What to watch this weekend February 24, 2023: Movie awards contenders

It’s a big week for Oscar contenders on streaming services. All four of our picks for awards contenders to stream this weekend are current Oscar nominees. We’re going to be upfront with you: three of the picks will make you very sad. And the fourth one isn’t exactly “Ted Lasso,” either. Hopefully, you’re ready for some heavy stuff this late winter weekend. 

The contender to watch this weekend: “Babylon

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You may have been waiting for Damien Chazelle’s hedonistic historical epic to come to streaming, where you can pause the three-hour-plus film for a bathroom break. Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Diego Calva star as denizens of Hollywood trying to survive the transition from silent films to talkies. The film has underperformed in a lot of ways – it didn’t turn a profit at the box office, got mixed reviews from critics, and didn’t earn any above-the-line Academy Award nominations – but it’s up for three Oscars in technical categories: Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design. It’s now streaming on Paramount+.

Other contenders: 

  • The Whale”: Brendan Fraser is a Best Actor frontrunner for his heartbreaking performance in this A24 drama. He plays Charlie, a physically and emotionally ailing morbidly obese man trying to repair his relationship with his estranged teenage daughter (Sadie Sink). The only reason it isn’t the top contender to watch this weekend is that it’s on-demand and you’ll have to pay almost $20 for it. “Babylon” is better value, especially on a per-minute basis. 

  • “Women Talking”: The smallest movie nominated for Best Picture this year is now available to buy on-demand from Amazon, Apple TV, or wherever you buy movies on-demand. Writer-director Sarah Polley is also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for her film about the women of an ultraconservative religious community rising up against their male oppressors. 

  • A House Made of Splinters” : This devastating documentary about a Ukrainian orphanage situated near the front line of the war is nominated for Best Documentary Feature. It’s getting a timely on-demand release on the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. You can buy it on Amazon, Apple TV, YouTube, and more. 

  • EO” : If you’re in the mood to be completely emotionally wrecked, director Jerzy Skolimowski’s contemporary riff on the classic film “Au Hasard Balthazar” will do it to you. The Polish film follows a donkey named Eo as he passes from owner to owner, some of whom are kind and some of whom are cruel. It’s a simple, powerful tale of human nature seen through an animal’s eyes. The Best International Feature Film nominee is streaming on the Criterion Channel – along with “Au Hasard Balthazar,” if you want to watch a depressing donkey-themed double feature. 

PREDICT the 2023 Oscar winners through March 12

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