The Oscar contenders: how to watch them in the UK – and why it's so difficult

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This year sees a democratic, diverse and lengthy list of titles. But distribution politics has left UK audiences to play catchup

This year’s Oscars are billed as the great democratic race. Eligibility for all awards has been relaxed, so films don’t have to have had a conventional theatrical release. This has led to a larger number of titles in contention – 41 on Monday’s shortlist – as well a greater diversity of voices.

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But such egality of access has not yet stretched to UK viewers. While audiences in the US are uniquely able to see all the hottest films from the comfort of their own homes (streaming costs permitting), UK audiences are left in the familiar position of playing catchup, hearing exciting things about films still months away from release.

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