Top Oscar winners available on NOW TV (2018)
VOD News | On 22, Feb 2017
Oscars season is like Christmas for Sky. Not only does it have the UK rights to broadcast the ceremony locked down, its first-run deals with the major Hollywood studios means that it also has a number of this year’s nominees already in the Sky Cinema line-up (hello to Get Out, The Boss Baby, Beauty and the Beast, Baby Driver), not to mention the picks of last year’s contest. While those unable to stump up the cash for a Sky subscription were once unable to watch the Oscars live in the UK or sample the Sky Cinema catalogue, though, NOW TV now allows non-customers to do both with a £9.99 Sky Cinema Month Pass. And there’s a 14-day trial so you can do both for free.
With no contract, it sounds like a decent VOD deal. But is it actually worth it? We round up the top Oscar winners from years gone by that are currently available on-demand on NOW TV. (For Sky customers, these are also available on Sky On Demand, as part of your Sky Cinema package.)
Fences (Best Supporting Actress, 2017)
After sweeping, Tony Award-winning success on Broadway, Denzel Washington brings the late August Wilson’s iconic play to the silver screen. As well as directing, Washington reprises his role as Troy Maxson, a former baseball star now working as a refuse collector who lives with his devoted wife Rose (Viola Davis) and son Cory (Jovan Adepo) in 1950s Pittsburgh. To begin with he seems content with his modest lot, but bit by bit bitterness about past disappointment bubbles uncomfortably to the surface.
Inside Out – Best Animated Film (2016)
Pixar’s masterful animation takes us on a tour through the head of a young girl, Riley, as she comes of age. As we move from the once-overriding emotion of joy to a mixture of sadness, anger and disgust, the resulting portrait of growing pains is both dazzlingly complex and entertainingly simple.
Saving Private Ryan (Best Editing, 1999)
Steven Spielberg won a second directing Oscar for his incendiary story of a World War Two rescue mission. After barely surviving the D-Day landings, Army captain Tom Hanks leads a small team of US soldiers to find and rescue a young private whose brothers have all been killed in action. The hellish opening sequence is an astonishing experience in itself.
Dreamgirls (Best Supporting Actress, 2007)
How do you follow Chicago? With another musical. Bill Condon’s take on the Broadway Motown hit about a group of singers stars Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx, Danny Glover and Beyoncé – but it’s newcomer Jennifer Hudson who steals the show as lead backing singer Effie White.
Zootropolis (Best Animated Feature, 2017
Disney’s comedy takes place in a world where talking animals have put aside their natural differences in the circle of life to coexist peacefully. A positive political message in a family animation? It’s done so wittily, subtly and amusingly that this is one of the best animations of the year.
Lost in Translation (Best Original Screenplay, 2004)
Sofia Coppola’s bittersweet masterpiece is a touching story of two strangers connecting.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Best Cinematography, 1978)
Do do doo. Dum. Dummmm. Steven Spielberg made jaws drop with those five notes in a deceptively simple piece about mankind connecting with a higher power. Richard Dreyfus is scarily obsessed with the idea of extra terrestrials, even to the point of it shaping his mashed potato. But however disruptive his behaviour becomes, Close Encounters of the Third Kind’s power comes from the peaceful nature of their contact – a gently revolutionary notion that makes this a unique entry in the genre and, indeed, one of the greatest science fiction films of all time.
Wings (Best Picture, 1929)
William Wellman’s Oscar-winning silent epic celebrates the exploits of World War One fighter pilots. Two rival flyers – Jack (Charles “Buddy” Rogers) and David (Richard Arlen) – compete for the affection of Jobyna Ralston. However, Jack doesn’t realise that it’s the girl next door, Mary Preston (Clara Bow), who really has eyes for him. World War I is soon upon them and the two men are off to France.
8 Mile (Best Original Song, 2003)
“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti…”
Atonement (Best Score, 2008)
Distilling Ian McEwan’s novel without diluting its potency, this masterful adaptation, starring James McAvoy and Keira Knightley, is a work of genius.
The French Connection (Best Actor, 1972)
New York cops Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider face up to drug lord Fernando Rey as they struggle to break his narcotics operation.
Frozen (Best Animated Feature, 2014)
A tale of two sisters, who happen to be princesses, this charming Disney flick is surely the House of Mouse’s most feminist to date. More a tale of female relationships than a rom-com or adventure, this is refreshing, amusing and moving stuff. If you’re already singing “Let It Go” in your head, this is for you.
Jurassic Park (Best Visual Effects, 1994)
Steven Spielberg brought the dinosaurs back to life for this classic modern blockbuster, which broke ground behind the screen and wowed audiences in front of it.
The Hustler (Best Cinematography, 1962)
Small-time pool hustler Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) ends up broke following a marathon game against the great Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason). Picked up by a cut-throat manager (Geroge C Scott), Eddie faces losing his soul… and his girlfriend (Piper Laurie). A thrilling examination of the self-destructive world of sportsmen with a stunning performance by Newman.
Roman Holiday (Best Actress, 1954)
A day out on the town with Audrey Hepburn? William Wyler’s romantic comedy, which stars Gregory Peck as a reporter who crosses paths with a runaway princess, is a delightful, charming ride.
Some Like It Hot (Best Costume Design, 1960)
When two musicians accidentally witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, they get out of town the only way they know how – dressed as women. Never seen Billy Wilder’s comedy classic? Well, nobody’s perfect.
Road to Perdition (Best Cinematography, 2003)
Sam Mendes switches from American Beauty to American ugly with this sombre tale of a mobster hitman (a rare dark role for Tom Hanks) who finds himself fighting for his – and his son’s – life. Paul Newman is the crime boss who puts Hanks’ loyalties to the test while Jude Law adds to the suspense as an impassive killer and Daniel Craig is distinctly unheroic as Newman’s cowardly son.
Rocky (Best Picture, 1977)
An icon was born in this Oscar-winning crowd-pleaser written by and starring Sylvester Stallone as Rocky ‘The Italian Stallion’ Balboa, a Philadelphia underdog with a heavyweight dream.
The Apartment (Best Picture, 1961)
Is Billy Wilder’s 1960 masterpiece sad or sweet? That’s one of many reasons why The Apartment is a classic, as it tells the tale of an officer worker who lets his boss use his apartment for an affair – only to fall for the boss’ girlfriend himself.
The Sound of Music (Best Director, 1966)
“The hilllllllls are aliiiive…”
The Godfather Part I and II (Best Picture, 1973 and 1975)
Francis Ford Coppola’s gangster trilogy, starring Al Pacino, Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro, is some of the best crime cinema ever committed to celluloid.
Sense & Sensibility – Best Adapted Screenplay (1996)
Ang Lee’s take on Sense and Sensibility features a stellar script from Emma Thompson, who also joins an impressive cast that includes Kate Winslet, Tom Wilinson, Hugh Grant and – most importantly – Alan Rickman in a hat as Colonel Brandon.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Best Music (1962)
A young New York socialite takes interest in a man who moves into her apartment building downstairs in this lovely adaptation of Truman Capote’s novel. Audrey Hepburn is a delight.
The Departed – Best Director (2007)
Martin Scorsese’s thrilling, idiosyncratic take on Hong Kong action flick Infernal Affairs is proof that remakes can be better than the original.
Raging Bull – Best Actor (1981)
Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro live up to their reputations in this superb boxing drama.
Moulin Rouge! – Best Costume Design (2002)
Swoon and sing along with this sumptuous musical epic.
No Country For Old Men – Best Picture (2008)
The Coen brothers’ Western, starring Josh Brolin and Kelly MacDonald, follows a Sheriff’s investigation into a psychopath’s trail of killings – and the hunter who finds himself with the killer on his tail. Tommy Lee Jones has never been better as the weary lawman nearing retirement, while Javier Bardem is chilling as the pneumatic cattle gun-wielding Anton.