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8 Movies You Need to See Ahead of Awards Season

After a very interesting year, we are not surprised to see an equally interesting awards season for film and television. The Academy Awards, which would normally have aired this month, has been pushed back to April 25. With that later date, though, movie lovers have extra time to catch up on all the movies that are receiving nominations and acclaim from other awards shows, such as the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. If you are trying to keep up with all of the exciting movies that are getting a lot of buzz, here is a list of eight of those movies and where you can watch them!

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

The performances in this film are the driving force behind the its strength, with amazing performances from Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman. Davis plays the mother of the Blues, Ma Rainey, who is recording an album on a hot summer’s day in 1927. Boseman and Davis are both electric with their performances, transforming a very simple plot into a riveting and energetic experience. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom can be found on Netflix.

Promising Young Woman

One of the few movies on this list that is available to watch in theaters, Promising Young Woman is a delightfully surprising film to see garnering attention in the awards circuit. With a distinctly and boldly feminine voice, this film follows Cassie (Carey Mulligan), a woman who is haunted by her past and decides with her cunning spirit to get revenge. Emerald Fennell’s screenplay manages to make such a heavy subject feel so colorful and exciting to watch, and I can confidently say this movie is unlike any other I have seen. Max Greenfield’s role is also a treat for all the New Girl fans out there.

Sound of Metal

This movie easily became one of my favorites from last year the moment I watched it. Sound of Metal follows a heavy-metal drummer who begins to rapidly lose his sense of hearing while on tour with his partner. His struggle with the possibility of permanent hearing loss, clashing with his love for making music is deeply personal and stressful, with an incredible performance by Riz Ahmed. The sound design is completely immersive, bringing the audience into Ruben’s reality. Sound of Metal is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Netflix leads the awards circuit again with Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, following the true story of the 1969 trial of the seven individuals accused of conspiracy by the federal government after the protest at the Democratic National Convention in 1968. Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne’s performances have garnered awards buzz as well as Sorkin’s direction and screenplay.


Out of this list, Nomadland is one of my most anticipated watches for this awards season as it becomes available to stream on Hulu on February 19 (also in select theaters). Starring Frances McDormand, Nomadland tells the story of a woman who moves through the American West on a journey after losing everything following the recession. Writer and director Chloé Zhao becomes the first Asian female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director and McDormand’s performance has also earned awards buzz this season.


Minari is another highly anticipated movie on this list, and I am excited to hopefully get the chance to see it soon. Starring Steven Yeun, Minari tells the story of a Korean-American family that moves to a farm in Arkansas to try to achieve the “American Dream.” It illustrates the power of family with impressive performances, direction and cinematography. Minari can be found at select theaters and tickets for virtual screenings can be purchased through A24’s website.


Mank is a film I have not personally gotten a chance to watch but is on my watch list as it sweeps several nominations across this season. Directed by the legendary David Fincher (Gone Girl, The Social Network), it shows the world of Hollywood in the 1930s through the lens of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he works on the film Citizen Kane. Mank is getting a lot of awards buzz for categories such as Best Director, Best Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Supporting Actress (Amanda Seyfried) and Best Picture. Catch this movie on Netflix.

One Night in Miami…

Regina King’s directorial debut One Night in Miami… is receiving critical acclaim for direction, adapted screenplay and performances. Set on the night of February 25, 1964, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, Cassius Clay and Malcom X unite in Miami to discuss their role as black men during the civil rights movement. King is one of three women to be nominated for Best Director for the Golden Globes this year, making it a record-breaking year for female directors. You can watch One Night in Miami… on Amazon Prime Video and in select theaters.

I hope you enjoyed this list and add a few of these movies to your watch list to form your opinions before these awards shows air. Happy watching!

Lainey is a senior at Kent State University studying Fashion Design with a minor in Costume Design & Technology. She is so excited to be the Editor-in-Chief for Her Campus Kent State this year and to start her career in costume design for film and television. Read on for the latest on film, fashion, music and much more!
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