Oscar season is coming to an end, but before you gear up for the popcorn movie palooza that is summer, treat yourself and your friends to a proper Academy-approved binge session. Since you are already subscribed to all of the lovely streaming services out there, from Netflix to Starz, then you might as well make use of them by delving deep into their Oscar back catalogue. Instead of making the trek to the theater in a mad scramble to see all of the 2017 nominees before the main event, call your best friends over for a night of sitting on the couch, eating snacks and basking in some of the best movies that have ever been honored with a golden trophy.
These 10 movies are from different eras, and they won in a wide array of categories. Still, these films have two things in common: they offer an amazing cinematic experience, and the Academy awarded them accordingly.
The 2016 Best Picture Winner is more relevant now than ever before. With the public’s trust in reputable news organizations eroding, movies like Spotlight that fearlessly dramatize the risks journalists take in pursuit of the truth are absolutely vital.
Never underestimate the power of a visually stunning film. Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, a science fiction tale of explorers traveling through a wormhole, didn’t get the love it deserved at the Oscars, but even the Academy could not deny it was a stunning piece of filmmaking. It is important not to forget it was also an exquisite piece of storytelling too.
- Dallas Buyer’s Club
Once he was rescued from bad romantic comedy purgatory, Matthew McConaughey landed the role of his career. It is hard to imagine him ever topping his portrayal of hustler Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyer’s Club, but thankfully, movie fans have many years ahead of watching him try.
- The Aviator
Also known as the movie that should have won Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar, The Aviator is a stunning look at Hollywood’s Golden Age and one man’s slow descent into madness. Yes, after all this time, it still holds up.
- No Country for Old Men
This year’s Coen Brothers offering, Hail, Caesar!, is far from their best work. If you find yourself in need of a reminder of just how flawless the brothers’ work is when they are at the top of their game, then it is time to spend a night with Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men.
- Ordinary People
In light of Mary Tyler Moore’s passing, the film that won her an Oscar will be even more poignant than you remember. Her heartbreaking portrayal of a mother’s loss in Ordinary People proves she was so much more than the woman who turned the world on with her smile.
- Lawrence of Arabia
Hollywood doesn’t make many epics these days. That could be because they know they will never top the grandeur and grit of five-time Academy Award winner Lawrence of Arabia. Settle in for the nearly four hour long film, and prepare to be outraged it did not win Peter O’Toole a Best Actor trophy.
Was Chicago really the best film of 2002? Definitely not, but the Best Picture winner is way more fun than you remember, and sometimes you just need to allow yourself to belt out a Broadway tune with Catherine Zeta-Jones, in the privacy of your own living room.
- Man on Wire
Documentaries are rarely more nail-biting or exhilarating than this one. Watch as French tightrope walker Philippe Petit’s daring act of acrobatics in Man On Wire leaves 1970s America stunned, and appreciate all the ways truth can be even more entertaining than fiction under the right circumstances.
No one will ever give a more chilling performance than Kathy Bates in Misery. The Academy usually ignores the horror genre, but even they could not look away from Bates’ deranged fan Annie Wilkes.
Now, go forth and revisit Oscars’ greatest hits while you still have time. The 2017 Academy Awards air Feb. 26 on ABC.
Guest Author Sabienna is a freelance writer with a lifelong love for books, movies, and all things TV. Her work has been featured on Bustle, Seat42f, and more. When she’s not writing, she’s busy discussing Game of Thrones theories with her cats, Khaleesi and Sansa.