, ,

20 Recs Featuring This Year’s Oscar Nominees

Oscar nominations are out so over the next few weeks we’ll be hearing a lot about the 20 performers nominated so unless you haven’t seen the films they’re nominated for (sorry Paul Mescal) here’s a list of films and shows you should check out and where to watch them if you need reminders of how great these people are.

Cate Blanchett

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) – HBO Max: Blanchett is already a two-time winner and is now an eight-time nominee so there’s no shortage of great projects to watch her in. That being said, I’ve been re-watching the Lord of the Rings recently and while she may not have the biggest role in the franchise its no doubt an impactful one, especially in the first of Peter Jackson’s trilogy. Give the extended edition (also on HBO) a whirl for more Blanchett.

Ana de Armas

War Dogs (2016) – Hulu: If you want to see Ana de Armas in a movie that’s actually good check out Todd Phillips’ War Dogs with Miles Teller and Jonah Hill. It’s one of her first English speaking roles and while its not as meaty a role as something like Knives Out or No Time to Die it was her breakout role for American audiences.

Andrea Riseborough

Possessor (2020) – Hulu: Riseborough’s surprise Oscar nomination should put some credibility on what’s actually been a really impressive career over the last decade or so. She’s appeared in a number of high-profile films and TV shows such as Oblivion, Birdman, Black Mirror, The Death of Stalin, and Waco but if you want to see a creepy sci-fi horror with her running the show look at Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor. I won’t go into too much detail but the less you know the better.

Michelle Williams

Shutter Island (2010) – Netflix/Paramount+: Williams is a five-time nominee and like de Armas has been nominated for playing Marilyn Monroe in the past. But one of her biggest roles comes alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island. If you’ve seen it, it’s always worth a re-watch every few years. If you haven’t, you’ll be wondering “why are you all wet, baby?”

Michelle Yeoh

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) – Prime Video: The Michelle with a real shot at winning this year has been around for a long, long time. As an icon in the martial arts genre it’d be silly to overlook one of her biggest titles and the most nominated international film of all time. Sadly, you do have to pay for this one.

Austin Butler

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood (2019) – Starz: While his filmography may not be as long and decorated as some of the others among this year’s nominees, Butler will surely be a name to look for in years to come. Before he was crushing as The King Butler shared the screen alongside Oscar winner Brad Pitt and was the recipient of one of the best insults Quentin Tarantino has ever come up with.

Colin Farrell

Thirteen Lives (2022) – Prime Video: Farrell’s got just as long a list as anybody to choose from here and even though I’ve recommended this movie several times on here before, in lieu of being shutout at the Oscars I feel the need to again direct attention to Thirteen Lives. This amazing true story stars Farrell alongside Viggo Mortensen and Joel Edgarton as a team of diver’s tasked with saving a group of boys stuck inside a flooded cave in Thailand. It’s one of the best movies of 2022 and will given even the thick-skinned viewer claustrophobia and anxiety with an amazing payoff.

Brendan Fraser

Scrubs: Season 3, Episode 14 (2004) – Hulu: With Fraser there are plenty of childhood favorites to choose from like George of the Jungle, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, and of course, The Mummy franchise but one piece of work that’s always stood out to me was his recurring role on Scrubs. The sitcom has plenty of episodes that blend medical drama and zany comedy together seamlessly but “My Screwup” has always been one of the best. Just look at its 9.7 score on IMDb. Plus, the show as a whole is always great if you’re in need of a familiar binge.

Paul Mescal

The Lost Daughter (2021) – Netflix: I’m recommending this for Mescal only because its the only movie I’ve seen him in. That being said, this film picked up a handful of Oscar nominations last year for Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley. The film, which also starts Dakota Johnson and Ed Harris, tells the story of a mother who befriends a younger mother and is reminded of her past struggles as someone with young children. It’s a bit of a slog and will more than likely depress you but Paul Mescal is definitely in it.

Bill Nighy

Love Actually (2003) – Prime Video: No, not the Science Guy. Nighy is a British character actor with over 150 credits to his name and you may recognize him from titles like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and as Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise but one of his biggest roles is definitely as washed up pop star Billy Mack in the adult Christmas movie Love Actually. Nighy is one of the driving comedic forces of the film and even picked up a BAFTA nomination for his work.

Angela Bassett

Boyz N The Hood (1991) – Starz: Another actress with plenty of films and TV shows to choose from, one of Bassett’s earliest roles is still one of the best films on her resume. Here she plays in a supporting role as the mother to Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding Jr.) who is doing his best to survive and thrive in Crenshaw in the early 90’s. The film also features memorable performances by Laurence Fishburne, Morris Chestnut, Regina King, and Ice Cube. It even made director John Singleton the youngest and first African American director to be nominated for an Oscar in history.

Hong Chau

Watchmen (2019) – HBO Max: After spending the better part of a decade making her way through the network cable ranks, even playing the infamous Cook Pu on How I Met Your Mother, Chau broke out in 2017’s Downsizing (sidebar, my wife and I saw that movie on our first date and it was terrible, but Chau was great) and shortly followed up by appearing in four episodes of Damon Lindeof’s Watchmen series on HBO. She played one of the big baddy’s on the show but the less you know the better. If you haven’t seen it it’s must-watch television and has to go down as a Top 10 show of the last decade. And it’s only one season so it’s relatively easy to burn through.

Kerry Condon

Better Call Saul (2015-2022) – Netflix/AMC+: Kerry Condon may not be a household name, at least before Banshees of Inisherin came out, but she’s put together a pretty solid career over the last 20 years with plenty of big credits to show for it. On screen we saw her in Martin McDonagh’s last film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, she appeared in two seasons of HBO’s Rome, and has even been doing the voice of F.R.I.D.A.Y., Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence system, in various Marvel films since 2015. But you’ve likely seen her before in Better Call Saul as Stacey Ehrmantraut, Mike’s daughter. She appears in 18 episodes over the course of six seasons and played a significant part in what has been one of the great TV shows of this era.

Jamie Lee Curtis

A Fish Called Wanda (1988) – Paramount+: It’s easy to point to one of the Halloween movies or yogurt commercials when discussing JLC’s career but often forgotten is A Fish Called Wanda. This crime comedy also stars Monty Python’s John Cleese and Michael Palin with an Oscar-winning turn from Kevin Kline. I admit its been a while since I’ve seen it but this film is legitimately hilarious, Kline and Palin in particular, and is a great showcase for Curtis in her prime.

Stephanie Hsu

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2019-Present) – Prime Video: Hsu has been acting for over a decade now and Everything Everywhere All At Once is her big break in the film world but in TV she’s been hilariously playing Mei on Mrs. Maisel for the last two seasons. It’s one of the biggest shows on TV and she technically won a SAG award for being a part of the Best Comedy Ensemble in 2020. If you’re behind, or need a re-watch, look out for Hsu starting in season three. She’ll be hard to miss as she steals most of the scenes she’s in.

Brendan Gleeson

Braveheart (1994) – HBO Max: There are frankly too many amazing roles and films to choose from over the last 30 years with Gleeson so I’m just going to go back to the beginning with Ol’ Faithful. Gleeson plays Hamish, one of William Wallace’s oldest and most trusted friends, and he delivers several of the film’s most quotable lines while sporting an all-time beard. Outside of Braveheart, try 28 Days Later, Troy, Gangs of New York, In Bruges, The Guard, or any one his his credits in the Harry Potter series. If you’re looking for an old school Oscar-winning short from Martin McDonagh then give Six Shooter a shot.

Brian Tyree Henry

Atlanta (2016-2022) – Hulu: Arguably the most pleasant surprise among the nominees, Brian Tyree Henry has been on a roll for the last few years or so with films like Widows, Eternals, Joker, and Godzilla vs. Kong but it’s his iconic role as Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles on Atlanta that has always given him the best chance to show off. The show is a genius satire comedy that seemingly has deep and hilarious things to say about all walks of life, Paper Boi is perhaps its most iconic character. It recently came to an end a few months back but the show is only four seasons and is a very easy binge that will leave you both howling with laughter and deep in thought.

Judd Hirsch

Independence Day (1996) – Prime Video: Hirsch recently set the record for the longest gap between nominations in history with 42 years between his role in The Fabelmans and 1981’s Ordinary People. There’s a lot of credits to sift through both before and during that time frame but let’s just go with the biggest and bestest one. Independence Day is a timeless American classic and here he’s perfectly cast to play Jeff Goldblum’s father. Their banter is among the funniest moments in the film and should require annual viewing. Sadly this one requires a rental fee at the moment but it can often be found playing on TV in the summer time.

Barry Keoghan

Chernobyl (2019) – HBO Max: Keoghan’s only 30 years old but already has an impressive filmography under his belt. Films like The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Dunkirk, and Eternals have shown us that he’s going to be a great character actor in the years to come. One role that stands out to me though is his work the acclaimed mini series Chernobyl from The Last of Us creator Craig Mazin. He only appears in two of the five episodes but they are certainly some of the most memorable.

Ke Huy Quan

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) – Prime Video: Part of Quan’s narrative this year is that he’s a child star making a comeback and overcoming his fear that he had nothing left to give. His first two roles were as Short Round in The Temple of Doom and as Data in The Goonies so he has a cemented spot in history as far as 80’s child stars go. But between 2002 and 2021’s Finding ‘Ohana on Netflix he didn’t appear in any movies. So as much as I’d love to point to some of the other things he’s done, its slim pickings but nonetheless iconic.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Comments (



%d bloggers like this: