The Oscars don’t always get it right. There’s a long track record of some questionable winners in its biggest categories (just look at the recent Best Picture winner Green Book). But, even if they don’t always take home the trophies they deserve, some of the best movies of all time have at least been nominated or won Academy Awards.
After all, despite their many faults, the Oscar remains the most prestigious award in American cinema. And, thankfully, if you’re looking to expand your knowledge of prestige film, Netflix has some great options for you to watch right now.
Even if the streaming service is putting most of its efforts into expanding its catalog of streaming series, Netflix still has a number of past Oscar winners, including a few of its own original critical darlings. Whether you’re looking for a ’60s classic like Bonnie and Clyde or a modern masterpiece like Roma, Netflix has you covered.
There Will Be Blood
Won for: Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Cinematography
Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterpiece about a 20th century oil baron follows the makings of the American capitalist villain. Complete with stunning performances from Day-Lewis and Paul Dano, a deconstructed soundtrack from Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, and the greatest line about a milkshake in film history.
Won for: Best Supporting Actress (Laura Dern)
Noah Baumbach’s semi-autobiographical story about the dissolution of a marriage was a major player at the 2020 Academy Awards. Though the only trophy it took home was for Best Supporting Actress for Laura Dern, the film was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Adam Driver), Best Actress (Scarlett Johansson), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Original Score.
Won for: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay
This 2015 Best Picture winner follows the Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigative journalist team as it uncovers the child abuse ring in the Boston area covered up by the Catholic church. The film is based on the real journalists who won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The film stars a stacked cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, Brian d’Arcy James, Liev Schreiber, and Billy Crudup.
The Social Network
Won for: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score
The best film of the 2010s, David Fincher’s The Social Network shows the rise of Facebook and the people behind the website that would shake the foundations of human interaction and even threaten our democracy.
Bonnie and Clyde
Won for: Best Supporting Actress (Estelle Parsons), Best Cinematography
Considered an essential piece of ’60s counterculture, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway’s beloved portrayal of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker was a groundbreaking moment in New Hollywood that explored new boundaries of sex and violence in film.
The Iron Lady
Won for: Best Actress (Meryl Streep), Best Makeup
Meryl Streep won her billionth Oscar for this biopic of UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Won for: Best Supporting Actor (Joe Pesci)
Though it might be the fan-favorite Scorsese movie, Goodfellas only took home one Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Joe Pesci). That didn’t stop it from going down in history as one of the greatest mafia mob of all time.
The Danish Girl
Won for: Best Actress (Alicia Vikander)
In this story loosely based on the lives of Danish painters Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, Vikander plays the wife of Einar Wegener, a man who undergoes one of the first sex-change operations in history.
Won: Best Picture, Best Director (Martin Scorsese), Best Film Editing
Martin Scorsese finally won an Academy Award for this Boston-set remake of the Hong Kong cop thriller Infernal Affairs, which sees Leonardo DiCaprio going undercover to infiltrate a brutal mob boss played by Jack Nicholson.
The Hateful Eight
Won: Best Original Score
Quentin Tarantino’s thriller is an Agatha Christie-style mystery set in the American West just after the Civil War, with legendary composer Ennio Morricone earning his first Oscar for its score.
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