The 14 Most Epic Oscar Wins and Fails to Stream on Netflix (Get The Popcorn Ready!)
| LAST UPDATE 03/13/2023
Are you in the mood for some nostalgic rides that will take you on a journey of triumph and defeat? Look no further than Netflix's vast library of Oscar winners and losers movies. These films have everything from heart-warming stories of overcoming adversity to mind-bending plot twists. So, grab your snacks, settle in, and get ready to laugh, cry, and gasp along with the most epic moments in Hollywood history. Here are our top picks for the best Oscar winners and losers movies on Netflix.
Don't Look Up (2021)
Adam McKay's 2021 political satire/dark comedy, Don't Look Up, captivated Netflix viewers with its star-studded ensemble cast including Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothee Chalamet, Cate Blanchett, and Meryl Streep. Based on a premise of two astronomers warning the world about an approaching comet - a dramatic reflection of our current response to climate change - the film was praised for its unique comedic approach coupled with bonafide star power.
While reviews were mixed from critics and audiences alike, the Academy held it in high regard by nominating four awards at the Oscars - Best Picture being top among them. Unfortunately, it failed to win any category nominations as Kenneth Branagh snatched Best Original Screenplay for Belfast, and CODA won Best Picture.
The Lost Daughter (2021)
The adaptation of Elena Ferrante's novel The Lost Daughter is set to be an incredible experience for watchers, boasting a star-studded cast with acclaimed actors Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, and Paul Mescal. It adds another layer to the already compelling story, delving into many thought-provoking themes like motherhood from a nuanced and deeply emotional perspective.
What makes it even more awe-inspiring is that all of this is brought together by Maggie Gyllenhaal in her directing debut -- a multi-award-winning independent filmmaker who brings delicacy and insight to complex stories, leaving viewers contemplating the movie's impact hours after it has ended.
Dee Rees's acclaimed 2017 film, Mudbound, captured the complex and often tenuous relationship between two families sharing a piece of land in the Mississippi Delta – one white, one Black. Fate throws something unexpected into their lives, however, when Ronsel (Jason Mitchell) and Jamie (Garrett Hedland), who have become close friends while fighting in World War II, return home to try to maintain a sense of peace within their segregated society.
The film earned four Academy Award nominations: Best Supporting Actress for Mary J. Blige, Best Adapted Screenplay for Rees and Virgil Williams based on Hillary Jordan’s book, Best Cinematography for Rachel Morrison, and Best Original Song for Mary J. Blige - making her the first person ever to receive an Oscar nomination for acting and singing during the same year.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
Aaron Sorkin's 2020 film The Trial Of The Chicago 7 follows seven individuals facing charges of inciting a violent confrontation with police during the 1968 Democratic Party Convention. Nixon's hostile administration chose to combine them in one trial, despite their diverse defense theories and the fact that Bobby Seale, a member of the Black Panther movement, wasn't even present at the time.
Sorkin was unsurprisingly nominated for his fourth Oscar in Best Screenplay but unfortunately lost to Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman. Unfortunately, The Trial Of The Chicago 7 also received an Oscar nod for Best Picture at the 93rd Academy Awards, which it could not win as Nomadland trumped it.
The Irishman (2019)
Martin Scorsese's acclaimed epic The Irishman, starring Robert DeNiro as a hitman reflecting on his past, is an example of both personal and creative cinema. Supported by an incredible cast that includes Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, and Harvey Keitel, the film was lauded come Award season, with four Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and two for Best Supporting Actor for Pacino and Pesci.
Unfortunately, despite its talented producers and nominees, the iconic film wasn't successful in any categories at the Oscars. Brad Pitt won for his performance in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and Bong Joon-ho's Parasite swept the event - but even still, when accepting his gold statuette, Joon-ho attributed his win to Scorsese's invaluable piece of advice "the most personal is the most creative," demonstrating just how much respect The Irishman has elicited from peers in the industry.
The Power of the Dog (2021)
With its beautiful cinematography, star-studded cast, and powerful storyline, The Power of the Dog seemed like the film to break Netflix's Best Picture drought. Director Jane Campion creates a gripping narrative where viewers root for Benedict Cumberbatch's fearsome character, who terrorizes his brother's new wife Kirsten Dunst, and son Kodi Smit-McPhee.
Though it only won one award out of its twelve nominations, in the end, CODA was the film that achieved Netflix's dream of winning Best Picture at the 94th Academy Awards. This made director Jane Campion only the third woman ever to win a Best Director Oscar in cinema history; a small taste of what female directors can do with an impressive platform like Netflix.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
The Coen Brothers have crafted an incredible movie with their Western anthology film, introducing viewers to six exciting new stories about the American frontier. From tales of treasure hunting to criminal pursuits, the vignettes truly capture the spirit of the Wild West.
Plus, there's plenty of room for fun and music along the way! It's easy to appreciate some of the film's cool cameos too; Tom Waits and Willie Watson are especially captivating in their respective roles. Overall, The Coen Brothers' Western anthology film is a must-see for fans of American adventure!
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Brokeback Mountain continues to be one of the defining pieces of dramatic cinema until this day. While watching this Oscar-winning film by acclaimed director Ang Lee, viewers experience an emotionally complex story about two cowboys that find themselves unexpectedly and inextricably linked.
Embedded with a tinge of subtle hope, it's difficult to watch without feeling some heart-wrenching connection to Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger's characters and their ways of life. Without a doubt, many audiences will find themselves shedding some tears by the end as the pair navigate through their relationship in secret.
Marriage Story (2019)
Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story was one of the most talked about films of 2019, and Netflix subscribers were instantly enamored by it. It was highly acclaimed and had an impact; Adam Driver's powerful performance and Scarlett Johansson's gut-wrenching story left hearts broken. Despite being nominated for Best Picture, it ultimately could not keep up with Parasite's standout success that year, but its inclusion in such a lineup proved an honor.
Driver was nominated for Best Actor, though he ultimately lost to Joaquin Phoenix's iconic performance as Joker. Additionally, though Johansson was twice nominated for both Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit, Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland and Laura Dern (who won awards recognition playing her lawyer in Marriage Story) ended up taking the tiaras.
David Fincher's Mank, a black-and-white biopic based on his late father Jack's script, was up for Best Picture at the 2021 Academy Awards but ultimately lost to Nomadland. Nonetheless, thanks to Erik Messerschmidt's debut nomination, Mank was unveiled as this year's winner in the Best Cinematography category. Additionally, Production Design won out as well.
Regrettably, Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried could not bring home the awards for their stirring performances as Herman J. Mankiewicz and Marion Davies, respectively. Nonetheless, this visually arresting film about Mankiewicz's journey to write one of cinema's most celebrated scripts, Citizen Kane, is worth a watch for any dedicated film lover.
Alfonso Cuarón’s breathtakingly brilliant film Roma captivated audiences and made an indelible impression on the 91st Academy Awards. Set in 1970s Mexico City, it follows the life of a live-in nanny for an upper-middle-class family, making it the perfect platform for Cuarón to explore his own personal experiences growing up in Mexico City.
In its wake, the acclaimed movie made history with its ten Oscar nominations – tying with 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for most nominated foreign language movie ever and becoming only the fifth film to be nominated for both Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film in the same year.
Bryan Fogel wanted to make a statement in the cycling world. He not only dabbled in doping to push his performance beyond his physical capability - he set out to prove it was possible without detection. Little did he know, this experiment was about to expose far more than initially intended.
After collaborating with Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov and interviewing numerous athletes, Bryan uncovered a systemic scandal of fraudulent anti-doping measurements that had been taking place within the world-class organization, WADA - the World Anti-Doping Agency. Fogel's film Icarus won an Academy Award in 2018. It is a powerful reminder of the importance of investigative journalism and the brave people who risk their lives to expose corruption.
Les Misérables (2012)
Les Misérables is a timeless musical that has captivated audiences for generations. The Academy Award-winning film version stars Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, an ex-convict trying to make a life for himself and his adopted daughter Cozette (Amanda Seyfried) in a 19th-century France swept up by revolution. It is a powerful testament to this gripping story.
Through its heartbreaking scenes, beautifully composed music score, and outstanding performances by Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, the movie captures the joys and sorrows of pursuing hope and optimism despite impossible odds. Les Misérables encourages viewers to keep striving for transformation each day - because everything can change even when nothing seems possible "One Day More."
Forrest Gump (1994)
Forrest Gump has become a timeless classic over the years, and its relevance only amplifies with each viewing. Its power lies in the charming character of Forrest himself: a naive, lovable protagonist thrust into unique and difficult situations throughout his journey. Tom Hanks beautifully portrays him as pure-hearted, emphasizing doing good and standing up for what's right regardless of the odds against him.
As he solves complex problems with simple solutions, we learn that happiness is found by following your heart. The wit and humor scattered throughout the film help to make this message more enjoyable for many generations of viewers since then. Whether you're an aspiring filmmaker or just a movie buff, it's impossible to ignore the cinematic genius that is Forrest Gump - it's truly one of a kind!