The Oscar Project
There are only four Oscar nominees joining Netflix this month, and only two of them actually won an award.
The other bad news is that there are a bunch of Oscar nominees leaving the streaming service this month. Fortunately most are not until the end of the month, so you have a little time to still catch those before they leave.
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) - It's a little hard to believe that Mike Myers second(!) Austin Powers film is already 20 years old, although I find myself having that realization about films more and more these days (see my comments about The Matrix last month). I'm starting to get to the age where films I loved as a kid are reaching milestone anniversaries...and I'm not sure I like it.
I have to admit I was a bit surprised to see this film listed as an Oscar nominee, but then I remembered this was the film where they introduced Fat Bastard. I can't imagine the time it took Myers to sit in makeup for that character, let alone getting made up for his other roles as Powers and Dr. Evil.
I'm not sure where I place this film in the trio of Austin Powers films. I would have to rank the first one at the top, simply because it was so on the edge, but at the same time, toed the line enough to get by with only a PG-13 rating. I would then have to put the third film next, mainly for the addition of Michael Caine who instantly makes anything he's in better. So that puts this film in the third spot. They are all coming to Netflix this month, so it may be time to re-watch them all.
The lone nomination for this film came for Best Makeup (Michèle Burke and Mike Smithson) which it lost to Topsy-Turvy.
Malcolm X (1992) - Again we're getting to the question of "that film is how old?" with Malcolm X, which is closer to a 40th anniversary than anything else.
After seeing success a few years earlier in Glory, Denzel Washington teamed up with Spike Lee for the second of four films they have made together over the years (Mo' Better Blues, He Got Game, Inside Man), this time to portray historic African-American activist Malcolm X.
The film have been the topic of controversy over the years for the way Lee and Washington portrayed Malcolm X, but there is no denying that this film made household names out of both men if they weren't already.
The film's only nomination at the Oscars came for Best Actor for Washington's portrayal of the title character. He ultimately lost out to Al Pacino for his role in Scent of a Woman.
Searching for Sugar Man (2012) - Chances are the is the film on this list you've heard the least about. I know it was for me. It is a documentary created by a Swedish/British/Finnish team following several fans of Sixto Rodriguez to find out if the rumors of his death were true.
Rodriguez had apparently become popular in South Africa, even though his music never really caught on in the United States. The film was nominated for Best Documentary Feature and won the category in 2013.
The Danish Girl (2015) - The other winner on the list arrives mid-month and stars Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander in this romance film. The film is based on a novel of the same name and depicts an artist in 1920s Denmark undergoing a new (at the time) type of surgery that we would now call genera reassignment.
While there were some controversies around the film at the time, it was generally well received and garnered awards buzz for the two stars from multiple award ceremonies.
The film was nominated for Best Actor (Redmayne), Best Costume Design (Paco Delgado), and Best Production Design (Eve Stewart and Michael Standish) with a win for Best Supporting Actress (Vikander)
Leaving in December
As noted above, there are a number of Oscar nominees leaving Netflix this month. Beyond the list below, all of the Rocky films currently available will be gone at month's end, along with most of the Quentin Tarantino films currently on offer.
Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (1999) - Nominated for four Oscars including Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, and Best Visual Effects.
About a Boy (1999) - Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Billy Elliot (1999) - Nominated for three Oscars including Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Screenplay.
Black Hawk Down (1999) - Nominated for four Academy Awards with wins for Best Film Editing and Best Sound.
Jackie Brown (1999) - Robert Forster was nominated for Best Supporting Actor but failed to win.
Pulp Fiction (1999) - Nominated for Best Original Screenplay.
Rain Man (1988) - Nominated for eight Oscars with wins for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Writing, Original Screenplay.
Rocky (1976) - Nominated for ten Oscars with wins for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Film Editing.
Rocky III (1982) - "Eye of the Tiger" was nominated for Best Original Song but did not win.
Schindler’s List (1993) - Nominated for twelve Oscars with wins for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, and Best Art Direction.
Winter's Bone (2010) - Nominated for four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Actress but failed to win any awards.
I'm just a film buff who wants to watch great movies. Where else to find the best, than the list of those nominated by the Academy each year?