Netflix drama Mank may have garnered the most love with 10 Academy Award nominations, but Amazon Prime Video has some equally exceptional – and arguably superior – movies in the race for an Oscar.
The streaming service received 12 nominations across four heart-breaking, hilarious, and never-more-relevant feature films: from Time, a moving documentary about one family’s experience of the criminal justice system, to provocateur Sacha Baron Cohen’s incendiary Borat 2.
As they roll out the red carpet in preparation for the 93rd Academy Awards, don’t miss these four Oscar-nominated films on Amazon Prime Video. Plus, you can watch them for nothing if you’re a new or returning subscriber, with the streamer’s 30-day FREE trial.
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One Night in Miami...
February 25, 1964. Four African American icons – Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown – retire to a hotel room to celebrate Ali’s World Boxing Championship win. But the mood quickly turns contemplative as – in a fictionalised account of their meeting – each share their convictions, individual hopes, and divergent opinions about achieving racial equality in the ongoing Civil Rights movement.
Based on the stage play by Kemp Powers and directed by 2019 Academy Award winner Regina King (for acting that year in If Beale Street Could Talk), One Night in Miami... – a film set at the crossroads of great change – crackles with purpose, hope, and intensity. It’s partly the result of a brilliant ensemble, formed of Kingsley Ben Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, and Leslie Odom, Jr., the latter receiving a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role as beloved soul singer Sam Cooke.
- Actor in a Supporting Role
- Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
- Music (Original Song)
Borat 2 (aka Borat Subsequent Moviefilm)
Kazakh journalist Borat returned to “yankee land” in 2020, and just when we needed him most – in the middle of a global pandemic and right before a contentious US election. This time Borat travels to America to deliver his daughter Tutar to Vice President Mike Pence – and later Rudy Giuliani – as a gift that he hopes will repair Kazakhstan’s tarnished reputation.
What follows is an equally hilarious, yet more politically pointed movie than the first: ridiculing Republicans, Covid-19 deniers and QAnon conspiracy theorists. Just expect to cringe throughout the whole thing as Borat and the sweetly demented Tutar (Maria Bakalova) make everyone they meet feel very, very uncomfortable.
- Actress in a Supporting Role
- Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Directed and produced by Garrett Bradley – who took home the US Documentary prize for directing at Sundance – Time is an intimate, visually poetic depiction of the criminal justice system in the US, and its devastating impact on one family.
Shot throughout in black and white and combining 18 years of home video footage with original material, the film follows mother of six Sibil as she petitions for her husband's release from Louisiana State Penitentiary, who’s currently serving a 60-year sentence for his part in an armed robbery. It charts the impact this loss has on all their lives, particularly how Rich’s children cope growing up without a father.
Time has been described as “a monumental and enormously moving film” and a “precise and impressionistic account of love and waiting”. Don't let it pass you by.
- Documentary (Feature)
Sound of Metal
With a total of six nominations, all eyes are on Sound of Metal to bring the gold home for Amazon. At the heart of this tale about loss, resilience, and change is a knockout performance from Riz Ahmed (Four Lions, Nightcrawler), who became the first Muslim ever to be nominated for the Best Actor Oscar.
Co-written and directed by Darius Marder, Ahmed stars as Ruben: a heavy metal drummer currently touring the US with his girlfriend Lou (Olivia Wilde) as part of the band Blackgammon. His world is on the brink of collapsing when he begins to lose his hearing, yet he continues to perform anyway. Worried about his wellbeing, Lou escorts him to a retreat for deaf ex- addicts, and, with the help of Joe (Paul Raci, nominated for Best Supporting Actor here), Ruben learns to reconcile himself to his new life. (NB: Sound of Metal is not currently available on Prime Video in Canada)
- Best Picture
- Actor in a Leading Role
- Actor in a Supporting Role
- Writing (Original Screenplay)
- Film Editing
How to watch Amazon Prime's Oscar nominated movies online now
Amazon Prime has a belting line-up of Academy Award-nominated movies this year. And, if you’re new to the VOD service, or haven’t had an active account for over 12 months, then you can watch them without paying a thing as part of the Amazon Prime Video free trial.
All Amazon Prime memberships include Amazon’s VOD service, in addition to ad-free music streaming, Prime Gaming, exclusive deals, and their famed free delivery service.
If you decide to keep it after the free trial expires, then Prime costs:
- US: $12.99 per month or $119 for the year
- UK: £7.99 per month or £79 for the year
- Canada: $7.99 per month or $79 for the year
- Australia: $6.99 per month or $59 for the year
In addition to award-baiting Amazon Originals, there are thousands of other on-demand titles to sink your teeth into, like Small Axe, Hunters, and dark superhero drama The Boys.
Subscribers can access the service in web browsers, on smart TVs, iOS and Android smartphones/tablets, games consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One X, streaming boxes and dongles like those made by Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV devices, Apple TV, as well as a number of compatible Blu-ray players.
How to watch Amazon Prime from abroad
If you're a Prime Video subscriber and find yourself stuck in a country where the service isn't available, or you can’t access the same content provided back home, then that's probably down to geo-blocking restrictions.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution. Downloading a VPN will let you to watch Amazon's Academy Award-nominated films online no matter where you are, simply by changing your IP address to one that's back in your country of residence. Now, here's how to get started with this essential bit of streaming software.
ExpressVPN is the world's top VPN right now
We've taken the time to try out all the biggest VPN providers, and found ExpressVPN to be the standout service. It works with lots of devices and offers super-fast connections across its many servers.
Better yet, it has a 30-day money back guarantee plus 3 months FREE when you subscribe for a year, and provides a robust approach to security – helping to keep your personal information safe online. All of which makes ExpressVPN pretty much the best VPN for streaming.
Access ExpressVPN via your laptop, iPhone, tablet, Android phone, PlayStation, Xbox and plenty more. Express is a do-it-all service that also benefits from around the clock, 24/7 customer support.
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Daniel Pateman is a freelance writer, producing articles across the cultural spectrum for magazines like Aesthetica, Photomonitor, The Brooklyn Rail and This is Tomorrow. He also provides text-writing services to individual curators and artists worldwide, and has had work published internationally. His favourite film genre is horror (bring on Scream 5!) and he never tires of listening to Absolute 80s on the radio.