Film Lists

How to Stream All the 2020 Oscar Winning Movies

Its not too late to find out what all the hype is about.

Hair Love | Oscar®-Winning Short Film (Full) | Sony Pictures Animation

The Academy Awards have the power to cement certain films into our collective cultural consciousness.

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Warner Bros.

The Oscars are bullsh*t, and it's hard to understand why anybody watches them anymore.

I say this as someone who absolutely adores movies. Heck, I majored in film and I write about entertainment every single day. But for the life of me, I just don't get why anybody who isn't a Hollywood celebrity would care about such a masturbatory award show.

Theoretically, an Academy Award should be the highest honor in film––an award given to the year's absolute best movie, as chosen by the people who best understand the medium. In practice though, the Academy is overwhelmingly white (84%) and male (69%), chock full of racist opinions, and heavily influenced by whichever movie's marketing team runs the most expensive Oscar campaign.

Want to hear a Hollywood secret? A large chunk of voters don't even watch every movie, especially for less high-profile categories like "Best Short Film (Live Action)." The truth is that, like many other things in America, the Oscars boil down to who has the most money and the most power.

Green Book winning "Best Picture" last year––the same year that Boots Riley's incredible Sorry to Bother You wasn't even nominated––should have absolutely crushed whatever faith anyone still held in the Academy's taste. Then again, Sorry to Bother You was a confrontational fable about racism and classism written from a black POV, and Green Book was a white guy's reassurance to other white guys that "I have a black friend" is a valid defense. It's no wonder the Academy loved it.

Thankfully, in 2020, some media outlets have finally had enough.

In a statement released by Bitch Media titled "#ByeOscars," the Bitch Media team explained why they are officially boycotting the Oscars. "Once again, the Academy Awards is white as ever, even as the ceremony is touted as the pinnacle of a production or an actor's success...Having a single year (or two) where the nomination pool is more diverse doesn't account for a long history of nominating white, straight people at the expense of people from oppressed communities, so why should we cover a ceremony that shuts out the communities we serve over and over again?"

The Mary Sue followed suit with a post titled "We're Joining Bitch Media in Boycotting the 2020 Oscars." Rallying behind #ByeOscars, The Mary Sue stated, "While we'll discuss any emerging issues surrounding the awards and are ardent in our support of Parasite and JojoRabbit, the Academy's failure to nominate more than one person of color (Cynthia Erivo for Harriet) in its sprawling acting categories, or any women for its top directing award, shows how out-of-touch the Oscars remain."

Plenty of other female media professionals agree.

Well, for what it's worth, this white male Internet writer agrees, too. To be clear, Parasite absolutely deserves "Best Picture" this year, by a longshot. I doubt that the Academy's voting body will allow an international film made by a non-white director to win the top award in their "Western Media Supremacy" circlej*rk, but I'd like to be wrong. Bong Joon-ho deserves all the accolades he can get. But even if I am wrong, even if Parasite really is the first ever international film to win "Best Picture," the larger point stands.

In many ways, boycotting the Oscars is an act of solidarity with underrepresented people who the Academy continues to ignore. By refusing to watch, acknowledge, or report on the winners, we can show the Academy that if they insist on upholding a majority-white hegemony, then they risk losing whatever influence we give them in the larger social sphere. Everything in Hollywood runs on money, and a large chunk of that money is based on perceived clout. If we take that clout away by refusing to engage, viewership numbers decrease, and profits do too.

The Academy Awards are no longer relevant, and despite the fact that movies are one of my biggest passions in life, I won't be tuning in.



"Little Women" Is the Cure for 2019

Try being cynical during this movie. We dare you.

Photo by Alex Litvin on Unsplash

When asked by well-meaning older relatives—with faith in capitalism still shining in their eyes—if I want to have children someday, I usually respond with something like, "With fascism on the rise and an inevitable resource war on the horizon? With each day of inaction marching humanity closer to utter annihilation at the hands of climate change? I don't want to ruin my t*ts, Grandma."

Needless to say, I am a cynic by nature and circumstance and definitely an insufferable smartass.

2019 only further exacerbated my tendency to look on the dark side. Afterall, how can anyone truly believe that humanity has any fundamental goodness left with Donald Trump as president, cross-body fanny packs gaining in popularity, and CATS the movie existing? It's been a long year of absurdity in popular culture and politics; so dark and absurd, in fact, that my usual go-to feel-good flicks no longer do much to assuage my sorrow. I watched Love Actually on Christmas Eve and felt as empty as Kira Knightly's sallow, wan cheeks. Not even the precious ghost dog in Coco could touch my existential dread this holiday season. I was beginning to feel that there was nothing that could make the horror of 2019 feel distant, until, hungover and full of Sunday chilli, I accompanied my immediate family on an outing to see Greta Gerwig's Little Women.

As my mother's favorite childhood book, Little Women has always held a special place in my family's collective consciousness. Despite this, admittedly, my expectations were low. I knew the story well, and while I loved its relentless optimism in previous eras of my life, I struggled to believe the endearing March family and their romantic, simple adventures could possibly shine any light on the complicated darkness of 2019. I expected it to only make me feel worse, like a person in a depressive episode seeing Christmas lights.

Based on Louisa May-Alcott's 1868 novel, the 2019 remake of Little Women stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, James Norton, Louis Garrel, Chris Cooper, and Meryl Streep. As the movie began, I was immediately arrested by the piercing blue of Ronan's eyes and the adorableness of Pugh's button nose, and things only got better from there. First of all, there was something so deeply appealing about Laura Dern as Marmie, the mother of the titular little women, that I questioned whether I wanted her to give me a bath or to take a bath with her. Anyway, Freud aside, the tears began to flow around minute 11 of the movie. I touched my damp face with shock. Since the night of the 2016 election, the tears of rage and sorrow have come with less and less frequency as numbness quietly set in. And yet, here I was...feeling? In 2019? Unheard of.

Matters only worsened as my cold, dead heart was warmed by the selflessness of Beth (Eliza Scanlen), only to be broken by her illness, revived by Emma Watson's dreaminess in a pink dress, sent soaring by Jo's (Saorise Ronan) insistence on following her dreams, and stirred again by Timothee Chalamet's ass in a pair of high-waisted trousers. Suddenly, my cares seemed to melt away. As Father finally returned from war, Donald Trump's Twitter account seemed like a distant dream. When Jo cried, "My sister!" as she pulled Amy from the frigid water, in my heart, the United Kingdom was still firmly a part of the European Union. As Frederic turned to see Jo clasping her heart during the opera and a slow smile spread across his face, it was as if low rise jeans had never come back in style.

Indeed, there is something so consciously optimistic about Greta Gerwig's movie, so rebelliously pure, that even I—infamous for lamenting the scientific improbability of balloons lifting a whole house during a screening of Up at 12 years old—couldn't find any foothold for cynicism. It almost made me want to give in to my biological drive to reproduce and justify it with "maybe my kid will cure cancer!" or, more accurately in that moment, "maybe my children will put on adorable plays for the other neighborhood children like the little women!" Essentially, the movie dares to exist outside our collective exhaustion and despair, insistent on coaxing us into a kind of childhood delight, but it's also not without political, impactful moments that are presented so cleverly amidst the earnestness that they don't feel part of the monotonous drone of "political" cinema. Of course, part of the credit for the brilliance of Little Women must be given to Louisa May-Alcott, who managed to craft a comforting salve for heartache out of a story that, on the surface, is often devastating. But it was a stroke of genius by Greta Gerwig to make this movie now, in the midst of a time of international tumult, to offer audiences two hours of genuine relief from the brutality of 2019.

If you feel yourself (like me) retreating into your cave of sarcastic jokes, existential dread, and black turtlenecks, go see Little Women and let yourself enjoy it without guilt. It serves as a vital reminder that as long as we have each other, good stories, and deeply-needed respite from the real world, we may be able to gather just enough strength to make 2020 better than 2019. Maybe it'll even be great.


Marriage Story Might Help You Understand Your Parents' Divorce

Divorce is an emotionally turbulent ride, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Admittedly, I'm a little late to the hype train for Marriage Story, director Noah Baumbach's movie about a spiraling divorce between two people who still care about each other.

For months, seemingly every other article in the entire cine-sphere has been about how Marriage Story is Netflix's best movie of the year or how Adam Driver walked out of an interview after they showed a clip of him singing or how dancing Scarlett Johansson is a meme now.

So I got it. Marriage Story was supposed to be very good. But in spite of the accolades, I decided to hold off on watching it immediately. I had a feeling that, having grown up as a child of divorce, Marriage Story might induce some unpleasant flashbacks. I wanted to make sure I was in the right headspace to properly deal with that before going in.

To some extent, I was right. There are a lot of elements of Marriage Story that I imagine will drum up painful memories, both for people who have gone through divorces themselves and children who watched their parents go through the process. The most memorable scene in Marriage Story, perhaps, is the vicious argument between Adam Driver's Charlie and Scarlett Johansson's Nicole, wherein all of Charlie's pent up rage, both at Nicole and the divorce process, explodes. It's a scene absolutely surging with raw emotion, and it reminded me of all the fights I grew up watching at home.

But what truly makes Marriage Story great, aside from the impeccable performances from Driver and Johansson, is the catharsis it offers throughout. Baumbach's exploration of divorce is extremely nuanced, treating both of its lead characters with compassion and empathy. The movie opens with Charlie and Nicole reading letters that convey the things they love about one another, portraying both characters as exceedingly real. In the same way that sometimes people fall out of love over time, sometimes the same thing we once loved about someone transforms into something irreconcilable.

For instance, at one point in their relationship, Nicole loved Charlie's sense of direction in life and his ability to seemingly always know exactly what he wanted to do. But as their relationship proceeded, the downsides to that trait came into starker focus––Charlie always knew what he wanted to do, in large part, because he valued his own opinion and wants above everyone else's. Eventually, Nicole's love for that aspect of Charlie soured into the feeling that she had lost her own identity throughout their relationship.

The point to all of this is that, a lot of the time, children of divorce have a hard time reconciling two distinct images of their parents––the first image being their parents in a functioning relationship with one another and the second image being their parents as bitter enemies. Of course, this isn't true for all divorces, but it certainly was for me. Naturally, as children we oftentimes choose between our parents. But the beauty of Marriage Story is in its ability to show us an intricate, sometimes brutal conflict between two mostly decent people without making us pick a side.

Both Charlie and Nicole's hardships through the divorce process are on full display, and both believe that they're doing the right thing. They both love their son. Their relationship was complex, failing for multiple reasons, and their contempt is complicated by the fact that they both still care about one another. And after the dust settles, they figure out a way to be co-parents, even if it's not ideal for either party.

In a sense, Marriage Story is an almost wholesome view of divorce, ultimately conveying the message that even though divorce is harsh, brutal, awful even, eventually it will be over. And once it's over, people can heal, and people can change, and people who care about their children can continue to be there for them. My prevailing feeling by the end of Marriage Story wasn't bitterness or sadness, but hope. It's an emotionally turbulent ride, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

In the real world, people are much more complicated than whatever black-and-white images we may have of them from specific points in our lives. People change over time, and if they can change for the worse, maybe they can also change for the better. And while every relationship is certainly complex and entirely different, perhaps Marriage Story will help you look at whatever divorce lies in your past with a fresh perspective.

Adam Driver'White Noise' premiere, New York Film Festival, USA - 30 Sep 2022

Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

With all the Golden Globes hype surrounding Netflix's Marriage Story, a familiar argument has once again resurfaced on social media: Is Adam Driver hot?

Normally, I'm not a fan of these Twitter circlejerks dwelling on the attractiveness of a particular "not conventionally attractive" celebrity. To be perfectly honest, these conversations strike me as deeply hypocritical, typically propelled by the same woke Twitter personalities who promote body positivity while simultaneously delighting in picking apart an (almost always) male celebrity's physical features.

But one Tweet amidst the recent Adam Driver fervor stood out to me, and I think it's worth discussion.

The Tweet comes courtesy of sociology professor and acclaimed author Tressie McMillan Cottom, who writes: "Straight men don't want Adam Driver to be hot because he is hot for reasons they could also be hot but aren't because they're lazy. He is interesting and has a personality. It's easier to think hot is just genetic symmetry because that lets them off the hook."

Cottom follows up with two subsequent Tweets, stating: "Although he is also tall, which yeah," and "Also, it is rumored that he is *signal drop*."

So first things first, let's address the fact that Cottom's follow-up Tweets do undermine her initial point (at least to some extent). Adam Driver is 6'2", and the suggestion that a tall, well-built, and allegedly well-hung man is not hitting a lot of conventionally attractive benchmarks is, well, just outright false. Adam Driver has a lot of features that do play into conventionally attractive standards, and I imagine life is a good deal harder for men who don't have any of those features.

I still think Cottom's original point mostly stands on its own. Judging by our celebrities, Western culture has certainly seemed to prop up symmetry, along with sharp, defined facial features, as a prerequisite for beauty. So when someone like Adam Driver––who, regardless of whether or not he's deemed "hot," is certainly not "symmetrical"––becomes a prominent object of women's desires, men who never balked at women drooling over Brad Pitt suddenly dig in their heels. "How could Adam Driver possibly be hot?" they wonder. There's subtext: "And if Adam Driver is hot, how come I'm not?"

But as Cottom points out, in spite of popular myth, there's a difference between "symmetrical" and "hot." In truth, there is no universal beauty standard. Different pockets of different cultures lean towards different aesthetics at different times, but by and large, there's no magic combination of features that will make a person attractive to everyone. That also means that, statistically speaking, there are some people somewhere in the world who will find you attractive, regardless of whether or not your features adhere to any culturally prevalent beauty standards.

So if we know that we're stuck with the bodies we have (give or take a little self-care) and that someone out there will find our features attractive, then it follows that our best course of action––if we want to be "hot" like Adam Driver––is to maximize our personalities and our interests.

Do women find Adam Driver hot because he's their perfect representation of the male form? Possibly. Does him being a talented actor who seems to have an incredibly deep appreciation for his craft and a solid sense of humor add to his attractiveness? Almost definitely.

And while we might not all have the potential to become an award-winning actor like Adam Driver, we do all have the potential to become really good at something. Almost all of us are capable of practicing something meaningful to us, or honing our skills pertaining to a particular interest or inclination. We're all capable of improving ourselves by some measure, be it how much weight we can lift or how funny our jokes are or simply how confident we are in our own skin––and improving yourself in any way will likely help with the latter.

The reason so many straight men are afraid of Adam Driver being hot is because if Adam Driver is hot, that means most of them can be hot, too. But being hot like Adam Driver requires hard work. It means not looking at your face in the mirror, deciding you don't meet whatever arbitrary standards of attractiveness you've decided to hold yourself up against, and then giving up on being a decent person worthy of being deemed attractive. And perhaps there's nothing quite scarier than the realization that your own "hotness," at least to the degree to which you'd be hot to a specific subset of people, hinges on your own actions and efforts rather than luck or genetics.

Of course, I'm speaking generally here, and general terms are never a catch-all. I'm sure that there's someone out there who truly is so physically unappealing that literally nobody else in the world would be sexually attracted to them. But at the same time, I've browsed through enough incel forums (out of curiosity) to know that for the vast majority of people who self-identify as being the lowest of the low on the totem pole of physical beauty, their self-assessment is almost always incorrect. The vast majority of them are totally normal looking guys who, I imagine, suffer from some degree of unchecked body dysmorphia.

But I'm not just talking about incels. Almost any guy who secretly struggles with his own self-image and wonders what it would take to be viewed as hot can learn a thing or two from Adam Driver. Cliches exist for a reason, and your personality counts for a whole lot. With some hard work––and the hardest part might be admitting there's work to be done in the first place––you, too, can be hot like Adam Driver.


The Golden Globes Still Pretend Female Directors Don't Exist

The Best Director nominations for the 77th Golden Globes completely omit women, but who's surprised?

Today, the nominations for the 77th Annual Golden Globes were unveiled.

It was a good year for Netflix productions, Scorcese, and Tarantino, but history has repeated itself in that women are, yet again, entirely absent from the Best Director category and immensely underrepresented throughout.

The Best Director nominees are Bong Joon-ho for Parasite, Sam Mendes for 1917, Todd Phillips for Joker, Martin Scorsese for The Irishman, and Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. (Other categories, including Best Motion Picture and Best Screenplay, were significantly male-leaning.) But as always, it's not like women haven't flashed their directing chops this year. Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Olivia Wilde (Booksmart), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), and Alma Har'el (Honey Boy) are all deserving of nominations at the very least—hey, that's enough to fill the entire category! Nominate them all!

Though the Golden Globes' glaring ignorance towards women hurts, it sadly doesn't come as a shock. Barbra Streisand is the sole woman to ever win Best Director in over seven decades of the Golden Globes; only four others have been nominated. Looks like Natalie Portman's viral call-out while presenting at the 2018 Golden Globes will remain evergreen.

Natalie Portman Notes the All-Male Director Nominees

Awards ceremony celebrating the best in TV and film; Seth Meyers hosts; Oprah Winfrey receives the 2018 Cecil B. de Mille Award.

Check out the very manly nominees below.

Best Motion Picture – Drama

"The Irishman" (Netflix)

"Marriage Story" (Netflix)

"1917" (Universal)

"Joker" (Warner Bros.)

"The Two Popes" (Netflix)

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

Cynthia Erivo ("Harriet")

Scarlett Johansson ("Marriage Story")

Saoirse Ronan ("Little Women")

Charlize Theron ("Bombshell")

Renée Zellweger ("Judy")

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Christian Bale ("Ford v Ferrari")

Antonio Banderas ("Pain and Glory")

Adam Driver ("Marriage Story")

Joaquin Phoenix ("Joker")

Jonathan Pryce ("The Two Popes")

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

"Dolemite Is My Name" (Netflix)

"Jojo Rabbit" (Fox Searchlight)

"Knives Out" (Lionsgate)

"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" (Sony)

"Rocketman" (Paramount)

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Ana de Armas ("Knives Out")

Awkwafina ("The Farewell")

Cate Blanchett ("Where'd You Go, Bernadette")

Beanie Feldstein ("Booksmart")

Emma Thompson ("Late Night")

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Daniel Craig ("Knives Out")

Roman Griffin Davis ("Jojo Rabbit")

Leonardo DiCaprio ("Once Upon a Time in Hollywood")

Taron Egerton ("Rocketman")

Eddie Murphy ("Dolemite Is My Name")

Best Motion Picture – Animated

"Frozen 2" (Disney)

"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" (Universal)

"The Lion King" (Disney)

"Missing Link" (United Artists Releasing)

"Toy Story 4" (Disney)

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

"The Farewell" (A24)

"Les Misérables" (Amazon)

"Pain and Glory" (Sony Pictures Classics)

"Parasite" (Neon)

"Portrait of a Lady on Fire" (Neon)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

Kathy Bates ("Richard Jewell")

Annette Bening ("The Report")

Laura Dern ("Marriage Story")

Jennifer Lopez ("Hustlers")

Margot Robbie ("Bombshell")

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

Tom Hanks ("A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood")

Anthony Hopkins ("The Two Popes")

Al Pacino ("The Irishman")

Joe Pesci ("The Irishman")

Brad Pitt ("Once Upon a Time in Hollywood")

Best Director – Motion Picture

Bong Joon-ho ("Parasite")

Sam Mendes ("1917")

Todd Phillips ("Joker")

Martin Scorsese ("The Irishman")

Quentin Tarantino ("Once Upon a Time in Hollywood")

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Noah Baumbach ("Marriage Story")

Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won ("Parasite")

Anthony McCarten ("The Two Popes")

Quentin Tarantino ("Once Upon a Time in Hollywood")

Steven Zaillian ("The Irishman")

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Alexandre Desplat ("Little Women")

Hildur Guðnadóttir ("Joker")

Randy Newman ("Marriage Story")

Thomas Newman ("1917")

Daniel Pemberton ("Motherless Brooklyn")

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

"Beautiful Ghosts" ("Cats")

"I'm Gonna Love Me Again" ("Rocketman")

"Into the Unknown" ("Frozen 2")

"Spirit" ("The Lion King")

"Stand Up" ("Harriet")

Best Television Series – Drama

"Big Little Lies" (HBO)

"The Crown" (Netflix)

"Killing Eve" (BBC America)

"The Morning Show" (Apple TV Plus)

"Succession" (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama

Jennifer Aniston ("The Morning Show")

Olivia Colman ("The Crown")

Jodie Comer ("Killing Eve")

Nicole Kidman ("Big Little Lies")

Reese Witherspoon ("The Morning Show")

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama

Brian Cox ("Succession")

Kit Harington ("Game of Thrones")

Rami Malek ("Mr. Robot")

Tobias Menzies ("The Crown")

Billy Porter ("Pose")

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy

"Barry" (HBO)

"Fleabag" (Amazon)

"The Kominsky Method" (Netflix)

"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon)

"The Politician" (Netflix)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Christina Applegate ("Dead to Me")

Rachel Brosnahan ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel")

Kirsten Dunst ("On Becoming a God in Central Florida")

Natasha Lyonne ("Russian Doll")

Phoebe Waller-Bridge ("Fleabag")

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Michael Douglas ("The Kominsky Method")

Bill Hader ("Barry")

Ben Platt ("The Politician")

Paul Rudd ("Living with Yourself")

Ramy Youssef ("Ramy")

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

"Catch-22″ (Hulu)

"Chernobyl" (HBO)

"Fosse/Verdon" (FX)

The Loudest Voice (Showtime)

"Unbelievable" (Netflix)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Kaitlyn Dever ("Unbelievable")

Joey King ("The Act")

Helen Mirren ("Catherine the Great")

Merritt Wever ("Unbelievable")

Michelle Williams ("Fosse/Verdon")

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Christopher Abbott ("Catch-22")

Sacha Baron Cohen ("The Spy")

Russell Crowe ("The Loudest Voice")

Jared Harris ("Chernobyl")

Sam Rockwell ("Fosse/Verdon")

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Patricia Arquette ("The Act")

Helena Bonham Carter ("The Crown")

Toni Collette ("Unbelievable")

Meryl Streep ("Big Little Lies")

Emily Watson ("Chernobyl")

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Alan Arkin ("The Kominsky Method")

Kieran Culkin ("Succession")

Andrew Scott ("Fleabag")

Stellan Skarsgård ("Chernobyl")

Henry Winkler ("Barry")