Best Oscar-Winning Netflix Original Movies, Ranked – MovieWeb

In 2018, Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma made history as the first Netflix original movie to win an Academy Award, and they’ve been on a roll ever since.
Netflix and Chill” was a phrase coined in the early 2010s, once a discreet innuendo that implied a brief five minutes of catching a movie or TV show with a love interest, before an even briefer three minutes of a sexual nature. It’s invariably used as an ironic expression nowadays, though it does beg the question of what were people watching that was so uninteresting it made them turn off after five minutes. Or even more pertinently, what were they watching that only made them last three minutes? If it was Lord of the Rings, perhaps it’s time to talk to a therapist…
In 2018, Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma made history by becoming the first Netflix Original to scoop an Academy Award, triumphing in the Best Director, Best Foreign Film, and Best Cinematography categories. Since then, the streaming site has been on a roll, with a further eight Oscar successes for its feature-length, and short films, as well as numerous for its documentaries. The quality of the streaming platform’s output has been first-rate, which has undoubtedly seen a sharp decrease in couples tuning out after five minutes, although we can only speculate on the longevity of what happens thereafter…
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom turned out to be the brilliant, Chadwick Boseman’s last ever film, and it is a truly illuminating, incandescent parting gift. George C. Wolfe’s semi-biographical film about the early 20th-century Blues pioneer Ma Rainey (Viola Davis) and her band’s assembly at a Chicago record studio in 1927 is as fun, dramatic and rambunctious as the singer herself.
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Boseman took on the role of Levee, a pushy, opinionated, and passionate trumpet player who attempts to shove his own version of Ma Rainey’s song “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottomdown the throats of his contemporaries, as he and the revolutionary Rainey come to proverbial blows.
Noah Baumbach’s wonderful film, the fraught, yet charming Marriage Story, won Scarlett Johansson the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Johansson and Adam Driver play the on-screen couple of Nicole and Charlie Barber, two successful artists, an East Coast-based actor and playwright respectively. Devoted parents to their son Henry, the pair’s fractious relationship, and irremediable differences subsequently lead to an acrimonious divorce. While Nicole prospers in a television role on the West Coast in Los Angeles, Charlie remains in New York as the divorcees must come to terms with navigating their new lives, and working through their personal disputes to facilitate a stable upbringing of their son.
There was a real expectation on Power of the Dog to romp to Academy Award acclaim, and while director Jane Campion taking the prize for Best Director was no mean feat, there were certainly some disappointed expressions exhibited by those at Netflix when this great modern Western didn't win more, especially considering its dozen nominations. While not initially apparent, Power of the Dog quickly descends into a story of forbidden feelings, lust, and a convoluted kind of love.
Related: The Power of the Dog Review: Uttering the Unutterable
It is a modern LGBTQ+ classic, amongst the likes of Moonlight and Call Me by Your Name, traversing the story of ranch owner Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch), a cruel man, rancorous, and ill-disposed toward his brother George (Jesse Plemons) who brings his new wife and son to live with them. It transpires, through several passages, that Phil is a closeted gay man, as he strikes up a friendship with Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee).
Gary Oldman stars as Herman J. Mankiewicz in David Fincher’s monochrome showpiece, Mank. Winning two Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, and Best Set Design, Mank shoots into life, or rather, stumbles as a 40-something Mankiewicz arrives on the scene accompanied by two of his weight-bearers and a limp, having recently been discharged from hospital after a car accident left him with a broken leg. Instructed by a demanding, and unshackled Orson Welles, Mank is given a timeframe of just two months to pen Citizen Kane.
David Fincher’s movie jumps back and forth between the early 1930s and the Mank’s present, physically impeded, and often alcoholically-induced state as he rushes to complete the (now) world-renowned, and highly-esteemed screenplay from the confines of his bed, with his transcribing assistant and secretary, Rita Alexander (Lily Collins).
Set against the backdrop of 1970s Mexico City, Alfonso Cuaron’s modern black and white drama Roma is an atmospheric masterpiece that encapsulates a segment of a Mexican family’s life. Claiming three Academy Awards, the film confronts the idea of forced single-parenthood and the idea that it takes a community to raise a child. A family of six, living with two au pairs soon becomes a family of five, as the mother, a pregnant Sofía is left by her seemingly ever-absent husband, Antonio in favor of his mistress.
Roma is a reminder of the wonders of the human spirit, the resilience of a family that is facing adversity, and that class is simply a social construct that doesn’t separate some of life’s fundamental experiences, like domestic worker Cleo, and Sofía’s affairs of the heart.

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