Top Oscar winners available on NOW TV
James R | On 09, Feb 2020
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 Black Panther, Isle of Dogs, A Quiet Place), 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 now allows non-customers to do both with a £11.99 NOW Cinema Membership. And there’s a 7-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. (For Sky customers, these are also available on-demand, as part of your Sky Cinema package.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (Best Actress, 2018)
Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell are on blistering form in Martin McDonagh’s darkly funny and moving study of hatred and grief.
Coco (Best Original Song, 2018)
Pixar’s Oscar winner centres on Miguel Rivera (Anthony Gonzalez), a music-loving youngster who wants more than small-town Mexico life. His idol is Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), a legendary late pop star to whom he may be related. Could Ernesto and his disgraced great-great grandfather – a vagabond musician who walked out on a young wife and infant son – be one and the same? Finding answers means magically journeying to the Land of the Dead, where skeleton scallywag Héctor (Gael García Bernal) comes along for the ride.
Spike Lee’s uncomfortably entertaining comedy viciously skewers modern American politics with a hammer.
Ryan Gosling plays the first man on the moon – legendary American astronaut Neil Armstrong. Director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land) follows Armstrong’s stratospheric career arc from his early life as an engineer to NASA’s 1969 Apollo 11 mission, which made history by putting astronauts – first among them Armstrong – on the moon after a series of trial-and-error attempts.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Wholly unique and jaw-droppingly stylish, this progressive, post-modern story of parallel realities is one of the best superhero movies ever made.
Natalie Portman is sensational in this thrillingly intense ballet drama from Darren Aronofsky.
Silent Running meets stunning CGI in Pixar’s mature sci-fi about a droid left behind by humans to tidy up a polluted planet.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
After owning Glastonbury, Burt Bacharach takes on Netflix with the arrival of this fantastic Western by George Roy Hill and William Goldman. Paul Newman as Butch and Robert Redford as Sundance make the story of these Wild West outlaws as funny as it is flashy. The performance of Bacharach’s Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, complete with bicycle, seals the deal.
Alfonso Cuaron’s survival thriller/sci-fi, which appears to unfold all in a single take, is nail-bitingly tense – and heart-poundingly emotional.