As the Academy gets ready for its 2016 ceremony, check out the former Oscar winners and nominees playing this weekend on broadcast and standard cable stations.
Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
Julie Andrews was just 29 years old when she won her Oscar in 1964 for playing the magical nanny in Mary Poppins. A year later she was again a nominee for The Sound of Music and, in 1982, a Best Actress contender for Victor/Victoria. She captured a new audience in the 1990s with her magical rendition of the Queen of Genovia. This sequel reminds us why watching Julie on screen will always be one of our “favorite things” about the movies.
Friday, January 15, 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, January 16, 11 a.m., ABC Family
John Ford holds the record with four Oscars as Best Director. His wins — for The Informer, How Green Was My Valley, The Quiet Man and The Grapes of Wrath — illustrate a career focused on how people survive a range of challenges. This classic Western – for which Ford was Oscar nominated — stars John Wayne and Claire Trevor as strangers traveling through the West. Thomas Mitchell won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor the same year he played Mr. O’Hara in Gone With the Wind.
Friday, January 15, 7 p.m., Turner Classic Movies
Dead Poets Society (1989)
Each Oscar year brings surprise and, back in 1989, the top nominations for this drama stunned many movie fans. While the film was loved, for its human story of how an outrageous teacher impacts the lives of his students, few expected it to be remembered at Oscar time. But the film prevailed with nominations as Best Picture, Director (Peter Wier), Actor (Robin Williams) and, on Oscar night, an Academy Award to Tom Schulman for his screenplay.
Saturday, January 16, 2:15 p.m., Flix
Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)
Another Oscar surprise happened six years later when Richard Dreyfuss was nominated for Best Actor for playing an intense but likable music teacher in this inspirational drama from director Stephen Herek. Dreyfuss, who won an Oscar in 1977 for The Goodbye Girl, had not made a hit in several years when the film opened. But the public embraced Mr. Holland and, at Oscar time, so did the Academy.
Saturday, January 16, 4:30 p.m., Flix
The Social Network (2010)
Some years, the wrong movie is named Best Picture. Yes, Aaron Sorkin won an Oscar for writing this sterling recreation of the origin of Facebook, but the film lost the awards for Best Picture and Best Director to The King’s Speech. How could the Academy prefer the sentiment of a film about a challenged monarch to this groundbreaking work about a generation connected on line but not always in life? Sometimes the Academy can mystify.
Saturday, January 16, 7 p.m., ABC
A Thousand Clowns (1965)
In an Oscar year when the Best Picture contest pitted winner The Sound of Music against Doctor Zhivago, this lovely human comedy secured a surprise nomination for the top award. Jason Robards should have been nominated for recreating his Broadway role as an unconventional man who expects conventional things. And Martin Balsam won a well-deserved supporting Oscar as a conventional man with the potential to be so much more.
Sunday, January 17, 1 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
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.