Can’t leave the house? Never fear, Netflix has you covered with 10 of the best Oscar-winning films to help you forget about the world’s woes for an hour or three.
Do you have your snacks ready? Then sit back, relax and enjoy the world of cinema from the comfort of your couch.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
The incredible Birdman won the 2015 Best Picture Academy Award as well as Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Original Screen Play. And now it’s on Netflix for you to enjoy for the first time or for a well-deserved replay. This film has been donned a black-comedy drama but it’s so much more. Featuring performances from incredible actors, this tale of attempted reinvention by a washed-up movie star into a serious theatre actor is fascinating from beginning to end.
The Big Short
Taking home the Academy Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, The Big Short is filled to the brim with some of the finest and adorned names in Hollywood including Brad Pitt, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale. Somehow (but cleverly) making the Global Financial Crisis entertaining, The Big Short is educational as it is interesting – you almost feel productive whilst watching it! With an array of unconventional techniques and breaking of the fourth wall, it’s certainly worth a watch, so add it to your list!
One of the most iconic and praised movies of all time, The Godfather (1972), is on Netflix so you can finally get around to watching it (cue peoples horror: “What do you mean you’ve never seen The Godfather?!”). The historic performances of Marlon Brando and Al Pacino saw the creation of the mafia movie to end all mafia movies. In fact, The Godfather won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Brando, which he refused to accept due to his objection to the depiction of Native Americans on screen and television. Well worth the watch, The Godfather proved its excellence by later becoming part of a trilogy.
Marriage Story was heavily nominated throughout the awards season, and rightly so, seeing Laura Dern take home the statue for Best Supporting Actress. Featuring career-best performances from leads Scarlett Johannson and Adam Driver, this character-driven film truly lives up to the hype. The film centralises on the pair, an actress and a theatre director, during the ins and outs of their messy, bi-coastal divorce proceedings. Noah Baumbach’s sensational piece of cinema is funny, cutting and heartbreaking all at once, taking you through a rollercoaster of emotion.
La La Land
La La Land is a visually stunning and emotionally arresting piece of film that effortlessly blends the tension between modern relationships and careers with a glamorous old Hollywood feel. The film collected a myriad of awards including the Oscar for Best Actress, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score and Best Original Song. And who can forget the Best Picture Gaff – which saw La La Land mistakenly announced as Best Picture, instead of Moonlight…which let’s be honest, Moonlight 100% deserved. La La Land is the perfect movie to settle in and be whisked away all from the comfort of your own home.
Alfonso Cuarón’s most moving and personal film to date, Roma, is an emotional, semi-autobiographical drama following a middle-class family and their live-in housekeeper in Mexico City. The film was nominated for a total of 10 Academy Awards, taking home the statues for Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Language Film. Covering a range of societal and familial issues, Roma is heartfelt and visually beautiful, shot in black and white.
A Star is Born
The fourth iteration of A Star is Born still manages to feel fresh and new with the incredible performances of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Both stars worked out of their comfort zones, with Cooper directing and singing and Gaga acting in the film, creating an incredible and heartfelt romantic drama. A Star is Born was nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Director, Lead Actor, Lead Actress and Best Picture, and took home the award for Best Original Song for the now-iconic “Shallow”.
This is the film that finally earned Leo his well deserved Oscar! Also a great and intense movie in its own right, following a frontiersman in 1832 America. Co-star Tom Hardy also has a career-best performance in this thrilling survival drama. The Revenant was a critical success winning Best Actor, Best Director and Best Cinematography. If you are at home and feeling a little bored, The Revenant is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat…or couch…or bed.
Darkest Hour is a film built on a fascinating premise and expert performances from all actors involved. Gary Oldman is unrecognisable as Winston Churchill, earning much praise for his physical transformation with many heralding it as his best performance to date. Set in May 1940, Darkest Hour explores Churchill’s early days as Prime Minister during World War II as Hitler’s troops were sweeping across Europe, and his struggle with the decision of whether to continue with the war or look for peace. While we all know how the story ends, with allied victory, getting a deeper look at one of the most famous figures of the 20th century makes for excellent viewing.
Taking home the award for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay from six nominations, Spotlight covers very heavy source material with grace. Following the Boston Globe’s investigative journalism into the widespread and systemic child abuse in the Boston area by Roman Catholic Priest, based on a series of stories by The Globe in 2003. Featuring performances from Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams who were both nominated for their performances. For a movie covering such dark material, Spotlight is engaging without sensationalising – focusing on the important journalism that helped uncover crimes and coverups by the church.
I, Tonya is riveting from start to finish following the controversial story of Tonya Harding’s success in her youth. Set in a mockumentary style where characters ‘in the present day’ give interviews, breaking the fourth wall throughout. While it has come under fire for being too sympathetic to Harding over the infamous 1994 incident, it makes for great cinema. The always brilliant Allison Janney plays her overbearing and abusive mother, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, whilst Margot Robbie received a nomination.