What to watch February 2, 2024: Movie awards contenders

All caught up on this year’s Oscar-nominated movies? Catch one of the winter’s biggest not-nominated movies. It’s one the whole family can enjoy. 

The contender to watch this week: “Wonka

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Come with me and you’ll be in a world of Paul King‘s imagination. The “Paddington” director’s Willy Wonka prequel dominated the holiday box office en route to $553 million worldwide and counting. Now it’s also available to rent or purchase on VOD. Timothée Chalamet earned a Golden Globe nomination for the title role, but that was the extent of the movie’s awards favor aside from one BAFTA nod. In a rare rebuff for a big-budget original musical, none of its numbers made the Oscars’ Best Original Song shortlist. Oh well. “Wonka” is a pleasing movie, sugary but nowhere near as phoned-in as its early trailers suggested. 

Other contenders: 

  • “Orion and the Dark”: Did you know there’s a new Charlie Kaufman movie out this weekend? The Oscar winner wrote this DreamWorks production about an imaginative schoolkid (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) conquering his fear of the dark with the help of a grinning specter that shows up at night. Werner Herzog narrates the film, which also features Paul Walter Hauser, Angela Bassett, and “What We Do in the Shadows” favorite Natasia Demetriou. It’s streaming on Netflix.

  • “The Greatest Night in Pop”: In 1985, dozens of A-list musicians came together to record the charity single “We Are the World.” That collaboration is the focus of a fascinating new Netflix documentary that features extensive footage of Lionel Ritchie, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, and others on the night of that fateful recording. 

  • Past Lives“: If you haven’t caught this Best Picture nominee written and directed by Celine Song, it’s newly available on Paramount+ with Showtime. 

  • New streaming titles: Hulu has added “Call Me by Your Name,” “Judas the Black Messiah,” “Pretty Woman,” and “12 Years a Slave.” And over on Peacock, you’ll find “Braveheart,” “Dunkirk,” “Fatal Attraction,” “I Am Not Your Negro,” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.” 

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