With the Oscars Sunday night, the weekend can be a movie festival featuring past winners and nominees before watching who wins this year! Check out what’s available on broadcast and standard cable stations.
Good Morning Vietnam (1987)
The late Robin Williams delivers one of his best-loved (and Oscar-nominated) performances in Barry Levinson’s tribute to an irreverent DJ who articulates a distinct point of view about the fighting in a war so many people question.
Friday, February 26, 7 p.m., Flix
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins star in Frank Darabont’s surprising Best Picture nominee as friends who dream of better lives. When the film failed to perform in theaters, few expected it to be in the mix on Oscar night. But it did. Deservedly.
Friday, February 26, 8 p.m., AMC
The Candidate (1972)
Even though some 44 years have passed since this brittle film won an Oscar for its screenplay, its truths about the superficiality of political campaigns become more relevant with each election cycle. This movie was years ahead of its time.
Friday, February 26, 9 p.m., Turner Classic Movies
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)
Oscar purists still question why Robert Donat – as a mild mannered teacher – was named Best Actor over iconic performances from Clark Gable (for Gone With the Wind) and James Stewart (for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington). But Oscar doesn’t always make sense.
Saturday, February 27, 11:30 a.m., Turner Classic Movies
While the movie lasts too long, and moves at a slow pace, director Richard Attenborough’s Best Picture winner captures the spirit of an inspirational leader. Even if the film did defeat E.T., Missing, Tootsie and The Verdict for the Oscar.
Saturday, February 27, 1:30 p.m., Turner Classic Movies
Chariots of Fire (1981)
People were stunned when this well-intentioned drama was named Best Picture over Reds (especially when Warren Beatty won Best Director), On Golden Pond, Atlantic City and Raiders of the Ark. This remains one of Oscar’s mysteries despite the film’s sincerity.
Saturday, February 27, 4:45 p.m., Turner Classic Movies
Breaking Away (1979)
This wondrous tale of a group of friends who love to bicycle was a surprise Best Picture contender after it failed to find much of an audience. The lovely Barbara Barrie was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for a warm turn as a caring mother.
Saturday, February 27, 7 p.m., Turner Classic Movies
The Apartment (1960)
A year after making people laugh with Some Like it Hot, writer/director Billy Wilder explores the cynicism of big business in this bitter comedy about selfish people. No one captures the essence of anger like Wilder. This one still works.
Sunday, February 28, 12:30 p.m., Turner Classic Movies
Going My Way (1944)
When America was at war, Hollywood tried to make people feel better. And few could succeed like Bing Crosby with his relaxed manner. Few may know that he actually won an Oscar as a Catholic priest in this Best Picture winner. It’s a lovely, uplifting tale, and perfect for its time.
Sunday, February 28, 4:45 p.m., Turner Classic Movies
Enjoy the Oscars!