So this weekend brings us to the peak of awards season, with this years Oscars getting underway on Sunday night. In case you haven’t seen them, here is the full list of nominations. In preparation for the big night, we scoured Netflix to come up with some previous Oscar winners that are definitely worth a watch. Fear not Oscar cynics – we have picked something out for you as well.
The Fighter (2010) – won 2 Oscars
Before American Hustle, and Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter was the film that got the industry interested again in David O’Russell. His first film in six years after the poorly received I Heart Huckabees, O’Russell’s The Fighter tells the true story of boxer, ‘Irish’ Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) who, with the help of coaching by his brother Dicky (Christian Bale), goes on to compete for the world welterweight title. The film also stars Amy Adams as Micky’s girlfriend, and Melissa Leo as the brother’s mother. Bale picked up Best Supporting Actor for his brilliant turn as the drug addicted, former boxer, Dicky, and Leo also took away an award for Best Supporting Actress. With that being said, the whole cast gives great performances, and the story is truly fascinating – definitely not just for sports fans.
Chicago (2002) – won 6 Oscars
Rob Marshall’s all-star, glitzy film version of the popular Broadway musical was a box-office and critical hit upon its release, but it came a bit of a surprise when it walked away with Best Picture at the 2003 ceremony, beating the favourite, Lord of the Rings: Tale of the Two Towers. A lavish production, Chicago is set in 1920s, and follows glamorous murderers Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) and Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones who won Best Supporting ACtress) as they fight for the fame that will keep them from death row. With spectacular musical numbers from a talented cast, including Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, and John C Reilly, and a sharp script from Bill Condon, Chicago is a fun watch, that non-musical lovers may also enjoy.
Girl Interrupted (1999) – won 1 Oscar
Girl Interrupted is based on Susanna Kaysen’s account of her 18-month stay in a mental hospital in the 1960s, starring Winona Ryder as Susanna. As we see the mental hospital through Susanna’s wide eyes, we are introduced to the menagerie of characters that have also been committed, and who Susanna feels are more disturbed until she. Although meant to be Ryder’s film, Angelina Jolie completely steals the show as the sociopathic Lisa, who holds a strong influence over the rest of the women. Deservedly winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, Jolie is completely mesmerizing, and although supported by a strong cast, the film dips a little when she isn’t on-screen. A reminder of the talented actress Jolie truly is.
The Raid 2 (2014) – won 0 Oscars
As promised, here is our film for those who aren’t Oscar fans. Gareth Evans follow-up to his surprise hit The Raid, sees the frenzied action continue only a short time after the first film. Cop, Rama (Iko Uwais) goes undercover in Jakarta’s criminal underworld, to try to bring down the corruption within the police force. With lightning fast hands, feet, legs – you name it, Rama battles with a whole host of bad guys, culminating in an epic final battle. Best watched with a bag full of popcorn and a willing audience, The Raid 2 is definitely not for the faint-hearted!