Where to watch Oscar-nominated films in the UAE: from 'Minari' to 'Sound of Metal'

This year's ceremony will be predominantly broadcast from Los Angeles's historic Union Station on Sunday, April 25

This combination photo shows poster art for best picture Oscar nominees, top row from left, 'The Father', 'Judas and the Black Messiah', 'Mank', 'Minari', bottom row from left, 'Nomadland', 'Promising Young Woman', 'Sound of Metal', and 'The Trial of the Chicago 7. AP
This combination photo shows poster art for best picture Oscar nominees, top row from left, 'The Father', 'Judas and the Black Messiah', 'Mank', 'Minari', bottom row from left, 'Nomadland', 'Promising Young Woman', 'Sound of Metal', and 'The Trial of the Chicago 7. AP

It goes without saying that there will be a lot at stake come Sunday, April 25, when the winners of the 93rd Academy Awards are announced. But this year, one of movie's biggest nights has plenty of history-making potential, not least because the coronavirus pandemic has ensured it will be a very different affair.

For the first time ever, two female directors are vying for the Best Director prize – Chloe Zhao for road movie Nomadland and Emerald Fennell for rape revenge saga Promising Young Woman. The Best Actor category has never been so diverse, with Pakistani-British actor Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), South Korean-American actor Steven Yeun (Minari) and the late Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) all up for the award.

Film buffs in the UAE can now watch many of this year's Oscar-nominated movies, many of them available on streaming services, ahead of Sunday's ceremony.

Here's where to watch Oscar-nominated films in the UAE:

1. Mank – Netflix

2. The Present – Netflix

3. Sound of Metal – Prime Video

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Netflix

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Netflix

6. One Night in Miami … – Prime Video

7. Hillbilly Elegy – Netflix

8. The Father – Now in cinemas

9. Nomadland – UAE cinemas

10. My Octopus Teacher – Netflix

11. Time – Prime Video

12. Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution – Netflix

13. Over the Moon – Netflix

14. Mulan – OSN

15. The White Tiger – Netflix

16. Soul – OSN

17. Onward – OSN

18. Wolfwalkers – Apple TV+

19. Pieces of a Woman – Netflix

20. If Anything Happens I Love You – Netflix

21. Minari – UAE cinemas

22. Promising Young Woman – UAE cinemas

23. The Man Who Sold His Skin – Cinema Akil from April 27

'Mank'

Nominated for: 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress

Where to watch: Netflix

What’s it about: This black-and-white biographical film about screenwriter Herman J Mankiewicz is the one to watch at the Oscars with 10 nominations, including Best Actor for Gary Oldman who plays Mankiewicz. Directed by David Fincher (Gone Girl, The Social Network), the film zooms in on Mankiewicz’s development of the script for Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane, often referred to as the greatest film ever made.

'The Present'

Nominated for: Live Action Short Film

Where to watch: Netflix

What’s it about: A father and daughter set out to the West Bank to buy a gift for the girl’s mother when they face innumerable obstacles. A look at life under Israeli occupation, this film stars Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri. Directed by Palestinian-British filmmaker Farah Nabulsi, it is also just one of two films from the Arab world nominated this year.

'Sound of Metal'

Nominated for: Six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

What’s it about: When a heavy metal drummer begins losing his hearing, he is forced to face his demons and come to terms with his new reality. Riz Ahmed, who stars in the film, and first-time feature director Darius Marder have been winning widespread praise for Sound of Metal. If Ahmed wins, he will become the first Muslim actor ever to take home the Best Actor Oscar.

'Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom'

Nominated for: Five Oscars, including Best Actor and Best Actress

Where to watch: Netflix

What’s it about: Set in 1920s Chicago, this film, Chadwick Boseman’s last, focuses on recording sessions with blues legend Ma Rainey, who is fighting for control of her music with her white manager and producer. As much a celebration of music as it is of black culture, the film has been praised for its powerful performances by Boseman as well as Viola Davis, whose role as Rainey’s also earned her another Oscar nomination.

'The Trial of the Chicago 7'

Nominated for: Six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Original Screenplay

Where to watch: Netflix

What’s it about: Featuring an ensemble cast, the film tells the true story of a 1969 trial where seven people were charged by the US government with conspiracy following protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Director Aaron Sorkin employs his signature style and writing in what many have referred to as a commentary on the current justice system in the US.

'One Night in Miami … '

Nominated for: Three Oscars, including Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Song

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

What’s it about: A fictionalised imagining of a meeting between four black historical figures – Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke – this film also marks the directorial debut of Oscar-winning actress Regina King. Set in 1964 after Ali’s historic defeat of Sonny Liston in the boxing ring, he invites his three friends over to celebrate the event.

'Hillbilly Elegy'

Nominated for: Two including Best Supporting Actress

Where to watch: Netflix

What’s it about: A Yale law student returns home to his small town because of an emergency and has to confront new family dynamics, as well as his own future. Despite its A-list cast, including Glenn Close and Amy Adams, the Ron Howard film has received a drubbing from critics. One even called it "an American Horror Story".

'The Father'

Nominated for: Six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay

Where to watch: Cinemas

What it’s about: A man suffering from dementia at 80 refuses help from his concerned daughter. But as his condition deteriorates, the two are forced to come to terms with loss, of memory and of their identities. Featuring two former Academy Award winners in the leads, this poignant film has been praised for its performances by Anthony Hopkins as well as Olivia Colman, and it take on the truths we all must face.

'Nomadland'

Nominated for: Six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Director

Where to watch: Cinemas from Thursday

What’s it about: After losing her job to the recession, a widow sells all her belongings, buys a van and sets out across the US looking for work. Oscar-winner Frances McDormand delivers yet another cracking role in this drama directed by Chloe Zhao, who became the first Asian woman nominated for Best Director.

'My Octopus Teacher'

Nominated for: Best Documentary Feature

Where to watch: Netflix

What it’s about: A filmmaker forges an unusual relationship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, and learns important lessons as the animal shares with her the mysteries of her world.

'Time'

Nominated for: Best Documentary Feature

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

What it’s about: Filmed over two decades, this film follows Fox Rich as she raises six children while also fighting for the release of her husband from prison. The film has won numerous awards since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020, and is a top contender for this category.

'Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution'

Nominated for: Best Documentary Feature

Where to watch: Netflix

What it’s about: Barack and Michelle Obama served as executive producers for this documentary set in a summer camp for young disabled people that opened in 1971. This film documents their fight for equal rights and the people who led from the front.

'Over the Moon'

Nominated for: Best Animated Feature

Where to watch: Netflix

What it’s about: A young girl builds a rocket in the hopes of meeting a mythical goddess on the moon. This film features the voices of well-known Asian-American actors including John Cho, Ken Jeong, Sandra Oh and Margaret Cho.

'Mulan'

Nominated for: Two Oscars, including Best Costume Design

Where to watch: OSN

What it’s about: A determined young woman in China disguises herself as a man to serve in the army to defend her father, as well as her country. This Disney live-action update didn’t quite live up to expectations at the box office, but was praised for its spectacle and father-daughter dynamic in the storyline.

'The White Tiger'

Nominated for: Best Adapted Screenplay

Where to watch: Netflix

What it’s about: An impoverished Indian man tries to rise up the ranks in society, only to realise the lengths the upper classes will go to to maintain their hold on people like him. With powerful performances, this Priyanka Chopa Jonas-produced film is the actress’ first brush with an Oscar nomination.

'Soul'

Nominated for: Three Oscars, including Best Animated Feature

Where to watch: OSN

What it’s about: A middle school band teacher with a passion for jazz travels to another realm to help someone find their passion, and discovers what it means to have soul. Featuring the voices of Jamie Foxx, Angela Bassett and Tina Fey among others, this Pixar film has been praised for its originality and music.

'Onward'

Nominated for: Best Animated Feature

Where to watch: OSN

What it’s about: Teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley set out on a journey so they can spend one more day with their late father after a magical spell brings him half back. They spend the day embarking on a quest to acquire another gem to complete the spell. Marvel superheroes Tom Holland and Chris Pratt voice Ian and Barley.

'Wolfwalkers'

Nominated for: Best Animated Feature

Where to watch: Apple TV+

What it’s about: A young hunter and her father journey to Ireland to help wipe out the wolf pack. But when she befriends a girl whose tribe is rumoured to transform into wolves at night, the young hunter’s life is thrown into chaos.

'Pieces of a Woman'

Nominated for: Best Actress

Where to watch: Netflix

What it’s about: When a homebirth ends in tragedy, a woman navigates her grief while trying to hold on to a dying relationship with her husband and deal with her domineering mother. All this while she fights in court with the midwife whom she blames for her child’s death. Vanessa Kirby has received universal praise for her lead role, with many calling her "one to watch".

'If Anything Happens I Love You'

Nominated for: Best Animated Short Film

Where to watch: Netflix

What’s it about: This heartbreaking 2D film is about a couple trying to come to terms with the death of their daughter killed in a school shooting. The film, directed by Will McCormack and Michael Govier, went viral on TikTok after users began sharing their reactions live. Some called it "the saddest movie of the year".

'Minari'

Nominated for: Six Oscars, including Best Actor for Steven Yeun and Best Supporting Actress for Youn Yuh-jung

Where to watch: Cinemas

What's it about: A South Korean immigrant family move to rural America in the '80s in the hopes of starting a farm and also finding success. A poignant look at the so-called American Dream, from the lens of an Asian family, this semi-autobiographical film by director Lee Isaac Chung features powerful performances, not just by nominated actors Yeun and Yuh-jung, but by young actor Alan Kim who is a joy to watch.

'Promising Young Woman'

Nominated for: Five Oscars, including Best Actress for Carrey Mulligan, Best Director for Emerald Fennell and Best Picture

Where to watch: Cinemas

What's it about: A medical school dropout sets out to avenge her best friend's rape by taking on different personalities. But her double life soon begins to complicate her existence. Two-time Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan stars in this provocative, and polarising, revenge thriller that's both timely and troubling.

'The Man Who Sold His Skin'

Nominated for: Best International Feature Film

Where to watch: Cinema Akil from Tuesday, April 27

What's it about: A Syrian refugee agrees for the skin on his back to be tattooed with a Schengen Visa by a famous artist, so he could move to Europe to rescue his fiancee. But when bidders begin to fight for ownership of the artwork, the man realises he might have sold more than his skin. Director Kaouther Ben Hania has already won a number of awards for her film and made history as Tunisia's first Oscar nominee.

Updated: April 25, 2021 02:23 PM

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