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Oscar nominees’ earlier work

Check out this year’s nominees’ lives before Oscar.


If you can’t keep Jesse Eisenberg and Michael Cera straight—or have questions about Amy Adams’s cred—now’s the time to take a look at the nominees’ earlier work. The following are all available to stream.

Jesse Eisenberg, Roger Dodger (2002)
Amazon Video on Demand, iTunes
Before he played the world’s youngest billionaire, the Best Actor nominee played an underage would-be pickup artist in this dark comedy. Even with a cynical smoothie of an uncle (Campbell Scott) showing him the ropes, Eisenberg always seemed to be struggling to connect with the ladies.

Sylvain Chomet, The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
Amazon Video on Demand, iTunes
With Toy Story 3 in the running, Chomet’s The Illusionist, based on an unproduced script by Jacques Tati, is the underdog in this year’s Best Animated Feature race. Its melancholy sweetness stands in contrast to the raucous joy of his first film, a surreal jaunt involving kidnapped bicyclists, mafiosi and an indomitable trio of aging music stars with strange eating habits.

Amy Adams, Junebug (2005)
Amazon Video on Demand, iTunes
These days, Adams is navigating romantic leading roles both juicy (see her Oscar-nominated turn in The Fighter) and less juicy (don’t see Leap Year), but she first leapt to prominence with this remarkable performance as a young pregnant Southern woman trying to soothe the
family turmoil surrounding the homecoming of her brother-in-law and his new wife.

Tom Hooper, The Damned United (2009)
Amazon Video on Demand, iTunes, Netflix Watch Instantly
Even if you’ve never heard of footballer Brian Clough and can’t comprehend soccer as a spectator event, this film from King’s Speech director Hooper—released to disinterested American audiences two years ago—is worth a look. A snappy script by Peter Morgan and a ferocious turn by Michael Sheen take it far beyond your typical sports movie.

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