With the Oscars just weeks away, movies on television this weekend offer a fresh look at favorite winners and nominees from past years.
Take a look at what’s showing on broadcast and cable television stations.
Dead Poets Society (1990)
Robin Williams won a well-deserved nomination for Best Actor for his magical work as a teacher with unconventional values and approaches. While some considered his role a supporting turn, his name was above the title, and his performance set the tone for the film. Tom Schulman won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (called, at the time, Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) while the film was also nominated for Best Picture and Director. And it captures Williams at his irreverent best.
Friday, January 29, 5:45 p.m., Flix
Monster in Law (2005)
This year, some movie fans predicted a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Jane Fonda for her small (but flashy) role in Youth. While the actress was overlooked, she does have two Oscars to her credit, for Best Actress for Klute and Coming Home. After years off the screen, Fonda began to make a comeback (a word she dislikes) in this mild comedy opposite Jennifer Lopez. While the film is predictable, Fonda makes the most of each moment as a mother-in-law who can’t be overlooked. The actress has a great time reconnecting with the camera that loves her.
Friday, January 29, 5:30 p.m., WE
The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996)
Movie legend Lauren Bacall was considered a sure thing on Oscar night for her substantive turn as Barbra Streisand’s mother in this mildly touching romantic comedy. While the movie suffers from predictable scripting and heavy directing (by Ms. Streisand) Bacall shines as a woman who embraces the passage of time with humor, clarity and a sense of self. The actress makes us realize how many roles she could have played in a performance of depth and power. But the Academy surprised everyone by giving the Oscar to Juliette Binoche for The English Patient.
Friday, January 29, 8 p.m., Flix
Apollo 13 (1995)
For much of 1995, this film by Ron Howard was considered the favorite to sweep the Oscars. But, when the nominations were announced, the director’s name was missing even though he was up for (and later won) the Director’s Guild award. So the film, even though a finalist for Best Picture, never had a real chance for Academy attention. Ed Harris and Kathleen Quinlan scored nominations in the supporting categories and the film was nominated for its screenplay, art direction, visual effects and music. But it lost the big award to Braveheart.
Saturday, January 30, 11 a.m., TNT
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Many Oscar observers expect this to be the year at Leonardo DiCaprio walks away with an Oscar for his devastating turn in The Revenant. Back in 2002, the actor had a great time on screen as a young man who maneuvers his way through life pretending to be other people. While this true story did not make much happen at the Oscars – with nominations for Christopher Walken (for Best Supporting Actor) and John Williams’ music – DiCaprio and costar Tom Hanks have a great time making us smile at the movies.
Saturday, January 30, 2 p.m., TNT
The Way We Were (1973)
Many people believed Barbra Streisand would (and should) win a second Best Actress award for her portrayal of a young activist who faces romantic challenges because of her political beliefs. On Oscar night, Streisand arrived late at the ceremony (because she was filming Funny Lady) and waited backstage in case she won. But, in one of Oscar’s most outrageous surprises, the award went to Glenda Jackson for a rare comedy performance in the old fashioned by entertaining A Touch of Class. While Barbra left empty handed, the film did win Oscars for composer Marvin Hamlisch for Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Song.
Sunday, January 31, 3:30 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
As the countdown to Oscar continues, look for more suggestions for family viewing next week! Until then, see you at the movies.