Know why 1997 was an unusual Oscar year? (Hint: it involved As Good As It Gets.) As the Academy prepares to announce its nominations for 2015, check out the former Oscar winners and nominees playing this weekend on broadcast and standard cable stations.
The Fugitive (1993)
One of the few “action” films to be nominated for Best Picture, this adaptation of the popular television show of the 1960s scored a Best Supporting Actor award for Tommy Lee Jones. Surprisingly, Harrison Ford was snubbed for a Best Actor nomination, despite the depth of his portrayal of a physician accused of murder. Look for future Oscar winner Julianne Moore in a small role as a suspicious nurse in a hospital.
Friday, January 8, 5 p.m. and Saturday, January 9, 11 a.m., AMC
Big movies that score at the box office aren’t always high on the Academy’s list of contenders. While Jaws did win three Oscars (for sound, music and film editing) – and was a nominee for Best Picture – it was overlooked for Best Director (Steven Spielberg) and Best Actor (Richard Dreyfuss or Roy Scheider). Ignoring Spielberg was quite controversial at the time given the film’s popularity. But Oscar often has a mind of his own.
Friday, January 8, 6 p.m. and Saturday, January 9, 11:30 a.m., Syfy
As Good As It Gets (1997)
Only seven times in Oscar history have the awards for Best Actor and Best Actress gone to performers in the same film. No one was surprised when Jack Nicholson won his third Oscar for playing an engaging curmudgeon but many were stunned when Helen Hunt was honored for her inconsistent performance as a likable waitress. Most film fans favored Judi Dench for her recreation of Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown.
Friday, January 8, 9 p.m., POP
American Graffiti (1972)
Before George Lucas traveled to a galaxy far, far away, he visited the streets of a small town in California in late summer before close friends begin their next adventures. At the time, the film was a surprise nominee for Best Picture, Director, Story and Screenplay, and Supporting Actress (Candy Clark who reportedly spent her own money on advertisements for her nomination). Today, we recognize the film as a minor classic and total delight.
Saturday, January 9, 12 p.m., Flix
The Social Network
When Oscar season began, most observers expected this film to dominate the awards after it won several critics’ awards. But, on Oscar night, it fell to runner-up status while The King’s Speech walked off with the big awards. Fortunately, Aaron Sorkin won a well-deserved award for the film’s screenplay as did the movie’s editing and original music score. Looking back, it’s still difficult to understand why this outstanding film did not prevail.
Saturday, January 9, 8 p.m., FXM
Scent of a Woman (1992)
For years, it looked like Al Pacino would join Cary Grant, Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton on the list of actors overlooked for Oscars. This actor was nominated for The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, And Justice for All and Dick Tracy before finally winning an Oscar for this exaggerated performance, the same year he was also nominated (in the supporting category) for his strong work in Glengarry Glen Ross. It was time.
Sunday, January 10, 12 p.m., Sundance
Sharing movies can be as easy as turning on the television or going online. And, when you watch as a family, take the time to chat about what you’re seeing.
That makes it even more fun.