Oscar-winning movies to watch on Netflix

Oscar-winning movies to watch on Netflix

The Oscars were handed out a little later than usual this year due to the pandemic, but we finally know the lucky recipients of this year’s coveted golden trophies.

Netflix has been a major player on the awards circuit for several years now, giving filmmakers a level of funding and artistic freedom they may not be able to get elsewhere.

This year’s top contenders from the streaming service were acclaimed biopic Mank, star-studded stage adaptation Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and unique documentary feature My Octopus Teacher.

Those films and many more from years past are available to stream now, so there’s no better time to make the most of your Netflix subscription and binge on the best Oscar winners the platform has to offer.

Read on for our top picks.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020)


Netflix

Which Oscars did Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom win? The film won Best Make-Up and Hairstyling and Best Costume Design. It was nominated in other categories, including acting nods for Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman.

What’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom about? Based on August Wilson’s stage play of the same name, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom stars Viola Davis as the eponymous blues singer during an intense recording session in the 1920s. Tensions rise between members of her band and the studio executives in an intimate story that tackles weighty and highly relevant themes.

Mank 

Mank


Netflix

Which Oscars did Mank win? David Fincher’s drama won Best Production Design and Best Cinematography. It was nominated in several other categories, including Best Picture and acting nods for Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried.

What is Mank about? Mank is a biopic about screenwriter Herman Jacob Mankiewicz, who became a big name in Hollywood after writing the script for Citizen Kane. Mank follows its titular character over several years prior to the release of the Orson Welles classic, capturing depression-era Hollywood with impressive attention to detail.

My Octopus Teacher

My Octopus Teacher


Netflix

Which Oscars did My Octopus Teacher win? The film won Best Documentary at the 2021 ceremony.

What is My Octopus Teacher about? This heart-warming nature documentary follows diver and filmmaker Craig Foster as he forms an unusual bond with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest. This strange connection allows him to explore the wonders of the world, while their friendship also has a notable impact on Foster’s life above the waves.

Marriage Story

Marriage-Story-Scarlett-Johansson-086fb3b

Which Oscars did Marriage Story win? Best Supporting Actress (Laura Dern). It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress,  Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Score.

What’s Marriage Story about? A stage director (Adam Driver) and his actor wife (Scarlett Johansson) struggle through a gruelling, coast-to-coast divorce that pushes them to their personal and creative extremes in Noah Baumbach’s portrait of a marriage breaking up and a family staying together.

The Irishman

The Irishman


Netflix

Which Oscars did The Irishman win? The film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Pacino and Pesci, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Visual Effects, though it didn’t manage to scoop any awards on the night.

What’s The Irishman about? An epic saga of organised crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran (De Nir0), a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa (Pacin), and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organised crime: its inner workings, rivalries and connections to mainstream politics.

Schindler’s List

Which Oscars did Schindler’s List win? Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction.

What’s Schindler’s List about? Steven Spielberg’s epic, black-and-white historical drama tells the real-life story of Oskar Schindler (played by Liam Neeson), a german businessman who saves the lives of over a thousand Jews during the Holocaust. The film also stars Ralph Fiennes, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the monstrous SS officer Amon Göth.

Roma

Roma (Netflix)

Which Oscars did Roma win? Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography.

What’s Roma about? Set in the early 1970s and chronicling the year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City, Roma stars Yalitza Aparicio in a breakout role as Cleo, one of the family’s maids.

La La Land

Ryan Gosling as Sebastian Wilder,Emma Stone as Mia Dolan (SEAC, JG)

Which Oscars did La La Land win? Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Best Production Design.

It was also part of the Best Picture gaffe back in 2017, during which La La Land was incorrectly named as the winner (it was actually Moonlight). It took the show’s producers two minutes to fix the mistake, during which almost three speeches were given from the La La Land team onstage.

What’s La La Land about? A musical romance, the film follows an aspiring actress and struggling musician, charting their relationship over a year, from their first meeting in Los Angeles. It also features a catchy soundtrack, with hits such as City of Stars and Another Day of Sun.

Inception

Joseph Gordon Levitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception

Which Oscars did Inception win? Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects.

What’s Inception about? Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending feature about dream-thieves had a massive impact when it first premiered in 2010, and managed to get the world talking about THAT ambiguous ending.

The Hurt Locker

Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker


SEAC

Which Oscars did The Hurt Locker win? *deep breath* Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing. As if that wasn’t enough, the film also earned nominations for Best Original Score, Best Cinematography and Best Actor (for Jeremy Renner’s excellent lead performance).

What is The Hurt Locker about? From acclaimed director Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker follows a bomb disposal squad operating during the Iraq War, who find themselves targeted by insurgents.

A Beautiful Mind

Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind


SEAC

What Oscars did A Beautiful Mind win? The film won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Connelly). It also earned nominations for Best Actor (Russell Crowe), Best Original Score, Best Makeup and Best Film Editing.

What is A Beautiful Mind about? A Beautiful Mind is a biopic about mathematician John Nash, whose brilliant work earned him recognition from an early age. However, he goes on to suffer great hardship after developing paranoid schizophrenia, the impact of which is explored powerfully in this gripping drama.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.

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