2021 Oscar Nominations on Netflix

Netflix originals you must watch and films you can skip

Louis Volker, Staff Reporter

Ah, the Oscars. On April 25, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded some of the best movies of the year in what’s surveyed as the most prestigious film award show on the planet. The 93rd Academy Awards, airing from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, may have seemed different this year due to COVID-19 precautions. Due to lockdown restrictions, several of the year’s top films were available for streaming at home throughout the pandemic, making some great movies more easily accessible to the public.  

Currently, several of these pictures are available for streaming on Netflix, but a beautiful film isn’t always an entertaining movie. 2019’s “The Irishman” was heavily awarded, but a dreary 3 hours and 30 minutes long. It might’ve been a masterpiece, but it was also just boring. Here is a list of Oscar nominations on Netflix and input on whether or not you need to watch them. 

Recommended: “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Sacha Baron Cohen), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original Song and Best Film Editing

My Rating: 4.5/5

Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin (“The Social Network” “Steve Jobs” and “Moneyball”), this courtroom drama snags your attention from the start and doesn’t let you go until the movie is over. Sorkin’s distinctive fast paced writing style makes the court scenes absolutely captivating, and the film also features strong acting from cast members like Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “The Theory of Everything”), Sacha Baron Cohen (Who’s performance earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination) and Sir Mark Rylance (“Ready Player One,” “Bridge of Spies” and “The BFG”). “The Trial of the Chicago 7” follows the famous trial of The United States vs. The Chicago 7, a group of anti-Vietnam war protesters. Although the movie contains some historical inaccuracies, it is a fascinating watch and absolutely deserving of all of its nominations. It features original song “Hear My Voice” by Celeste and a captivating edits of real footage from the 60’s.  

Recommended: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Wins: Best Costume Design and Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Nominations: Best Actor (Chadwick Boseman), Best Actress (Viola Davis) and Best Production Design

My Rating: 3/5 

Based off of the famous play by August Wilson, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is just short of being an amazing movie. Cast members Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder,” “Fences” and “Troop Zero”) and the late Chadwick Boseman (“Black Panther,” “21 Bridges” and “42”) did what they could with the script, but exaggerated soliloquies that work well in plays can’t help but come off as awkward when translated to film.  Nonetheless, Davis and Boseman’s performances were truly stellar and the movie itself is still enjoyable to watch when keeping its origins as a play in mind. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” tells the story of a famed blues singer and a tenacious trumpet player that clash during a recording session in Chicago of 1927. Theater fans will enjoy this drama, but general audiences may find it difficult to connect with the film’s meaning. 

Not Recommended: “Hillbilly Elegy” 

Nominations: Best Supporting Actress (Glenn Close) and Best Hair & Makeup

My Rating: .5/5

Adapted from the book of the same name by J.D. Vance, “Hillbilly Elegy” would be confusing and impossible to follow even if it weren’t so boring. The 1 hr and  56 min long film drags on for eternity, and not even Amy Adams’ (“Arrival,” “Julie & Julia” and “Sharp Objects”)  and Glenn Close’s (“101 Dalmatians,” “Fatal Attraction” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”) strong performances can save this snoozefest. It’s awkward, incoherent and boring. The mess that is “Hillbilly Elegy” is a biopic of J.D. Vance that tells his story facing impoverished beginnings and managing to go make it out and attend Yale. Don’t waste your time with this movie. 

Not Recommended: “Mank”

Wins: Best Cinematography and Best Production Design

Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Supporting Actress (Amanda Seyfried), Best Director (David Fincher), Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Sound

My Rating: 2/5

“Mank” has got everything. Scored by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“The Social Network,” “Soul” and “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”), directed by the talented David Fincher (“Se7en,” “Gone Girl,” “Fight Club” and “The Social Network”), and elevated by impressive performances by Amanda Seyfried (“Mamma Mia!” “Jennifer’s Body” and “Mean Girls”) and Gary Oldman (“The Darkest Knight,” “Darkest Hour” and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”). This movie has all the makings of a great watch, but is held back by one simple fact: It’s incredibly boring. Inspired by the story behind the writing process of “Citizen Kane,” “Mank” is a dreary snoozefest that’ll have viewers only watching for the sake of Seyfried’s electric performance. 

Recommended: “Over the Moon” 

Nomination: Best animated feature

My rating: 3/5

Although its plot can be difficult to follow at times, “Over The Moon’s” animation is captivating and sets Netflix’s beginnings in animation in a great direction. With a powerhouse cast featuring voice work from Sandrah Oh (“Killing Eve,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “She-ra”) and Ken Jeong (“Community,” “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Fresh Off the Boat”), this movie is an entertaining explosion of color and music that younger audiences will love. “Over The Moon” tells the story of a young girl who builds a rocket to the moon and meets a moon goddess.