The Academy Awards are just a few weeks away, which means we’re only about a month out from the red carpet, gold statues and probably a bizarre acceptance speech or two. But while you’re waiting for the Academy to crown a new Best Picture, why not catch up on some past winners on Netflix (NFLX)?
You won’t be able to find all of the Oscar-winning movies on Netflix streaming, but there’s still a respectable selection. The Netflix streaming list features everything from historical romances to contemporary dark comedies to, um … more historical romances.
Okay, so the Academy likes a particular type of movie. But the point is that these are good movies to watch on Netflix, and they’re worth your time. A couple of Best Picture winners, a couple of Best Actress winners and some awesome screenplays make these Oscar-winning movies contemporary classics.
Here are three of our favorite Oscar-winning movies to watch on Netflix before the Academy Awards on Mar. 2.
Oscar-Winning Movies to Watch on Netflix: Dances with Wolves
If you liked Avatar but hated all the space and aliens, you’ll love our first Oscar-winning movie on Netflix streaming: Dances with Wolves.
This drama stars Kevin Costner (who also directed) as a Civil War soldier who takes a post out on the American frontier. He encounters a Sioux tribe, falls in love with a medicine man’s daughter, and … well, you’ll have to watch the rest. (But we promise: No blue aliens.)
Dances with Wolves took home Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. It’s rare among Oscar-winning movies since it’s a western (only one other western film had taken home Best Picture before it). But the movie was a runaway success at the box office, pulling in roughly nine times its budget, making this one of the top Oscar-winning movies to watch on Netflix.
Oscar-Winning Movies to Watch on Netflix: Fargo
Fargo is one of those rare films that happens to be very dark, but also deeply funny. No wonder it’s on our list of Oscar-winning movies to watch on Netflix.
Frances McDormand stars as a police chief investigating murders in the snow-covered plains of Fargo, N.D. Much of the suspense comes from the mystery at the heart of the plot, so we’ll just say that the plot gets more compelling (and bloodier) as it unravels.
Frances McDormand took home a Best Actress Oscar for her role in the film. Joel and Ethan Coen took home Oscars for Best Original Screenplay. While there are a lot of funny movies to watch on Netflix, none of them are quite so dark or original as Fargo.
Oscar-Winning Movies to Watch on Netflix: Shakespeare in Love
Shakespeare in Love is probably one of the best Oscar-winning movies, full stop … which makes it a natural choice for our list of Oscar-winning movies to watch on Netflix.
Shakespeare in Love achieves the remarkable feat of taking the same kind of witty humor and romance from Shakespeare’s plays (well, some of his plays — King Lear not so much) and infusing that into a story about his life. It’s charming, it’s funny and it’s all manner of entertaining.
The film took home seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay. Perhaps most impressively, Judi Dench won her Best Supporting Actress award in just eight minutes of screen time.
So if you’re looking for Oscar-winning movies to watch on Netflix before this year’s Academy Awards roll around, these three picks are sure to please.
Adam Benjamin is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.