What to watch this weekend February 10, 2023: Movie awards contenders

The 95th Academy Awards are about a month away, which means you’re running out of time to watch every nominated film before the ceremony. Fortunately, streaming is making it easy to do it. Two Oscar nominees just got added to HBO Max, so you can cross them off your watchlist this weekend.  

The contender to watch this weekend: “Empire of Light”  

Sam Mendes’ ode to the movies was designed to be a major awards contender. Mendes is a past Best Picture and Best Director winner, stars Olivia Colman and Colin Firth have Oscars of their own, and composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are two-time winners. But the film received mixed reviews and no nominations in the Big Five categories. Its sole nomination belongs to cinematographer Roger Deakins, a two-time winner, most recently for “1917, his prior collaboration with Mendes. It’s his 15th nomination overall. The film tells the story of a transformative friendship between a middle-aged white woman with mental illness (Colman) and a young Black man (Micheal Ward), both of whom work at a movie theater in a seaside town in early ‘80s England. “Empire of Light” is now streaming on HBO Max.   

Other contenders: 

  • All That Breathes”: This lyrical Hindi-language film is nominated for Best Documentary Feature. It uses two brothers from New Delhi who take care of injured birds of prey to tell a larger story about the relationship between humans and animals in an urban ecosystem. It’s a beautifully made and emotionally resonant documentary that’s already won awards at Sundance and Cannes. It’s streaming on HBO Max. 
  • Your Place or Mine” : This “The Holiday”-esque romantic comedy won’t win any awards, but it features an Oscar winner in star and producer Reese Witherspoon and is written and directed by “The Devil Wears Prada” screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna. It’s available on Netflix. 
  • “Somebody I Used to Know” : This Prime Video original stars Alison Brie, who co-wrote the script with her husband, director Dave Franco, as a TV producer who returns home to her small town and reconnects with her first love (Jay Ellis). It’s another romantic comedy that won’t win any awards, but it’s getting good reviews.  

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