The Oscar Project
As I'm doing more of these monthly posts, I'm starting to see the trend of films coming onto Netflix for several months at a time before disappearing again. I was again able to find a list of the films leaving Netflix this month and many of them were part of my April post in the spring, meaning they were available for six months.
The good news is you still have a week to check some of these out before they disappear, and rest assured, they will probably be back in the future at some point.
Crash (2004) - I can't remember when I saw this film, but it was definitely around the time it was originally released and I thought it was fantastic. It's one that I've been meaning to revisit over the years but never got around to, so this may be the chance now that it is on Netflix for the time being.
The film was directed by Paul Haggis and features a splendid ensemble cast including the likes of Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Terrence Howard, Thandie Newton, and Ryan Phillippe. The cast received the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and totally deserved it. This is one of those films that truly needs everyone to pull their weight and the names above did so, along with many others.
Crash was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Original Song ("In the Deep"), Best Director (Haggis), and Best Supporting Actor (Dillon). It won the awards for Best Original Screenplay (Haggis and Robert Moresco), Best Film Editing (Hughes Winbone), and Best Picture.
Surf's Up (2007) - I think I've seen bits and pieces of this one, but never the whole thing. I may have to sit down and watch it with the kids to compare to some of the other animated nominees the year it was released.
The story here is that a documentary film crew follows around a penguin who has aspirations of being a surfer. It clocks in at a tidy 85 minutes, and features the voice talent of stars including Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, and Jon Heder.
The film was nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, losing to Pixar's Ratatouille.
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) - As with Crash, I saw this film several years ago when it came out and loved it, but look forward to revisiting it now through the lens of being a father. I'm sure I got teared up at the time, but now having kids of my own, I'm sure I will sob uncontrollably when re-watching this one.
The film features the first onscreen collaboration between the father son duo of Will and Jaden Smith, playing real life father and son Chris and Christopher Gardner. Based on events in the life of the real Chris Gardner, the film follows the pair as they struggle to make ends meet, sleeping in subway stations to keep warm and developing an increasingly strong father/son bond.
The elder Smith was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, losing out to Forest Whitaker who won for The Last King of Scotland.
Trainspotting (1996) - Director Danny Boyle leads the charge in this crime film that focuses on a heroin addict in Scotland and his friends. It features an early Ewan McGregor in the lead role.
Screenwriter John Hodge was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on Trainspotting losing to Billy Bob'd Thornton's Sling Blade.
Troy (2004) - In a change from past months, I have actually seen most of the new additions to the list this month, and Troy is no exception. Whereas some of the others I watched on DVD, I know for a fact I saw this one in the theaters, hoping it would have the same grandeur I had seen in the Lord of the Rings films over the previous few years.
The film stars Brad Pitt as Achilles and features Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Brian Cox, and of course Diane Kruger as Helen of Troy herself, the woman who launched 1000 ships. This film is the story of the beginning of that episode in history, beginning when Helen is taken from Sparta back to Troy, angering the Spartans and driving the two rival nations to war.
Fortunately we do ultimately get a scene featuring the famous Trojan Horse, even if it is a little comical by the time the film gets to that point.
Despite the big budget, big name actors, and sweeping scale, the film only landed one Oscar nomination, for Best Costume Design (Bob Ringwood), ultimately losing out to The Aviator.
Men in Black (1997) - I was a little surprised to see this on the list of nominees when going through the Netflix additions, especially once I saw that it was actually nominated for three awards!
I still love the Men in Black films. The first one was an instant classic and another one that I often watch to the end whenever I catch it on TV. Tommy Lee Jones was never really known for his comedy when he arrived opposite Will Smith in this film, but nailed the character with his deadpan delivery of some truly out of this world lines.
This is another film that has some truly memorable lines and features one of my favorite bad guys in film history with Vincent D'Onofrio's Edgar.
The film was nominated for Best Original Musical of Comedy Score (Danny Elfman) and Best Art Direction (Bo Welch and Cheryl Carasik) and also won the award for Best Makeup (Rick Baker and David LeRoy Anderson).
Raging Bull (1980) - I'm actually in the midst of reading the Jake LaMotta memoir one which this film is based, so very much looking forward to finally seeing it when it hits Netflix later in October.
Adding this film to the list of Martin Scorsese classics including Mean Streets and Taxi Driver is a coup for any fans of the great director. It tells the story of LaMotta, a middle-weight boxer who deals with the destruction of his relationships with his family and is famous for the weight that De Niro added to his frame to be able to play the older LaMotta at the end of the film.
Raging Bull is the most nominated film coming to Netflix this month, with nominations for Best Sound Mixing (Donald O. Mitchell, Bill Nicholson, David J. Kimball, and Les Lazarowitz), Best Cinematography (Michael Chapman), Best Supporting Actress (Cathy Moriarty), Best Supporting Actor (Joe Peschi), Best Director (Scorsese), and Best Picture. It also won the awards for Best Film Editing (Thelma Schoonmaker) and Best Actor (De Niro).
Leaving in October
After a hiatus last month, I'm returning the list of films that are leaving Netflix for now on the dates listed below. Remember, the links should still work even when the films are no longer available for streaming.
Leaving October 1st
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) - Nominated for two Oscars (Best Original Music Score and Best Visual Effects) but failed to win in either category.
All the President's Men (1976) - Nominated for eight Oscars including wins for Best Art Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best Supporting Actor (Jason Robards).
Bonnie and Clyde (1967) - Nominated for ten Oscars including wins for Best Supporting Actress (Estelle Parsons) and Best Cinematography.
Cabaret (1972) - Nominated for nine Oscars, winning eight and only losing out for Best Picture.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) - Nominated for Best Costume Design.
Deliverance (1972) - Nominated for three Oscars including Best Film Editing, Best Director, and Best Picture.
In Bruges (2008) - Nominated for Best Original Screenplay.
Julie & Julia (2009) - Nominated for Best Actress (Meryl Streep).
Platoon (1986) - Nominated for seven Oscars including wins for Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Director, and Best Picture.
Quiz Show (1994) - Nominated for four Oscars including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, and Best Picture, but failing to win in any category.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) - Nominated for 13 Oscars including wins for Best Costume Design (Black-and-White), Best Cinematography (Black-and-White), Best Art Direction (Black-and-White), Best Supporting Actress (Sandy Dennis), and Best Actress (Elizabeth Taylor).
Leaving October 29th
The Imitation Game (2014) - Nominated for eight Oscars with one win for Best Adapted Screenplay (Graham Moore).
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?