5 movies to binge-watch to get ready for the big night


“Crazy Rich Asians” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” are some of the most shocking snubs for the 2019 Oscar nominations.

Get your scorecards and your champagne ready, it’s time for the 2019 Academy Awards. 

This year’s Oscar race has been full of dark horses and surprises, with enough snubs to keep us all complaining until next year’s nominees are announced. And even though we can’t say for sure who will win what on the big night (Sunday, ABC, 8 EST/5 PST), we have a few movies that you should probably watch if you want to be in the know. 

If you want the most bang for your Netflix subscription: ‘Roma’ 

Between watching episodes of “Dating Around” and re-watching “The Office” for the 10th time, move your remote on over to “Roma,” the Alfonso Cuaron-directed best picture nominee that is ready and waiting for you to watch. The black and white film is poetic and beautiful, a semi-autobiographical story of Cuaron’s own upbringing in Mexico City. The highly acclaimed film is one of the frontrunners in the best picture race and could make Oscar history as the first foreign language film to take home the top prize. 

Stream it on Netflix

If you want to root for the populist choice: ‘Black Panther’

With $1 billion or so at the worldwide box office, it’s pretty easy to say that “Black Panther” is one of the most popular best picture nominees since “Avatar.” And, for once, it’s a film that lives up to all the hype. Marvel’s superhero epic broke through a wide swath of audiences thanks to its stunning visuals, excellent writing and stellar performances from the likes of Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o. 

Stream it on Netflix.

If you love Spike Lee: ‘BlacKkKlansman’ 

Legendary director Spike Lee sunk his teeth into the real-life story of a black cop in the 1970s who infiltrated the KKK, creating an incisive look at racism that is starkly relevant today. The film has six nominations, including Lee for director and best picture, and it is likely to walk away with the adapted screenplay award. 

Buy it on Amazon, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube

If you just have to sing your heart out: ‘A Star is Born’ 

Bradley Cooper’s dark Hollywood fairy tale might not be the Oscar runner it once was (blame Glenn Close and Rami Malek), but it’s still destined to take away at least the best original song trophy, if not a few more. And it’s worth seeing as one of the most entertaining films of the year with a soundtrack worthy of any current pop artist. 

Buy it on Amazon, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube.

If you aren’t afraid of heights: ‘Free Solo’

Free soloing – rock climbing without a rope or support – is not for the faint of heart, and neither is this documentary about climber Alex Honnold, who took on the mammoth task of free soloing El Capitan in Yosemite. The documentarians who followed him, including directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, on his training and eventual climb did not know if Honnold would survive his trek up “El Cap.” That tension, combined with heady, vertigo-inducing visuals, makes this a stunning documentary to behold, and the frontrunner for Oscar’s best documentary prize. If you don’t want to pay to see it at home or in theaters don’t worry, it airs on the National Geographic Channel on March 3 (but you’ll be out of the loop for the Oscars). 

Buy it on Amazon, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube.


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