The Academy Awards just wrapped up, and as always, I disagreed with some of the winners. So I decided to come up with my own list of “musts” and share it with all of you!
Below you will find my selections for short films, documentaries, and motion pictures. And while my list of “winners” is a little longer than the Academy’s— at least you don’t have to sit through three hours of speeches.
And for those of you without the time or patience to binge watch a multiple season series, here’s your chance to catch up on some great entertainment and still enjoy some other activities during the summer.
The envelope please…If Anything Happens I Love You - Academy Award Winner for Best Animated Short Film (Netflix)
In this animated film, two grieving parents journey through an emotional void as they mourn the loss of a child.
Two Distant Strangers - Academy Award Winner for Best Live-Action Short Film (Netflix)
In this short film, a young Black man is forced to relive the same day over and over, in which he is killed in various brutal ways by a white police officer.
This biographical short subject documentary draws on the film maker’s memories of her cousin and best friend, a young Black girl who was shot and killed by a Los Angeles convenience store owner in 1991.
The Present (Netflix)
This short live action film, which is in Arabic with English subtitles, follows a father and daughter as they set out in the West Bank to buy a wedding anniversary gift for the man’s wife.
Colette - Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary Short (YouTube)
This short film follows a former French resistance fighter who travels to Germany to visit the concentration camp where her brother died at the hands of the Nazis.
Feeling Through (YouTube)
This live action short film tells the heartwarming story of a late-night encounter on a New York City street that leads to a profound connection between a teen-in-need and a man who is both deaf and blind.
My Octopus Teacher - Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary Feature (Netflix)
In this beautiful documentary, a diver spends a year following a wild octopus through a South African kelp forest.
Crip Camp (Netflix)
This moving documentary follows a revolutionary summer camp for disabled kids that helped to spark the disability rights movement.
Time (Amazon Prime)
In the early 1990s, high school sweethearts Fox and Rob committed a robbery. In this powerful documentary, Fox desperately campaigns for her husband’s release as he serves a 60 year prison sentence.
In this eye opening documentary, filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation's prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.
Another Round - Academy Award Winner for Best International Film (Netflix)
This Danish film, directed by Thomas Vinterberg, follows four high school teachers who decide to start drinking every day to see how it affects their social and professional lives.
The Trial of the Chicago Seven (Netflix)
The film follows the 1969 trial of seven men charged with conspiracy after allegedly inciting violent protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
Based on the play by August Wilson, this film follows singer Ma Rainey during a tense recording session with her band in 1927 Chicago. It stars Viola Davis and marks the final performance of actor Chadwick Boseman before he passed away from colon cancer at age 43.
Sound of Metal (Amazon Prime)
Just get past the first 10 minutes of very loud music to be thoroughly enthralled in the incredible story about a heavy metal drummer whose life is turned upside down when he begins to lose his hearing.
Promising Young Woman (Amazon Prime)
Nothing in Cassie's life is what it appears to be -- she's wickedly smart, tantalizingly cunning, and she's living a secret double life by night. Now, an unexpected encounter is about to give Cassie a chance to right the wrongs from the past.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu)
Andra Day stars at Billie Holiday during a chapter of her life when the FBI launches an undercover narcotics sting operation against her.
Minari (Amazon Prime)
A Korean American family moves to an Arkansas farm in search of its own American dream. Amidst the challenges of this new life in the strange and rugged Ozarks, they discover the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.
Nomadland - Academy Award Winner for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress (Hulu)
A woman in her sixties who, played by the incredible Frances McDormand, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.
If you can find it in you to start at the top of this list…I have a feeling that you may just find yourself at the bottom in no time at all…as they are REALLY that good!!