Icelandic musicians Lars Erickssong (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdottir (Rachel McAdams) perform in the film Eurovision Song Contest. John Wilson/Netflix hide caption

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John Wilson/Netflix

2021 Oscars Guide: Original Songs

What do Will Ferrell and Leslie Odom, Jr. have in common? They both play a part in the Academy Awards' Best Original Song category. This year's five nominated songs are stacked with star power and grand themes of fighting for justice, as well as a sweeping power ballad about mountains singing "through the screams of seagulls."

2021 Oscars Guide: Original Songs

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Mebh Óg MacTíre and Robyn Goodfellowe (voiced by Eva Whittaker and Honor Kneafsey) embark on a journey in the Oscar-nominated Wolfwalkers. Apple TV+ hide caption

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Apple TV+

2021 Oscars Guide: Animated Features

Wolves, aliens and the afterlife all show up in this year's Oscar-nominated animated features. From stop-motion to hand-drawn art, these five films exhibit and celebrate different styles of animation and storytelling. Disney and Pixar appear, but the category also showcases films a little farther off the beaten path, proving that animated features are a lot more than cute cartoons.

2021 Oscars Guide: Animated Features

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Garrett Bradley's documentary Time follows Fox Rich as she raises her six sons and fights for her husband's release from prison. Amazon Studios hide caption

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Amazon Studios

2021 Oscars Guide: Documentary Features

Corruption, loneliness, family, activism, and the adventures that take place in the ocean. The Oscar-nominated documentary features are about all these things, but not just these things. These films are shot in black and white and vivid underwater colors. Some trace long histories and some closely examine particular inflection points in time. And you can stream all the films on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon.

2021 Oscars Guide: Documentary Features

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In Another Round, Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) is a bored and boring teacher who decides that life would be better with more alcohol. Henrik Ohsten/Courtesy of TIFF hide caption

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Henrik Ohsten/Courtesy of TIFF

2021 Oscars Guide: International Features

This year's Oscar nominees for best international feature film tackle a variety of issues, from school bullying to mass slaughter, from government corruption to alcohol abuse — one nominee even grapples with the nature and purpose of art itself. But even though these films reveal some darker truths about the human condition, they each manage to do so with a vivid sense of style and a deep sense of empathy that's as enlivening as it is enlightening.

2021 Oscars Guide: International Features

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Reese Witherspoon stars as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. Tracy Bennett/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. hide caption

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Tracy Bennett/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

'Legally Blonde' 20 Years Later

Twenty years ago, Legally Blonde opened in theaters, and now it's available on Netflix. Reese Witherspoon plays a first-year law student named Elle Woods. She heads to Harvard Law School to win back Warner, who broke up with her for not being serious enough. But she learned that she was cut out for the courtroom, and she changed what it means to be a "serious" woman.

'Legally Blonde' 20 Years Later

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Cristin Milioti stars as Hazel in Made For Love. John P. Johnson/HBO Max hide caption

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John P. Johnson/HBO Max

Does 'Made For Love' Earn Our Affection?

The HBO Max series Made For Love follows Hazel (played by Cristin Milioti), whose husband wants to get inside her head — literally. He's a tech genius who's already made both of them recluses, but he's now working on a chip that, once implanted in her brain, will allow him to know and see everything she does.

Does 'Made For Love' Earn Our Affection?

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Some of us feel like we're in a waiting period of sorts, so we have three songs to keep you company while you wistfully look out a window. Angela Hsieh/NPR hide caption

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Angela Hsieh/NPR

Three Songs For Staring Out The Window

NPR Music has song recommendations for every occasion, from major life events to moments when all you want to do is stare blankly into the middle distance. Right now, so many of us feel stuck in a holding pattern, as we wait for our lives to resume. Maybe we're passing time until our vaccinations kick in, or maybe we're daydreaming about the possibility of safe summer travel. Today, we're recommending three songs to help cope with pent-up, restless boredom.

Three Songs For Staring Out The Window

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Queen Sugar focuses on the Bordelon siblings - Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe), Nova (Rutina Wesley) and Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) - a black family in rural Louisiana. Skip Bolen/Courtesy of OWN hide caption

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Skip Bolen/Courtesy of OWN

'Queen Sugar' Is Tender and Timely

Queen Sugar is a sprawling melodrama following the Bordelons, a tight-knit, multi-generational black family in rural Louisiana. Created by Ava DuVernay, the series has been politically topical from the beginning, and its fifth season is timelier than ever, dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the death of George Floyd.

'Queen Sugar' Is Tender and Timely

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Viola Davis wins best supporting actress at the 89th Annual Academy Awards in 2017. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images hide caption

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Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Viola Davis' Essential Performances

Viola Davis' name is rarely far from awards season chatter, and this year is no different — the highly decorated performer received her fourth Oscar nomination for her role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and could become the first Black woman to nab two acting Oscars. As awards season kicks off, Pop Culture Happy Hour revisits great performers and a few of their essential performances. Today, we're spotlighting Viola Davis, from her first Oscar-nominated role in Doubt to her standing as a powerful force of nature in Hollywood.

Viola Davis' Essential Performances

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Judges Rich Miller and Keith Brymer Jones with contestant Jodie Neale in the fourth season of The Great Pottery Thrown Down. Love Productions/HBO Max hide caption

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Love Productions/HBO Max

Is 'The Great Pottery Throw Down' The Most Relaxing Show On TV?

The Great Pottery Throw Down is one of the gentlest, kindest and warmest competitive reality shows you will ever see (even when things literally explode). The UK series is now streaming on HBO Max. The dishes, the bowls, the handles, the crying — it's all right there to help you relax at the end of even the longest day. Plus, we take a moment to remember rapper DMX, who died today at 50.

Is 'The Great Pottery Throw Down' The Most Relaxing Show On TV?

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Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery go on an outrageous adventure in the Netflix movie Bad Trip. NETFLIX hide caption

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NETFLIX

'Bad Trip'? More Like Awesome Trip!

In the Netflix movie Bad Trip, Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery play best friends who take a road trip from Florida to New York City. The twist in Bad Trip is that each scene is also an elaborate prank, blending fiction and reality - with the mayhem taking place as real unsuspecting strangers look on.

'Bad Trip'? More Like Awesome Trip!

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Frances McDormand smiles on the red carpet at Rome Film Fest 2019. Mondadori Portfolio/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images hide caption

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Mondadori Portfolio/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Frances McDormand's Essential Performances

Over the course of her long, varied and distinguished career, actor Frances McDormand has won two Oscars - and her performance in Nomadland this year could win her a third. Pop Culture Happy Hour explores some of the great work she's done.

Frances McDormand's Essential Performances

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Chadwick Boseman attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards in 2018. VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Chadwick Boseman's Essential Performances

Chadwick Boseman is nominated for an Oscar this year for his performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. It's his final onscreen role — he died of colon cancer in August. Before that, Boseman played historical figures including Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson and James Brown. And of course, he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Black Panther. And today we're talking about some of those essential performances.

Chadwick Boseman's Essential Performances

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Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins star in The Father. Sean Gleason/Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

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Sean Gleason/Sony Pictures Classics

In 'The Father,' Anthony Hopkins' Mind Is A Prison

In The Father, Anthony Hopkins plays a character whose fierce independence is complicated by his worsening dementia. Olivia Colman plays his daughter Anne, who keeps trying to hire carers to help look after him. But the structure of the film is more complicated than that, as director Florian Zeller finds ways to keep viewers guessing. The Father is nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Picture.

In 'The Father,' Anthony Hopkins' Mind Is A Prison

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Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy arrive in style at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood for the 2014 premiere of Disney's Muppets Most Wanted. Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images

Top 10 Muppets, As Voted By Listeners

When we asked our listeners to tell us which Muppets were their favorites, we knew you'd all come through. More than 6,000 people cast over 18,000 votes, and those votes have been tallied. This is the PCHH audience's definitive ranking of the best Muppets.

Top 10 Muppets, As Voted By Listeners

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Miss Piggy stars in Muppets Now on Disney Plus. Courtesy of Disney Plus hide caption

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Courtesy of Disney Plus

Our Favorite Muppets

When The Muppet Show arrived on Disney Plus in February, it got us talking: who are our favorite Muppets? And which Muppet do we most identify with? Today, we're discussing all things Muppets and finding out where we fit in Jim Henson's felt universe.

Our Favorite Muppets

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Godzilla Vs. Kong puts two franchise stars in epic battles on land and sea. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures hide caption

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Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures

'Godzilla Vs. Kong' Is A Flawed Monster Movie Mashup

Godzilla Vs. Kong is a collision of two classic film franchises. As the sequel to 2017's Kong: Skull Island and 2019's Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, the film's excessive plot largely serves as window dressing for a heightened epic battle. However, its action-packed story also neglects to properly acknowledge the complicated layers of these two cinematic monsters.

'Godzilla Vs. Kong' Is A Flawed Monster Movie Mashup

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Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) reluctantly participate in a therapy session together, while their therapist (Amy Aquino) looks on. Marvel Studios hide caption

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Marvel Studios

In 'The Falcon And The Winter Soldier,' Sam And Bucky Are Vib(ranium)ing

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues its march across Disney Plus, it needs a buddy show, specifically The Falcon And The Winter Soldier. Both old allies of Captain America, the two find themselves up against villains, a therapist and sometimes each other.

In 'The Falcon And The Winter Soldier,' Sam And Bucky Are Vib(ranium)ing

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Bruce Willis in the 1988 film Die Hard. 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images hide caption

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20th Century-Fox/Getty Images

'Die Hard': Welcome To The Podcast, Pal

There's no wrong time to talk about an influential Hollywood classic. So that's why we are talking about Die Hard. We will never get tired of Hans Gruber versus John McClane — Alan Rickman versus Bruce Willis — the real clash of the titans. So that's why we are bringing you this encore episode.

'Die Hard': Welcome To The Podcast, Pal

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Author Beverly Cleary created numerous memorable characters including Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse. San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images hide caption

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San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images

Beverly Cleary's Essential Books

Legendary children's author Beverly Cleary died last week at the age of 104. Cleary wrote more than 40 books over about 50 years. Her characters, like Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins, entertained kids for decades. So we decided to talk about some of Cleary's essential books.

Beverly Cleary's Essential Books

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Ruben, played by Riz Ahmed, learns how to sign his name in Sound Of Metal. Courtesy of Amazon Studios hide caption

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Courtesy of Amazon Studios

In 'Sound Of Metal,' Riz Ahmed Rages Against Silence

Sound Of Metal tells the story of a heavy-metal drummer, played by Riz Ahmed, who experiences sudden hearing loss that changes every facet of his life. The film is nominated for six Academy Awards - including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

In 'Sound Of Metal,' Riz Ahmed Rages Against Silence

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King Of The Hill focuses on the Hill family - Luanne, Peggy, Bobby, and Hank - living life in the fictional suburb of Arlen, Texas. Fox Network/Kobal/Shutterstock hide caption

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Fox Network/Kobal/Shutterstock

'King Of The Hill' Endures, I Tell You Whut

If you're looking for the next show to binge, we've got a great suggestion for you. The animated sitcom King Of The Hill ran on FOX from 1997 to 2010, and all 13 seasons are now streaming on Hulu. The show, created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels pokes gentle fun at its characters without mocking them.

'King Of The Hill' Endures, I Tell You Whut

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The multitude of content available today can be overwhelming, but we have a few recommendations to help get through your streaming fatigue. Angela Hsieh/NPR hide caption

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Angela Hsieh/NPR

Stuck In A Streaming Rut? We've Got You Covered

For a year, many of us have found ourselves planted at home, with a lot more time on our hands for movies and television. Maybe you've already finished the umpteenth binge-watch of your favorite show, or you're just in a very different headspace than you were a few months ago. Today, we're teaming up with the hosts of the Movie Therapy podcast to help a few listeners out with some personal recommendations.

Stuck In A Streaming Rut? We've Got You Covered

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Becky Harlan/NPR

Book Concierge: Book Club Ideas

Every year, NPR brings together some of the best books of the year in a searchable, explorable guide called the Book Concierge. Today, All Things Considered host Ari Shapiro gives us his recommendations for your next book club.

Book Concierge: Book Club Ideas

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