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    34 Early Oscar Contenders You Can Stream Right Now

    Watch Dune, Candyman, The Guilty and other films on the hunt for Oscar gold in 2022.

    It's now fall, which means that awards season is upon us!

    ABC / Via giphy.com

    Technically they won't be giving out any awards until November, but the film festivals are up and swinging, so it's basically awards season. 

    And while there are of course lots of great films playing in theaters, we've already got plenty of this year's Oscar hopefuls streaming.

    ABC / Via giphy.com

    Yes, Spike. That is super exciting. 

    So get hyped (like Meryl) because here are 22 of this year's Oscar contenders that you can watch at home right now.

    ABC / Via giphy.com

    1. Annette

    Marion Cotillard holding flower prepares to kiss Adam Driver in a motorcycle helmet
    Amazon Studios/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: An opera-inspired musical about a comedian who falls in love with an opera singer, serenades her while eating her out, and becomes the father to a puppet. (Yes, it is a strange film.) 

    Why It Has Buzz: The film from French auteur Leos Carax made a splashy debut at the Cannes Film Festival, where critics were enamored by the Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard performances at its center. Modern musicals like A Star Is Born and La La Land have done well in recent years, so there is precedent, and Adam Driver is hot off of BlacKkKlansman, Marriage Story, and that horse photo

    Potential Nominations: While there is an outside shot that it could nab a Best Picture or Director nom, it's much more likely to grab a Best Actor nomination for Driver (although he's competing with himself in father, son, and House of Gucci), Best Original Screenplay, or Best Score. Its best bet is for Best Original Song for the jaunty opener "So May We Start."

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Amazon Prime Video

    2. Black Widow

    Florence Pugh and Scarlett Johansson ride a motercycle
    Walt Disney Studios/Marvel Studios/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: In a prequel to Avengers: Endgame, Natasha Romanov, aka Black Widow, reunites with her fake Russian family to take down a ring of female assassins being controlled through brain chips. 

    Why It Has Buzz: Eleven of the past Marvel Cinematic Universe films have landed Oscar noms totaling up to 19 nominations and three wins (all for Black Panther). There is certainly reason to think it could squeeze out some love from the Academy, especially in this shortened Oscar year. 

    Potential Noms: Best Visual Effects is the primary target here, but there's a chance that if voters like the film, they'll throw it a Best Sound nomination as well. Too bad Best Popular Film never got off the ground. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Disney+.

    3. Candyman

    Yahya Abdul-Mateen II sitting beside a painting in coveralls
    Parrish Lewis/Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It’s About: In the sequel to a 1992 film of the same name, a Black artist becomes fascinated with an urban legend about a hook-handed serial killer just as people in his neighborhood start to be murdered.

    Why It Has Buzz: While horror doesn’t often land with the Academy, Jordan Peele’s Get Out did extremely well. Peele is a producer here and, like in his breakout film, Candyman is speaking to larger political issues. It’s more than a slasher film and Emmy-winner/rising star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is playing a juicy lead role. 

    Potential Noms: Like with Get Out, a screenplay award (adapted in this case) could be its best bet. Abdul-Mateen’s performance is certainly worthy of being in the conversation for Best Actor too, especially as that has been a weaker category in years past. The best chance, however, probably lies in Makeup & Hairstyling, which expertly constructs the Candyman and his levels of bodily decay. 

    Where to Stream: Rent it on Amazon Prime Video

    4. Coda

    Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and Emilia Jones lean on a log in the water together
    Apple TV+/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: A hearing teenage girl in an all-deaf family is torn between following her passion for music, which her family doesn't understand, and helping them keep their struggling fishing business afloat as their translator and connection to the outside world. 

    Why It Has Buzz: After earning rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival last winter, it was acquired by Apple in a festival record-breaking deal for $25M, and achieved a 96% Rotten Tomatoes score at its release. It's an easy, feel-good film with great performances, an interesting story, and a massive corporation backing it. It's also the frontrunner heading into the fall festivals. 

    Potential Noms: If the tiny film continues to build steam, it could snag a Best Picture nomination. Others that look likely are Best Supporting Actress for previous winner Marlee Matlin, Best Supporting Actor for Troy Kotsur, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Sound of Metal, another hearing-focused film, was the late dark horse of last year's Oscars, taking home trophies for Film Editing and Sound, so while Coda is less impressive on those fronts, it could also break through. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Apple TV+.

    5. Cruella

    Emma Stone looks at the camera seated across the desk
    Laurie Sparham/Disney+/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: Before Cruella de Vil was skinning puppies to make coats, she was a low-level fashion intern trying to give her boss a mental breakdown by ruining her business and becoming London's premiere designer. 

    Why It Has Buzz: Even poorly regarded Disney remakes like Mulan and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil have managed to claw their way into below-the-line Oscar categories. These are big-budget films that everyone watches and have the backing of a powerful studio, so you can never count them out. Cruella itself got respectable reviews on top of that. 

    Potential Noms: If it doesn't get a Best Costume Design nomination, I'd be shocked. Both Mulan and Mary Poppins Returns got them, and this is a whole movie ABOUT FASHION. The newly expanded Best Hair & Makeup category also bodes well for Emma Stone's many black and white wigs. There is technically an original song, so it could find a spot in that chaotic category, but beyond that, it's hard to find other entry points. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Disney+

    6. Cry Macho

    Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: A VERY OLD Clint Eastwood (he's 91) is hired to drive to Mexico, kidnap a kid, and bring him back to the US in this film he directed. 

    Why It Has Buzz: Just look at the numbers: 16 films that Eastwood directed earned a total of 41 nominations and 13 wins, including Best Picture wins for both Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby. His most recent film, Richard Jewell, landed Kathy Bates a surprise nom, and the Academy loves rewarding an industry veteran — even, in some cases, a polarizing one — with a career-topping honor. Who knows how many more chances they'll have to nominate Mr. Eastwood. 

    Potential Noms: A Best Actor nom for Eastwood seems like the obvious choice, but if the Academy appreciates the film (and they love a Western) we could see Best Picture, Director, or Adapted Screenplay as well. 

    Where to Stream: Rent it on Amazon Prime Video

    7. Dear Evan Hansen

    Ben Plat stands by some lockers with a cast on
    Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It’s About: An anxious high schooler with an arm cast causes trouble when he uses a chance encounter with a classmate who committed suicide to befriend his longtime crush.

    Why It Has Buzz: Despite a tragic Rotten Tomatoes score of 29% and a wealth of online criticism lambasting the choice to have the 28-year-old Ben Platt play the lead role, you can’t count out an adaption of a Tony-winning musical. The cast including Julianne Moore, Amandla Stenberg, and Amy Adams is also extremely buzzy. 

    Potential Noms: Given the reviews, its path to major awards seems thwarted, but with new music created just for the movie, you can’t count out a Best Original Song nomination for sure. 

    Where to Stream: Rent it on Amazon Prime Video

    8. Dune

    Timothee Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson stand on a sand dune
    Chiabella James/Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It’s About: A noble aristocratic house moves to a desert planet covered with giant worms to help rule. Magical people and an assassination attempt are also in the works. 

    Why It Has Buzz: A big budget adaptation of a beloved, best-selling novel starring a who’s who of Hollywood with big names behind the camera as well. Nothing is more buzzy than Dune in this year’s Oscar race (especially since the film has been delayed multiple times and touted often as the film that would signal the true return to theaters.) 

    Potential Noms: Nearly endless. Picture, Director, Cinematography, Costumes, Editing, Score, Production Design, Sound, Visual Effect, and Adapted Screenplay are all easily within reach given its glowing reviews. The ensemble cast may make the acting races a bit challenging to break into, but keep an eye out for a supporting nomination for one Rebecca Ferguson if voters really go crazy for Dune.

    Where to Stream: Watch it on HBO Max

    9. Everybody's Talking About Jamie

    Max Harwood poses at the end of a runway
    John Rogers/20th Century Studios/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: A teenage British boy dreams of being a drag queen and sings his way through a musical toward that end. 

    Why It Has Buzz: Never count out a musical, especially one based on a highly popular West End smash. It also stars recent Oscar nominee and social media icon Richard E. Grant as Jamie's drag mentor, a juicy supporting role ripe for awards season. 

    Potential Noms: Well, we'd love to see Richard E. Grant on the awards circuit again, so let's get that campaign going. And as with most movie musicals, the team was smart enough to inject an original song to the mix, so watch out for Jamie in that category too. If the film builds steam, it could also make a play for Hair & Makeup or Costume Design. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Amazon Prime Video

    10. Free Guy

    Ryan Reynolds looks at Jodie Comer who is laughing
    20th Century Studios/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It’s About: A non-player character inside a video game becomes sentient at the same time the game creators are trying to delete the game. 

    Why It Has Buzz: It did surprisingly well at the box office and with critics becoming a word-of-mouth, original-concept hit during a summer of sequels, spinoffs, and remakes. 

    Potential Noms: While I would love the Academy to recognize the brilliance of the concept and writing here and throw it a Screenplay nomination, I think its best chances are in the Visual Effects category which typically goes for action/sci-fi movies more than the other branches. I wish the Jodie Comer cover of “Fantasy” was eligible for a song nomination, but alas it's not. 

    Where to Stream: Rent it on Amazon Prime Video

    11. Godzilla vs. Kong

    Godzilla and King Kong prepare to clash above a smoking battle ship
    Warner Bros. Pictures

    What It's About: So there's this giant dragon thing called Godzilla and this giant monkey called King Kong, and they sort of, like, fight a bunch while Millie Bobby Brown runs around and tries to stop them. 

    Why It Has Buzz: All in all, there isn't much, but its predecessor Kong: Skull Island, which is arguably a worse movie, earned a Visual Effects nomination — so if the Academy is watching King Kong movies, they could vote to give the sequel some love too. After all, both Kong and Godzilla are visual effects. 

    Potential Noms: Best Visual Effects. That's it. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on HBO Max

    12. The Green Knight

    Dev Patel stands by a horse
    Eric Zachanowich/A24/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: One of King Arthur's knights has to endure a bunch of trippy tasks on a journey to get his head chopped off after he's lost a bet. 

    Why It Has Buzz: There's a lot of buzz here. First we've got former Oscar nominee and charmer Dev Patel acting his ass off in the leading role. Then we've got the fact that it's a period drama based on an enduring classical epic (something the Academy often gets behind). It's been racking up nice reviews for several months and is backed by A24, the studio behind Lady Bird, Moonlight, and last year's Minari

    Potential Noms: Costume Design seems like the strongest bet here, with Hair & Makeup close behind. If critics bolster it with their awards and Academy members aren't put off by its weirdness, it could also scoop up Visual Effects, Cinematography, and even top prizes like Picture, Director, and Best Actor. 

    Where to Stream: Rent it on Amazon Prime Video

    13. The Guilty

    Jake Gyllenhaal sits in a call center with a headset on
    Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It’s About: A police officer working in a 911 call center tries to save a woman who calls in claiming to have been abducted. 

    Why It Has Buzz: Anything that former Oscar-nominee/perennially underappreciated actor Jake Gyllenhaal is in will immediately have buzz. He gives an impressive performance here, being on screen for nearly every second of the film and acting with only a telephone. 

    Potential Noms: Best Actor for Gyllenhaal seems like the obvious choice here if Netflix gives this film a campaign, as there are hardly any other actors on screen.  The fact that the entire movie is shot in a couple of rooms, however, makes it a tough sell in the crafts categories, and the fact that the Academy repeatedly has snubbed Gyllenhaal means it could happen here again. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Netflix

    14. I'm Your Man

    Maren Eggert and Dan Stevens lay in a grass field
    Bleecker Street Media/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It’s About: An archeologist in Germany finds herself drawn to a very lifelike robot. 

    Why It Has Buzz: It’s the German submission for Best International Film, has been receiving good reviews on the festival circuit, and stars Dan Stevens (something that will help American voters distinguish it from the other international submissions.) 

    Potential Noms: Best International Film would obviously be the main play. It is exceptionally hard for a foreign-language film to break into other categories without universal appeal and a groundswell of support. I’m Your Man doesn’t have that yet, but it’s got plenty of time to build momentum in the coming months. Screenplay perhaps? 

    Where to Stream: Rent it on Amazon Prime Video

    15. In the Heights

    Stephanie Beatriz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Dascha Polanco sit amid posing sunbathers near a pool
    Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: There's a heatwave and blackout in Washington Heights, New York, and all the inhabitants sing about it while they try to fall in love and figure out who won the lottery. 

    Why It Has Buzz: It's a big-budget, high-production-value musical from Lin-Manuel Miranda, the mind behind the awards juggernaut Hamilton. Although it underperformed at the box office, it got amazing reviews from the critics and boasts some of the most impressive set pieces of the year so far. The fall films had better watch their backs because this is breathing down their necks. 

    Potential Noms: Truly nearly everything. Picture, Director, Cinematography, Costume Design, Editing, Makeup & Hairstyling, Original Song, Production Design, and Sound could all be up for grabs. In the acting categories, Anthony Ramos in lead seems like a bit of a reach, but Olga Merediz as Abuela Claudia could easily earn a Supporting Actress nomination. It really all depends on how much this film from July is on people's minds in January. 

    Where to Stream: Rent it on Amazon Prime Video

    16. Luca

    Alberto Scorfano and Luca Paguro hide in the water under seagulls
    Disney+/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: A pair of sea monsters who turn into humans on land, run away from home, and live in a tiny town that hates sea monsters. 

    Why It Has Buzz: It's Pixar. Of it's 23 eligible films, only 5 have not been nominated for an Oscar, and of those only The Good Dinosaur was an original (and even that was a bit of an anomaly because Inside Out, another Pixar film, won the Best Animated Feature Oscar that year, so there was intense competition in house). Luca is the only Pixar offering this year and should sail to a nomination. 

    Potential Noms: Best Animated Feature is a shoo-in. Beyond that a possible score nomination is it's only hope. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Disney+

    17. The Many Saints of Newark

    Jon Bernthal puts his arm around Vera Farmiga on the street
    Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It’s About: A prequel to The Sopranos about Tony Soprano’s upbringing and the workings of the Newark mob in the ‘60s. 

    Why It Has Buzz: The Sopranos is often lauded as the best television show ever created. Anything attached to it is immediately going to be vetted for awards. 

    Potential Noms: The film did well, but not exceptionally, so the nominations could be few and far between. Vera Farmiga could land a Best Supporting Actress nom for her turn as Livia Soprano (she was previous nominated for Up in the Air), and the period costumes and sets could yield Costume and Production Design nominations if it’s lucky. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on HBO Max

    18. The Mitchells Vs. The Machines

    Katie, Linda, Rick, and Aaron stand near two robots
    Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It’s About: A dysfunctional family full of klutzes somehow must save the world from a deadly robot attack. 

    Why It Has Buzz: It’s an animated film with a 98% Rotten Tomatoes score and has the backing of both Netflix and Sony. 

    Potential Noms: Best Animated Feature. The Animated Feature race is always light on potential nominees, so if a major non-Disney film gets incredible reviews, it's nearly a lock for a spot. The Mitchells vs. The Machines seem to be the main Disney rival at the moment. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Netflix

    19. My Name Is Pauli Murray

    Pauli Murray sits at a desk writing
    Amazon Studios/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It’s About: A documentary about Pauli Murray, a lawyer, activist, reverend, scholar, and LGBTQ+ icon who no one seems to know, despite her paving the way for Rosa Parks, RBG, and others with her legal work. 

    Why It Has Buzz: It’s a fascinating documentary focusing on a worthy subject who hasn’t got nearly enough recognition from the history books. Its 95% Rotten Tomatoes score is also helpful. 

    Potential Noms: Best Documentary Feature is its only real play which is a shame, but so it goes with documentaries. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Amazon Prime Video

    20. Pig

    A bloodied Nicolas Cage holds two plates
    David Reamer/Neon/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: When a truffle-hunting pig is stolen from Nic Cage, he, a socially awkward recluse, goes on a rampage through Portland, Oregon, trying to find her. 

    Why It Has Buzz: Nic Cage is due for a comeback. He hasn't been nominated for an Oscar since 2003, and he's been working hard ever since. The world (and Nic himself) are leaning into his bizarre acting choices, and it's only a matter of time before he lands the right role to catch Oscar's attention. Is this that role? Perhaps. 

    Potential Noms: Sadly, I think it starts and ends with Cage. If he's not getting a nom, no one is. (Unless that is, they add an award for sensuous cooking montages.) 

    Where to Stream: Rent it on Amazon Prime Video

    21. A Quiet Place Part II

    Emily Blunt carries a baby and leads Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe through some weeds
    Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: A now-fatherless family flee their farm in search of safety from creepy monsters that hunt and kill humans based on hearing alone. 

    Why It Has Buzz: Well, the original film snagged a Sound Editing nomination and with sound playing such a massive role in the sequel as well, it wouldn't be shocking to see it show up in that category. We've also got the fact that Emily Blunt, despite being a well-respected six-time Golden Globe nominee, has never been nominated for an Oscar. Perhaps this is her time to shine? 

    Potential Noms: Best Sound is the most obvious, but with the monsters playing a larger onscreen role in the sequel, I wouldn't rule out a Visual Effects nomination. And then, of course, there is Best (Supporting) Actress for Blunt. While she is top billed, you could argue that she's really only in one-third of the film's plotlines and run her in a perhaps weaker supporting field. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Paramount+

    22. Raya and the Last Dragon

    Sisu and Raya sit side by side
    Walt Disney Studios/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: A girl named Raya (duh) who is looking for the last dragon (duh) so she can banish some evil spirits from her world. 

    Why It Has Buzz: Basically the same as with Pixar. Disney is a behemoth in the animated category, and on the off years when Pixar isn't taking home the top prize, it's going to Disney Animation films like Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia. While Disney does have Encanto coming out this fall and might have to settle for one or the other, Raya has earned great reviews and is sitting pretty among a weak field at the moment. 

    Potential Noms: Well, Best Animated Film for sure is the best bet. Jhené Aiko did record an original song for the film, so there's a possibility there and in score, but it will probably just be Best Animated. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Disney+

    23. Respect

    Jennifer Hudson prepares in her dressing room while Mary J. Blige looks on
    Quantrell D. Colbert/MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: It's Aretha Franklin's life story. 

    Why It Has Buzz: It's a famous Oscar-winning actress in a buzzy biopic about an iconic singer in which the actress does her own singing. Need I say more? 

    Potential Noms: Of course, the main play here is a Best Actress nomination for Jennifer Hudson (who won the Supporting Oscar for Dreamgirls). Unfortunately the so-so reviews from critics makes this more of a Judy situation than an A Star Is Born. As every good musical biopic delivers, however, there is one original song (sung by Hudson) on the track list, so keep an eye out for this in Best Original Song, even if Hudson is overshadowed. 

    Where to Stream: Rent it on Apple TV

    24. Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It

    Rita Moreno speaks while wearing a pink hat
    Roadside Attractions/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: A documentary about Oscar-winning actress and singer Rita Moreno. 

    Why It Has Buzz: In recent years documentaries focused on single iconic subjects (Mr. Rogers, RBG, James Baldwin, O.J. Simpson) have done well at the box office and with the Oscars. This is another in that vein, and the subject matter will be familiar to film buffs. Plus with West Side Story also coming out this year, Moreno will be top of mind all season long. 

    Potential Noms: Best Documentary is it, I'm afraid. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Netflix

    25. Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain

    Anthony Bourdain eats ice cream
    Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: A documentary about celebrity chef, author, and host Anthony Bourdain. 

    Why It Has Buzz: Anthony Bourdain (RIP) is beloved by foodies everywhere, and this documentary follows his life and career. What better way to honor the legacy of this man than to nominate the documentary for an Oscar? 

    Potential Noms: Again, just Best Documentary.

    Where to Stream: Rent it on Amazon Prime Video

    26. Shiva Baby

    Rachel Sennott scoops food onto a plate
    Utopia/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: A bisexual Jewish girl arrives at a Shiva to find her ex-girlfriend, her parents, her sugar daddy, and his wife all present and ready for awkward encounters. 

    Why It Has Buzz: While comedies don't often fare well at the Oscars generally, there is usually a spot or two in the screenplay category for especially well-written, poignant, funny films. Also, this one has the added plus of getting up close and personal with the Jewish community, not often presented on the big screen. 

    Potential Noms: Its best bet would be in Best Adapted Screenplay. It seems like it would take a big swing to land any other nominations. Molly Gordon, however, steals scenes in every single movie she's in (even when the movies themselves aren't great). Mark my words: She will be receiving an Oscar nomination before long, and I'd love for her to get one here. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on HBO Max

    27. Stillwater

    Matt Damon wears flannel and looks off into the distance
    Jessica Forde/Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: It's basically what would have happened if Amanda Knox had a folksy dad who worked on an oil rig who flew to Europe to try and exonerate her. 

    Why It Has Buzz: Well, we've got previous Oscar winner Matt Damon in a big performance (complete with accent) starring opposite Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin in a film directed by Tom McCarthy, who most recently directed Best Picture winner Spotlight

    Potential Noms: It's tough to say because while the film got generally positive reviews, it didn't find success at the box office, and its early release means it's got a lot of competition following it this fall. Best Actor for Damon seems most obvious (although he potentially shot himself in the foot with comments he made on the press tour) with potential Original Screenplay and Picture nominations on the outside. 

    Where to Stream: Rent it on Amazon Prime Video

    28. Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street

    Big Bird leads a marching band
    Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: A documentary detailing the history of the beloved children's show Sesame Street

    Why It Has Buzz: We love a nostalgic documentary, and this one seems to be hitting the right spot. Also, if last year's victory by My Octopus Teacher over four more important, well-constructed, deeper films tells us anything, it is that voters may be looking for something that leans harder on accessibility and pathos than anything else. 

    Potential Noms: Just Best Documentary Feature. 

    Where to Stream: Rent it on Amazon Prime Video

    29. Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

    Gladys Knight and the Pips performing at the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969
    Searchlight Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: Questlove's documentary detailing the 1696 Harlem Cultural Festival, which despite lasting weeks and drawing massive crowds was overshadowed in history by Woodstock. 

    Why It Has Buzz: It's an important documentary unearthing a vital piece of cultural history that got buried. It's got a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes and was championed and directed by Questlove, who certainly has a much higher profile than most documentarians. 

    Potential Noms: Again, it's hard to break out of the Documentary Feature category for docs. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Hulu

    30. Swan Song

    Udo Kier sits in a motorized chair in the middle of the road
    Chris Stephens/Magnolia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It’s About: A retired hairdresser travels across town to style a former client’s hair for her own funeral. 

    Why It Has Buzz: With a Jennifer Coolidge performance post-The White Lotus, good reviews out of the festivals, and a slowly growing Twitter fan base, this tiny, tiny movie is picking up some momentum.

    Potential Noms: This will need a LOT of support from early critics groups to elbow its way in between its behemoth competitors. If it picks up steam, its most likely bet would be Screenplay or a lifetime achievement Best Actor nomination for German actor Udo Kier, who has been consistently doing good work for decades and has never been recognized by the Academy. 

    Where to Stream: Rent it on Amazon Prime Video

    31. Titane

    Agatha Rousselle hugs Lamine Cissokho
    Neon/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It’s About: A woman is in a car accident, has a titanium plate put into her head, and then...has sex with a car. 

    Why It Has Buzz: The winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes (the top prize taken home most recently by Parasite), and French submission for Best International Feature, this is the buzziest entrant from abroad at the moment. It’s bizarre and sometimes off putting plot, however could make it a tough sell for the Academy even if everyone is talking about it. 

    Potential Noms: Best International Feature seems as close to a lock as possible, as everyone in the Academy will, at the very least, be watching this lauded film. A Best Director nomination (from an increasingly international branch) for Julia Ducournau seems like a potential second nominee. Beyond that, there would need to be a massive Parasite-esque groundswell for it to land nominations. 

    Where to Stream: Rent it on Amazon Prime Video

    32. Together, Together

    Ed Helms and Patti Harrison practice at a birthing class together
    Bleecker Street Media/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: A lonely single man bonds with his surrogate as they spend the nine months of pregnancy together. 

    Why It Has Buzz: The film made history earlier this year for being one of the first to cast a transgender woman in a leading role as a cisgender character. The comedy is witty, the performances spot on, and its reviews from critics were glowing. 

    Potential Noms: The obvious choices here would be Best Original Screenplay or Best Actress for Patti Harrison (who it should be noted would be the first openly transgender person to be nominated in an acting category). If the film does well, Ed Helms could nab a Best Actor slot, and then Best Picture would also be in reach. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Hulu

    33. The Velvet Underground

    Andy Warhol, Nico, and the Velvet Undergound huddled together
    Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It’s About: A documentary about the avant-garde, alternative, punk rock band of the same name following their creation, involvement with Andy Warhol, eventual disintegration, and legacy. 

    Why It Has Buzz: It was directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Todd Haynes, whose films are always considered Oscar contenders. Its 97% Rotten Tomatoes score and the backing of corporate juggernaut Apple, doesn’t hurt it either. 

    Potential Noms: As with all the docs, Best Documentary Feature is the end of the line unless a miracle happens. It should be noted that we haven't had a musical doc take home this prize since 2015 despite often being a favorite genre of the branch, so perhaps it's time for another music-focused winner? 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Apple TV+.

    34. Zola

    Riley Keough and Taylour Paige look at each other
    A24/Courtesy Everett Collection

    What It's About: A story about "why she and this bitch fell out," while they were in Florida on an ill-fated stripping trip. 

    Why It Has Buzz: It's another A24 release with much-hyped performances and an exciting visual style. Also, it's got Cousin Greg in it, and with Succession coming back soon, all projects involving Roy family members get a boost. 

    Potential Noms: Riley Keough in Best Supporting Actress for playing a wildly manipulative call girl with an insane accent seems like the obvious choice. Cinematography, Editing, and Adapted Screenplay could also be plays. 

    Where to Stream: Watch it on Hulu