2023 Oscars Preview: Here’s What To Watch With the Kids

With 10 Oscar Best Picture contenders alone, there are so many films and so little time! Here's your game plan for family movie night, date night, and beyond.

Turning Red


Besides dressing my son up in a cute little tuxedo for an at-home Oscar viewing party when he was a baby, the biggest award show for excellence in film is not something I had considered a family activity. But now, my child is older and there are not one but two movies nominated for the 2023 Academy Awards (which air on March 12) that authentically represent the Asian diaspora. These long-awaited mainstream recognitions are something I never witnessed growing up, and I want to celebrate their significance with my child. But with 10 Best Picture contenders alone, there are so many films to watch and so little time!

Not sure where to start? Here's our cheat on how to elevate your family movie night game with some stellar Oscar contenders.

What to Watch With Your Kids

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On


All of the Best Animated Film nominees are worth a watch with your kids, though Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio is as dark as it is beautiful and thus younger kids may not be ready to enjoy it. Below are my recommendations for what to watch with the entire family.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (PG)

Based on the YouTube videos created by Dean Fleisher Camp and Jenny Slate, which garnered over 33 million views since their release in 2010, this comedy-drama about a tiny shell with a big heart from A24 has been winning over audiences and critics alike. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, an imaginative, fanciful, and artistic feature is perfect to rent (or buy) for a family movie night.

Turning Red (PG)

A groundbreaking Best Animated Film nominee from creator Domee Shi, Turning Redfollows a 13-year-old Chinese Canadian girl who transforms uncontrollably into a giant red panda as a metaphor for puberty. This universally relatable story was met unfairly with much controversy due to its cultural, gender, and geographic specificity as well as its mention of menstruation. Ignore the naysayers—it's definitely a must-see covering important themes and can be streamed on Disney+.

The Sea Beast (PG)

Think Moana meets How to Train Your Dragon and you might get the sense of this Best Animated Film nominee. An endearing story about a young orphan girl who joins a team of sea monster hunters, The Sea Beast is the most-watched animated movie from Netflix ever, with more than 165 million hours viewed in its first month of release.

The Elephant Whisperers (PG)

This heartfelt Best Documentary Short nominee from Netflix, about a Tamil couple in South India who cares for orphaned baby elephants, is set against the breathtaking scenery of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. With a running time of 39 minutes, The Elephant Whisperers is highly accessible for nature-and animal-loving kids. It also features intimate scenes of a Hindu festival celebration, as well as a sweet wedding ceremony with elephant participants.

What to Watch With Your Teens

The Fabelmans

Universal Pictures

For Oscar contenders to watch with your older children, there are the huge PG-13 rated blockbuster sequels like Black Panther: Wakanda ForeverTop Gun: Maverick, and Avatar: The Way of Water to consider, but don't miss these two gems, both of which star protagonists who love their art—and their mothers.

The Fabelmans (PG-13)

This semi-autobiographical Best Picture nominee is a coming-of-age drama from director Steven Spielberg. The film, which also earned a total of eight Oscar nominations including Best Actress (Michelle Williams), centers around Sammy Fabelman, a Jewish boy in Arizona in the 1950s who uses filmmaking to process the struggles within his family. The Fabelmans is available to buy on Prime Video and Apple TV.

Elvis (PG-13)

Baz Luhrmann, whose impressive credits include Romeo + Juliet (1996), Moulin Rouge! (2001), and The Great Gatsby (2013), delivers with this bio epic about Elvis Presley. The style and the music alone in this film—which received eight Oscar nominations including for Best Picture and Best Actor (Austin Butler)—are jaw-dropping enough to keep your teens enamored. But it's rich in history, too, spotlighting rock legends like B.B. King, Little Richard, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Big Mama Thornton—all of whom inspired "The King." Elvis is now streaming on HBO Max.

What to Watch on Date Night

Everything Everywhere All At Once


For preciously rare date nights, aren't movies about love the best when it's just you and your sweetie? While there are so many contenders worth watching, here are two stand outs that you've got to check out before they make their Oscars sweeps.

Everything Everywhere All At Once (R)

With 11 Oscar nominations, including ones for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Michelle Yeoh), Best Supporting Actress (Stephanie Hsu and Jamie Lee Curtis), and Best Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan), this A24 hit about a middle-aged Chinese immigrant couple fighting through multiple parallel universes is a romantic love story at its core. But the dominant, most captivating narrative is about the mother and her grown daughter struggling to understand one another. Everything Everywhere All at Once, which would be great to watch with older teens, too, is available to buy.

Fire of Love (TV-14)

This Best Documentary Feature nominee, literally about love that is hot like lava (sorry!), follows French volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft, who meet on a blind date. The couple dedicates their lives to studying and filming volcanoes together. At the Mount Unzen eruption in 1991, they perish while doing what they love. A sweet, fiery romance, Fire of Love is available to stream on Disney+.

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