 more, TIFF and Apple TV offer it in high-definition. 


Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Viola Davis as the titular Ma Rainey in Netflix's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. (David Lee/Netflix)

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom only managed to snag wins for best makeup and hairstyling and best costume design, despite being up for acting awards — including Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman. The film is available for streaming on Netflix.


Another Round

Mads Mikkelsen in a scene from Thomas Vinterberg's Another Round. (Henrik Ohsten/Mongrel Media)

Where to watch: Available to stream on Hoopla; available to rent on Cineplex, Apple TV, TIFF, Google Play, YouTube

Thomas Vinterberg's comedy won best international feature film, and the director said he made it as a "monument" to his daughter, who died just days before filming began. At $4.99, Cineplex has the lowest rental price. Google Play and YouTube are the most expensive at $6.99, though they are high-definition options. 


Pieces of a Woman

Vanessa Kirby appears as Martha in Netflix's Pieces of a Woman. (Netflix)

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix.

Pieces of a Woman was another disappointing showing for Netflix, going without a single award. Still, the film saw strong reviews last year at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Venice International Film Festival, where star Vanessa Kirby won the Volpi Cup for best actress. 


My Octopus Teacher

Filmmaker Craig Foster appears with My Octopus Teacher's other star. (Netflix)

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

It wasn't all bad for Netflix. Despite missing out on some of the more prominent awards, the streaming giant was awarded more trophies than any other studio — with My Octopus Teacher one of those winners. The film, about an unlikely relationship between a cephalopod and a human, took 10 years to make and ended up winning best documentary feature.


The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Andra Day has the starring role in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. (Takashi Seida/Paramount Pictures/The Associated Press)

Where to watch: Available to rent on Google Play, Cineplex, YouTube

The United States vs. Billie Holiday, which was shot in Montreal, didn't come away with any Oscars. Still, it is one of the cheaper options on the list, and is available to rent from multiple sources, all with the price point of $4.99.


One Night in Miami ...

Leslie Odom Jr. appears in a scene from One Night in Miami .... (Patti Perre/Amazon Studios)

Where to watch: Available to stream on Amazon Prime

Regina King's adapted One Night in Miami ... — about a fictional meeting between Malcolm X, Cassius Clay, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke — sold to Amazon shortly before it made its TIFF premiere. It stars Canadian actor Eli Goree as Clay, before the legendary boxer changed his name to Muhammad Ali.


Hillbilly Elegy

Haley Bennett, Glenn Close and Owen Asztalos appear in a scene from Hillbilly Elegy. (Lacey Terrell/Netflix)

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

One more Netflix film failed to deliver on expectations. Hillbilly Elegy did not deliver star Glenn Close her Oscar after eight nominations. Close is now the most Oscar-nominated woman to never win, although she did have a viral moment doing "Da Butt" dance at the evening's awards.


Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Sacha Baron Cohen in a scene from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. (Amazon Studios/The Associated Press)

Where to watch: Available to stream on Amazon Prime

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm didn't manage to turn its nominations — best adapted screenplay and best supporting actress for breakout star Maria Bakalova — into wins, but it did break another record. According to the Guinness World Records, it is the film with the longest title to be nominated for an Oscar, with 110 characters. To her credit, Oscars presenter Regina King managed to get through most of the name without stumbling. 


Over the Moon

Fei Fei (voiced by Cathy Ang) in a still from Netflix's Over the Moon (Netflix)

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Over the Moon, a collaboration between Pearl Studio, Netflix Animation and Sony Pictures, went somewhat under the radar in this year's awards season. It had stiff competition in the best animated feature film category, despite being heralded by Variety as a "dazzling" film that honours Chinese culture.


Soul

Disney Pixar's Soul won the Oscar for best animated feature film. (Disney Pixar)

Where to watch: Available to stream on Disney+

Pixar's long-awaited Soul ended up capturing the trophy for best animated feature film — alongside best original score. 


Wolfwalkers

Mebh Óg Mactíre (voiced by Eva Whittaker) and Moll Mactíre (voiced by Maria Doyle Kennedy) in Wolfwalkers. (Apple Inc.)

Where to watch: Available to stream on Apple TV

Wolfwalkers, another nominee in the animated feature film category, is the hand-drawn spiritual sequel to Song of the Sea and The Secret of Kells — the final instalment in an "Irish folklore trilogy," directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart.


Onward

Tom Holland as Ian Lightfoot in Pixar's Onward. (Pixar)

Where to watch: Available to stream on Disney+; available to rent on Google Play, Cineplex, YouTube, Amazon Prime

Onward, starring Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, was Pixar's second entry in the animated feature film category. While it's available to stream on Disney+, those without a subscription have lots of other options for renting — virtually all for the same price of $4.99, though Vidéotron users (for both French and English language versions of the movie) can pay 50 cents less.


A Concerto is a Conversation

Horace Bowers is the subject of A Concerto is a Conversation, co-directed by Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers. The film was Canada's entry in the short documentary category. (Breakwater Studios)

Where to watch: Available for free from NYT, Breakwater Studios

Canada's big entry at the 93rd Academy Awards didn't win its category of short documentary, but co-director Ben Proudfoot said that wasn't the point. In an interview with CBC, Halifax-raised Proudfoot said the nomination alone was evidence that audiences were connecting with the story. That, he said, was like a "ray of sunshine" into his life in what was otherwise a dark year.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jackson Weaver is a senior writer for CBC Entertainment News. You can reach him at jackson.weaver@cbc.ca, or follow him on Twitter at @jacksonwweaver

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