Hollywood award season might be two weeks shorter than normal thanks to an earlier-than-ever Oscars, but there’s still plenty of time to catch some of this year’s buzziest contenders in flight.
Hoping to boost ratings and help combat award show fatigue, the Motion Picture Academy announced early last year that they were moving this year’s ceremony from its usual perch in late February or early March to February 9. Though the jury is still out on how the shortest award season in years will impact other award shows, Oscar telecast ratings and even the box office returns of this year’s nominated films, the good news for frequent flyer film fans is that many of this year’s nominees are already playing in flight.
Thanks to a better-than-usual showing by Netflix, which topped all other media companies with a whopping 24 nominations, Netflix subscribers can preload hours of Oscar-nominated content onto their device of choice before they even leave for the airport.
Best Picture Nominees
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Although star Brad Pitt is a virtual lock in the Best Supporting Actor category, Once Upon a Time’s Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture Musical or Comedy wins at the Golden Globes suggest it could definitely pull out a win in this race too. Quentin Tarantino’s revisionist love letter to late-60’s Los Angeles is now playing on select American Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, United and Iberia flights worldwide.
Nominated for six Academy Awards, writer-director Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite is not only the first Korean-language film to score an Oscar nomination but is also one of only 11 movies to snap up Best Picture and Best International Film (formerly known as Best Foreign Film) nominations in the same year. Released this week as a digital download on iTunes, Parasite is also playing on British Airways, Air France and Lufthansa.
Now streaming on Netflix, Martin Scorsese’s mob movie magnum opus is nominated for 10 Oscars. And though the film’s 209-minute running time has spurred an online movement to watch it in more manageable chunks as a four-part mini-series, this one is probably best enjoyed whole – like one of Jimmy Hoffa’s epic ice cream sundaes – on your next long-haul flight.
Also streaming exclusively on Netflix, writer-director Noah Baumbach’s divorce drama Marriage Story is nominated for six Oscars – including Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor (Adam Driver), Best Actress (Scarlett Johansson) and Best Supporting Actress (Laura Dern). And even if they don’t enjoy the film, seasoned AvGeeks should surely relish the opportunity to calculate the airline mileage points Driver’s character accrues while jetting back and forth from NYC to LA and a scene-stealing turn by Airplane! icon Julie Hagerty as the mother-in-law in the middle of it all.
Best Animated Feature Nominees
The Missing Link
Hot off a surprise Best Animated Feature victory at the Golden Globes – where it Bigfoot stomped heavy-hitters like Frozen II and The Lion King – this cryptozoology-themed family comedy is now playing on select Qatar, Air Canada, United and American Airlines flights worldwide.
Toy Story 4
Playing on many carriers this month as an IFE box set with the previous entries in the series, Toy Story 4 – which is also nominated in the Best Original Song category – is making passengers laugh and ugly cry on select Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, Singapore Airlines, Southwest and American Airlines flights.
Although the holidays are well behind us, this cheeky, revisionist take on the Santa narrative is sure to entertain kids of all ages all year round and is currently streaming exclusively on Netflix.
I Lost My Body
This animated, French-language fantasy romance about a severed hand searching for its missing body was co-written by Amélie’s Oscar-nominated screenwriter Guillaume Laurant. It’s available on Netflix.
Best Original Song Nominees
Already considered something of a lock in this category after taking home a Golden Globe earlier this month, Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” is currently crocodile rocking IFE systems on Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic, Air Canada, United and American Airlines.
Another surprise nominee, “I’m Standing With You” from the faith-based family drama, Breakthrough, is power ballad pioneer Diane Warren’s 11th Oscar nomination in this category. And though the odds are on Sir Elton taking home the gold, passengers can check out Warren’s song (and the movie) on Alaska Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and American Airlines.
Best International Film Nominees
Pain and Glory
The latest pseudo-autobiographical drama from Spanish writer-director Pedro Almódovar, Pain and Glory also garnered star Antonio Banderas his first-ever Best Actor nod. Pain and Glory is now playing on United, Lufthansa, Iberia and American Airlines.
The true-life tale of an aging female beekeeper, Honeyland is only the second Macedonian film to be nominated for an Academy Award. Also nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category, Honeyland is playing on British Airways but is also available to rent and purchase on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and Google Play.
Other High-Profile Nominees
Although the most nominated film of the year, Joker (with 11 nominations), and one of the year’s most controversial, the Hitler youth satire JoJo Rabbit (nominated for six Oscars), don’t make their IFE debuts until next month, Joker is available to rent and purchase online from iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu and Google Play.
And if you prefer the Marvel comic book universe to DC, check out Best Achievement in Visual Effects nominee Avengers: Endgame, which is playing on Disney+ and almost every IFE system on the planet right now. Take that, Thanos!