The Oscar Project
After a few lean months in terms of Oscar Nominees and Winners joining the content on Netflix, June promises to provide viewers with a bonanza of great films.
From superheroes to Anime, and even classics from the 1970s and 1980s, there is something for everyone in this list. There are even two films from the 2018 Best Animated Feature category, nominee Ralph Breaks the Internet and winner Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Check out the post for a full rundown of the past Oscar nominees and winners coming to Netflix this June.
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) - In Haley Joel Osment's next big star turn after his breakout in The Sixth Sense, he plays a childlike android who has been programmed with the ability to love. Originally intended to be directed by Stanley Kubrick, the film ultimately landed on Steven Spielberg's desk and pushed through production following Kubrick's death in 1999.
Osment plays David, the titular A.I. being who replaces the son of Henry and Monica when their biological son is diagnosed with a rare disease and placed in suspended animation. Despite the 18 years that have passed since this film was made, it remains relevant to what's happening in our society and technological advancement today.
The film was nominated for two Oscars, Best Original Music Score (John Williams) and Best Visual Effects (Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Michael Lantieri, and Scott Farrar).
Batman Begins (2005) - Director Christopher Nolan made a splash with his updated version of the Batman story, setting the stage for much darker superhero films that would follow. The film follows Bruce Wayne as he travels the world as a young man and is trained in combat by a member of the League of Shadows before returning to Gotham City and taking on the mantle of Batman.
It's an origin story, but set in a more realistic world than that people were used to in superhero films to that point. The fact that Wayne fails and learns from his failures helps ground the film in a sense of reality.
The film was nominated for Best Cinematography (Wally Pfister) losing out to Memoirs of a Geisha.
Cabaret (1972) - In a film loosely based on the 1966 Broadway musical, director Bob Fosse takes on the the story of a young American woman Sally Bowes (Liza Minnelli) performing at a club in Germany in the years before WWII.
Sally befriends and seduces two men that come into her life as the film deals with issues of racism, anti-Semitism, and sexual ambiguity, not to mention the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany.
Cabaret won a total of eight Academy Awards including Best Director (Fosse), Best Actress (Minnelli), and Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey). It was also nominated in the Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay categories, losing both to The Godfather.
Carrie (1976) - Sissy Spacek stars in the original 1976 adaptation of Stephen King's first novel of the same name. Carrie tells the story of the teenage girl who is bullied and teased by her classmates who become the victims of her telekinetic powers as she seeks deadly revenge.
Spacek was nominated for Best Actress for her portrayal of the title character while Piper Laurie received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her mother.
Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) - Set against the backdrop of the cold war, George Clooney's second directorial focused on the conflict between newsman Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and United States Senator Joseph McCarthy, famous for his investigations into people suspected of having Communist leanings.
Unique in the fact that is shows in black and white in the age of color films, something we don't see much anymore.
Good Night, and Good Luck was nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director (George Clooney), Best Actor (Strathairn), Best Original Screenplay (George Clooney and Grant Heslov), Best Art Direction (James D. Bissell (Art Direction) and Jan Pascale (Set Decoration)), and Best Cinematography (Robert Elswit) but failed to win in any of the six.
Network (1976) - Initially seeing the title of this film today you might think it refers to computer networks, but being made in the 1970s, it refers to a struggling television network. Featuring an all-star cast including Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Robert Duvall, and Ned Beatty, just to name a few, Network received a great deal of praise at the time of its release and has since gone on to greater acclaim including being selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
Nominated for an incredible ten Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director (Sidney Lumet), three of actors took home statuettes including Best Actor (Peter Finch), Best Actress (Dunaway), and Best Supporting Actress (Beatrice Straight). Holden was also nominated for Best Actor while the only acting award to go to another film was Best Supporting Actor (Beatty).
Platoon (1986) - In what some people may say is the best modern war movie, director Oliver Stone drew on his experiences as an infantryman in Vietnam. As with Network, the cast is tremendous and includes names such as Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen, Forest Whitaker, and Johnny Depp.
Platoon would be the first in a series of war films directed by Stone with Born on the Fourth of July (starring Tom Cruise) and Heaven & Earth (starring Tommy Lee Jones) following in 1989 and 1993 respectively.
Films with a large pool of nominations continue with Platoon receiving eight Oscar nominations in seven categories (Tom Berenger and Dafoe were both nominated for Best Supporting Actor but failed to win) . It won four awards for Best Picture, Best Director ( Stone), Best Film Editing (Claire Simpson), and Best Sound (John K. Wilkinson, Richard, Rogers, Charles "Bud" Grenzbach, and Simon Kaye).
The Dark Knight (2008) - We get a treat this month in that the sequel to Batman Begins also shows up on Netflix. The only one we're missing now is The Dark Knight Rises.
In this follow-up, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) faces off against one of the most famous villains in all of superherodom, The Joker. In one of his final roles before his death, Heath Ledger delivers an incredible performance, the likes of which may never be topped for the character. He is at the same time psychotic and contemplative and many have speculated that his acceptance of the role ultimately contributed to his death when he overdosed on prescription pain medication.
Receiving eight Oscar Nominations was huge for a film from the superhero genre that would not be replicated until Black Panther racked up seven this past year. The Dark Knight was nominated for Best Art Direction (Nathan Crowley and Peter Lando), Best Cinematography (Wally Pfister), Best Film Editing (Lee Smith), Best Makeup (John Caglione Jr. and Conor O'Sullivan), Best Sound Mixing (Lora Hirschberg, Gary Risso, and Ed Novick), and Best Visual Effects (Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber, and Paul Franklin). Ledger posthumasly received the award for Best Supporting Actor and the film also won for Best Sound Editing (Richard King).
The Phantom of the Opera (2004) - With several film versions of this story in the mix, I am assuming it will be the most recent movie musical version directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum that joins Netflix this month.
As has been the tend over the last decade, this film uses much of the music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber that made it so successful on and off Broadway since its debut in there in 1988.
The film failed to take home any Oscars, but was nominated for Best Art Direction (Anthony Pratt and Celia Bobak), Best Cinematography (John Mathieson) and Webber was nominated with lyricist Charles Hart for Best Original Song ("Learn to Be Lonely").
Disney's Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) - Back in action following the success of the first film in 2012, Ralph and his pal Vanelope take off to the internet to find a part for her broken game, Sugar Rush, before the owner of the arcade scraps the game altogether.
For anyone who is a fan of Disney films and the internet at large (and let's face it, who isn't?) this is an amazing romp full of Easter eggs that it's impossible to catch on the first viewing. Just the scene with all the Disney princesses has enough detail and content for a master's thesis
The film received a nomination for Best Animated Feature losing out to the next film on the list, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) - Largely lauded as the best animated film of last year, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse brought a surprisingly fresh take to a genre that has been front and center at the box office over the last decade with the rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Expanded Universe films.
Stepping away from live action and not claiming to be part of any larger work, Spider-Verse created its own, well, spider-verse to live in and succeeded at every step.
The film won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature earlier this year at the 91st Academy Awards.
20th Century Women (2016) - It wasn't until I read through the plot summary on Wikipedia for this film that I remembered actually watching it a few years back when it was nominated. It's one that will be lesser known among mainstream film viewers and doesn't have the popular appeal that many of the others on the list this month have.
That said, it is a decent film that gives some good performance from two different generations of women in Annette Benning and Elle Fanning.
The film did not win any Academy Awards, but was nominated for Best Original Screenplay (Mike Mills).
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?