The Oscar Project
It appears to be Martin Scorsese and Meryl Streep month with new films coming to Netflix. In addition to the films listed below, Scorsese's films Mean Streets and Who's That Knocking at My Door also join the streaming service.
In keeping with films we've seen added in recent months, Disney has a pair of additions. Get them now before the disappear from Netflix in favor of Disney Plus in November.
There is something here for every member of the family so read on to see which Oscar winners and nominees are coming to Netflix in July 2019.
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) - This romantic comedy film was one of the early directorial efforts from Martin Scorsese, starring Ellen Burstyn as a widow who travels across the Southwestern United States with her son in search of a better life.
The film also featured names such as Kris Kristofferson, Harvey Keitel, and a pre-teen Jodie Foster in supporting roles.
The film was nominated for three Oscars, Best Supporting Actress (Diane Ladd) and Best Original Screenplay (Robert Getchell) with Burstyn winning the award for Best Actress.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) - For those who were fans of the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory from 1971, this version may have seemed unnecessary at best, and downright weird at worst. The film is truly a new take on the classic Roald Dahl story, with the same key characters and messaging, despite the fresh coat of paint and visual appeal.
While it's true that no one could expect to play Wonka the way Gene Wilder did in the 70s, director Tim Burton's choice of long time collaborator Johnny Depp for the wacky chocolateer worked as well as it could. The cast also included Freddie Highmore (August Rush, The Good Doctor) in the role of Charlie and Christopher Lee (Lord of the Rings) as Wonka's dentist father.
This remake only received on Oscar nomination, for Best Costume Design (Gabriella Pescucci) but lost to Memoirs of a Geisha.
Philadelphia (1993) - At the time it was made, Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington were both rising stars in Hollywood. Washington had just come off a starring role in Spike Lee's Malcolm X while Hanks took a turn from the comedy roles of Turner & Hooch, and A League of Their Own to tackle the serious topic of AIDS and homosexuality in Philadelphia.
As one of the first mainstream films to cover these topics, it brought the conversation about things that many had previously seen as taboo into the public conversation. The fact that it was so well received and brought the star power of Hanks and Washington with it gave the conversation more power.
Hanks received his first of two consecutive Oscars for Best Actor for his role in the film (followed by Forrest Gump), while Bruce Springsteen won for Best Original Song ("Streets of Philadelphia"). The film was nominated for three additional Oscars including Best Original Screenplay (Ron Nyswaner), Best Makeup (Carl Fullerton and Alan D'Angerio), and a second Best Original Song nomination for Neil Young's "Philadelphia."
Rain Man (1988) - In a genius combination of the established Hollywood talent of Dustin Hoffman with the rising star of Tom Cruise, Rain Man led the pack of films at the 61st Academy Awards.
Hoffman plays Raymond Babbitt, an autistic savant and brother to Cruise's Charlie. While Cruise plays the self-obsessed hotshot at the beginning of the film, he quickly grows to appreciate his brother and the unique capabilities he has despite his apparent disability.
Every time I see this film I am astounded by the commitment of Hoffman to the role of Raymond and appreciate the Academy's selection of him for the Best Actor award that year.
The film was nominated for a total of eight Oscars including Best Art Direction (Ida Random and Linda DeScenna), Best Cinematography (John Seale), Best Film Editing (Stu Linder), and Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer). Wins came in the categories of Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Ronald Bass and Barry Morrow), Best Actor (Hoffman), Best Director (Levinson), and Best Picture.
"Room on the Broom" (2012) - In probably the least seen of the films being added to Netflix this month, we get a short film nominee from 2014.
"Room on the Broom" is a 27-minute long film based on the picture book of the same name written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. It was directed by Max Lang and Jan Lachauer and originally seen in theaters with the Marvel film Thor: The Dark World.
The film was nominated for Best Animated Short Film losing to "Mr Hublot."
Taxi Driver (1976) - While there are a number of other films with this title (mostly from India of all places), I can only assume that it is the Martin Scorsese classic that is coming to Netflix next month. There seems to be a trend of Scorsese films with Jodie Foster in them coming to Netflix in July so now's the time to get your Scorsese fix.
Robert De Niro stars here in the lead role as Travis Bickle, a former marine who works as a taxi driver through the night to cope with chronic insomnia. He meets various characters as he descends into madness culminating in the now iconic "You talking' to me?" scene.
The film was nominated for four Oscars but failed to win in any category. The nominations included Best Music, Original Score (Bernard Hermann), Best Supporting Actress (Foster), Best Actor (De Niro), and Best Picture.
The Iron Lady (2011) - Meryl Streep stars as Margaret Thatcher, the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in this Oscar winning role.
The film covers a wide swath of Thatcher's political career and co-stars Jim Broadbent, Olivia Colman, Anthony Head, and Richard E. Grant, most of whom have also won Oscar's in recent years.
Streep won her second Best Actress Oscar (and third overall) for her portrayal of Thatcher while the film also won the award for Best Makeup (Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland)
Mary Poppins Returns (2018) - Following on last month's addition of Ralph Breaks the Internet, Disney responds with another release from last fall with Mary Poppins Returns.
Set 25 years after the original Julie Andrews film from 1964, the film stars Emily Blunt in the title role with support from Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep of all people. Dick Van Dyke even shows up in a cameo directly related to one of his roles in the original film.
This Disney sequel was nominated for four Oscars, failing to win any awards. The nominations included Best Original Score (Marc Shaiman), Best Original Song ("The Place Where Lost Things Go" by Shaiman and Scott Wittman), Best Production Design (John Myhre and Gordon Sim), and Best Costume Design (Sandy Powell).
The Princess and the Frog (2009) - Disney brought its long tradition of princess fairy tale films into the 20th century with this loose adaptation of the classic story of "The Frog Prince."
After dissolving the traditional animation department at Disney, this film brought that group back together for one final time, leading to a beautifully animated film. Tiana, a young waitress in New Orleans dreams of owning her own restaurant when she meets Prince Naveen of Maldonia. When she kisses Naveen in frog form, she too is transformed into a frog and must work with Naveen to break the curses on them while escaping from the evil witch doctor Facilier.
The film was nominated for Best Animated Feature and had two songs nominated for Best Music, Original Song ("Almost There" and "Down in New Orleans," both by Randy Newman).
Inglorious Basterds (2009) - It's directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, and Diane Kruger. That's almost all you need to know about this film that explores some alternate history perspectives of plots to assassinate Nazi leaders during WWII.
In typical Tarantino style, there is plenty of violence in this film but presented in such a way that draws you into the story of the characters.
While it was nominated for eight Academy Awards, Tarantino's film only received one award, for Waltz's work as Best Supporting Actor. Other nominations included Best Sound Mixing (Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti, and Mark Ulano), Best Sound Editing (Wylie Stateman), Best Film Editing (Sally Menke), Best Cinematography (Robert Richardson), Best Original Screenplay (Tarantino), Best Director (Tarantino), and Best Picture.
The Croods (2013) - Nicholas Cage and Emma Stone star in this animated film from DreamWorks about a group of cavemen (cavepeople?) forced to leave the comfort and relative safety of their home and venture off to unknown lands to avoid chaos caused by shifts in the lands the left behind.
Stone plays Eep, the eldest daughter of Grug (Cage) and Ugga (Catherine Keener) who longs for something more than the life she knows in the family cave. Grug is obsessed with keeping his family safe and is convinced that anything unknown is dangerous. When Eep meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds) she sees the possibilities that lie outside their comfort zone and soon the family is forced to leave, learning that while some things are indeed dangerous, there is also beauty in the world.
The film was nominated for Best Animated Feature, losing out to Disney powerhouse Frozen.
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?