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How to Watch the Hard-To-Find Oscar Nominees: Foreign Language, Documentary, and Animation

Before the March 4 ceremony, here's your best shots for watching the more obscure nominees outside New York and Los Angeles.

lgbt trans chilean film a fantastic woman

“A Fantastic Woman”

How can movie buffs and Oscar fans outside New York and Los Angeles see all nominated films before the March 4 ceremony? It’s not easy, but it’s (mostly) possible.

on body and soul

“On Body and Soul”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

This category provides the greatest challenge to view all five.

Sweden’s “The Square” (Magnolia) is now streaming on iTunes after completing a multi-month theatrical release. It ranks #9 at the moment among sales for feature films, high for a subtitled film.

Lebanon’s “The Insult” (Cohen) continues to expand after its early January New York-Los Angeles debut, gradually expanding over the next month to reach seven theaters in over 50 markets by March 2.

Chile’s “A Fantastic Woman” and Russia’s “Loveless” (both Sony Pictures Classics) each had one-week qualifying runs in New York and Los Angeles in late last year and are reopening in New York and Los Angeles this month. “Fantastic” will reach major cities by March 2, with “Loveless” more limited (three more cities) by that date.

The nominee that will dwarf the other four in viewership is Hungary’s “On Body and Soul,”which is now on Netflix. The company acquired the 2017 Berlin Film Festival winner in November. Despite no theater play, the Los Angeles Times placed this on the front page of its arts section today.

“Icarus”

Courtesy of Netflix

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“Strong Island,” “Icarus,” and “Last Men in Aleppo”can be seen on Netflix. The latter is also available on other streaming services.

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” (PBS) is currently available on iTunes and Amazon.

“Faces Places” (Cohen) continues its theatrical run. Agnes Varda’s film (made with French artist JR) continues to play in select theaters; that will be the only way to see it before the Oscars. Its DVD/Blu-Ray release is set for March 6, with streaming starting in May.

“The Breadwinner”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

This year, a tweaking of the nominating process made it a bit more oriented toward studio releases this year, with “Coco” (Disney), “Ferdinand,” and “The Boss Baby” (both 20th Century Fox) in the mix.

The Irish/Polish sleeper art house success “Loving Vincent” (Good Deed) has just debuted on DVD/Blu-Ray and streaming services.

GKid’s “The Breadwinner” (a niche distributor of more adult-oriented international animated films) got the company another nod in the category. After a limited theatrical release, it starts on iTunes February 20, with other streaming and DVD/Blu-Ray March 6.

BEST SHORT FILMS CATEGORIES

Magnolia releases all 15 titles in the Animated, Documentary and Live Action Short Film categories in several hundred theaters starting February 9, with streaming options available February 27.

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