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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.