With all the excitement around the 2021 awards season, most of the focus will be on the Best Picture nominees. As one of the most coveted categories, it is no surprise all the talk is mainly about top picks like Mank, Nomadland, and The Trial of the Chicago 7.
However, there are hidden gem movies that are absolutely worth watching. They may not be Best Picture nominees, but they’re still incredible to watch.
This Netflix film starring Glenn Close and Amy Adams is nominated for only two awards: Best Supporting Actress and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. It is honestly surprising Amy Adams did not get anything for her role or even lead actor Gabriel Vasso.
Hillbilly Elegy follows the true story of J.D. Vance, born and raised in what many consider hillbilly country. His mother is a drug addict but his grandmother helps set him on the right path. He then joins the military, earns a college degree, and eventually attends Yale Law School.
The film is a testament to where we come from and how we make our own path with the help of family. Plus, the music and the cinematography are worth every second.
Hillbilly Elegy is available to stream on Netflix.
News of the World
Universal Picture’s latest western film has been the center of the snubs list for the Oscars. However, it is still nominated for three awards: Best Cinematography, Best Music (Original Score), and Best Production Design.
This film follows the story of former Confederate Captain Jefferson Kidd as he tries to make a living reading the news to people for ten cents a person. He then finds a young girl named Johanna and is eventually tasked with reuniting her with her remaining family.
It’s a classic found family story set in the west of 1800’s America. Not only that, Tom Hanks plays the lead role and when has Hanks ever been in a bad movie?
News of the World is currently available to rent on YouTube and in select theaters.
One Night in Miami
The directorial debut for Regina King is absolutely stellar. There is so much in the movie that has grabbed people’s attention despite the fact it has only been nominated for three Oscars: Best Actor, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), and Best Original Song.
It follows four historical figures from the African American community; Malcom X, Sam Cooke, Muhammed Ali, and Jim Brown. Each have made their own way in the world for one reason or another. The four discuss what they have done for the black community and the pressures each face.
For many, this movie is a reminder that these men all lived and accomplished things in the same era of time. Seeing them interact with each other gives viewers a glimpse into what many never got to see in real life. Although it is a fictional account, many can’t help but wonder if these conversations really happened.
One Night in Miami is available to stream on Amazon Prime.
My Octopus Teacher
Few ever talk about documentaries and the Oscars. The last featured at the Oscars is Free Solo back in 2018. My Octopus Teacher has become a sensation for casual and big documentary fans.
The documentary follows the story of Craig Foster and his year-long friendship with an octopus off the coast of False Bay in South Africa. Over the course of the year, the octopus and Foster create a close bond as he reconnects with nature and his own humanity.
My Octopus Teacher is an incredible reminder of our connection to nature and each other. When looking for a feel-good story or something truly profound, this is a perfect choice.
My Octopus Teacher is available to stream on Netflix.
If Anything Happens I Love You
The animated short category has often been overlooked by bigger and better movies. However, If Anything Happens I Love You should not be ignored. It is a masterpiece in only 12 minutes.
The story follows the grief and emotions of two parents who have lost their young daughter in a school shooting. There is no dialogue, only the animation and the song “1950”. Hardly anyone can watch this without tearing up.
It is a streak reminder of the devastation school shootings can have on children and their families. There should be more attention given to this to raise awareness.
If Anything Happens I Love You is available on Netflix.