Where to watch the 2020 Oscar-nominated movies

The Oscars is an annual awards ceremony that recognizes the best artistic and technical merit across the international film industry over the previous 12 months. Also known as The Academy Awards, the event is given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to reward excellence in cinematic achievements. Winners are awarded a copy of a famous golden statuette, which is officially named the Academy Award of Merit but is more commonly referred to as the Oscar.

Movies nominated for the Oscars are generally considered among the best movies to have been created during a calendar year. And, with streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix increasingly making high-quality motion pictures, plenty of this year’s shortlisted films are already available to stream.

The most highly coveted award category is the Oscar for Best Picture. Other important categories include Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director. Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress awards are also handed out. The Academy also honors short films, documentaries and international movies. 

The Oscars reward the people behind the scenes, including makeup professionals and hair stylists, production designers, score and songwriters, sound editors and mixers and visual effects artists. Here is guide with information about where to watch Oscar-nominated movies. 

Your guide to Oscar-nominated films and where to stream them

American Factory (2019)

What is it: A Chinese billionaire opens a factory in an abandoned General Motors plant in Ohio, providing jobs for 2,000 Americans. Hope and optimism soon give way to major setbacks as the high-tech Chinese ethos clashes with working-class America.

Nominated for: Best Documentary Feature

Genre: Documentary

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 79%

Notable cast members: N/A

Where to stream: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)

For Sama (2019)

What is it: An epic exploration of the female experience of war. The documentary tells the story of the life of Waad al-Kateb during five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama amid the devastating conflict taking place around her. The movie captures laughter, loss and survival as Waad struggles with the choice of whether to leave her home to protect her daughter.

Nominated for: Best Documentary Feature

Genre: Documentary

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 93%

Notable cast members: N/A

Where to stream: Amazon Prime Video ($8.99/mo.)

Life Overtakes Me (2019)

What is it: A documentary focusing on hundreds of refugee children in Sweden who developed “uppgivenhetssyndrom,” or Resignation Syndrome after suffering extreme trauma. The children, faced with deportation, withdraw from the world into a coma-like state for months and even years.

Nominated for: Best Documentary Short Subject

Genre: Documentary, Short

Rotten Tomatoes Score: N/A

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 79%

Notable cast members: N/A

Where to stream: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)

Marriage Story (2019)

What is it: An insightful exploration of a marriage on the verge of breaking up and a family striving to stay together. The movie focuses on a stage director and his wife, who is an actress, struggling through a long-distance marriage that pushes them to their creative and personal extremes.

Nominated for: Best Picture, Lead Actor, Lead Actress, Original Score, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actress

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 85%

Notable cast members: Adam Driver, Ray Liotta, Scarlett Johansson

Where to stream: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)

The Edge of Democracy (2019)

What it is: A political documentary exploring a democracy in crisis during one of the most dramatic periods in Brazilian history. Filmmaker Petra Costa explores her family’s industrial and political past and gets unprecedented access to two Brazilian Presidents, Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff.

Nominated for: Best Documentary Feature

Genre: Documentary, History

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 66%

Notable cast members: Dilma Rousseff, Lula da Silva, Marisa Leticia Lula de Silva

Where to stream: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)

The Irishman (2019)

What is it: An aging mafia hitman reflects on his life and the hits that defined his time in the mob. The film focuses on the part the protagonist played in the disappearance of his friend Jimmy Hoffa. Martin Scorsese’s movie is a fictionalized tale of the true story of Hoffa’s murder, which remains unsolved.

Nominated for: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture, Cinematography, Costume Design, Director, Film Editing, Production Editing Supporting Actor, Visual Effects

Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 89%

Notable cast members: Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro

Where to stream: Netflix ($8.99/mo.)

The Two Popes (2019)

What is it: An intriguing true tale of power at the top of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Bergoglio requests permission to retire from Pope Benedict, who reveals a secret that will shake the church to its core. The movie focuses on the struggle that takes place between the two men in an attempt to forge a future for billions of Catholics.

Nominated for: Best Adapted Screenplay, Lead Actor, Supporting Actor

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 88%

Notable cast members: Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce, Juan Minujin

Where to stream: Netflix

Toy Story 4 (2019)

What is it: The latest version of the classic animated movie sees a new toy, Forky, join Bo Peep, Buzz Lightyear, Woody and the rest of the gang. A road trip ensues and turns into an unexpected reunion with new and old friends.

Nominated for: Animated Feature, Original Story

Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 94%

Notable cast members: Annie Potts, Tom Hanks, Tim Allen

Where to stream: Disney+ ($6.99/mo.)

The takeaway

Many of the movies shortlisted for the 2020 Oscars are available for cord-cutters to watch on various streaming services. Netflix leads the way with several documentaries, movies and short films nominated for ceremony thanks to its impressive original programming. This includes the likes of the moving Marriage Story, Martin Scorsese’s mafia movie The Irishman and the intriguing The Two Popes. Amazon Prime Video has an Oscar-nominated documentary in For Sama and Disney+ provides access to Toy Story 4. Amazon Prime Video and Netflix offer a 30-day free trial, and Disney+ has a 7-day free trial membership. 

Rob Latham

Rob Latham is a writer focused on technology, music, entertainment and sports. He is particularly passionate about the role that technology plays in improving peoples’ lives and helping businesses to work more effectively. He’s written marketing content for global B2B technology brands and start-ups, founded his own music blog and is a regular contributor to soccer publications. His professional background is in content marketing, public relations and journalism, and he has a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism.