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Skip the long speeches and settle in for some quality filmmaking with this collection of Oscar-nominees and winners. Now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Staff writers

2 Mar 2018 - 11:22 AM  UPDATED 2 Mar 2018 - 11:22 AM

Winter's Bone

USA, 2010
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Debra Granik
Starring: John Hawkes, Garret Dillahunt, Jennifer Lawrence
What's it about?
Jennifer Lawrence is now a familiar face among Oscar nominees (and winners), and it all started with her indie turn as a steely teenager in Debra Granik's Winter's Bone. Lawrence hacks through dangerous territory as she hunts down a drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact and save their home from being repossessed. Nominated for four Oscars at the 2011 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. 

Winter's Bone Review


Poland, 2014
Genre: Drama
Language: Polish
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Starring: Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Joanna Kulig, Dawid Ogrodnik
What's it about?
In 1960s Poland, a novitiate (Agata Trzebuchowska) brought up by nuns in a convent, is set to take her vows, but discovers that she is actually Jewish. She discovers an aunt she never knew existed Agata Kulesza) and together they discover a dark family secret dating back to the Nazi occupation. Winner of Best Foreign Language Film, 2015 Academy Awards.

A Minute With: 'Ida' director Pawlikowski on Oscars, Poland
'Ida' Wins Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film
Poland's Ida gets big Oscar bang by staying small
Ida Review


Spain, Mexico, 2010
Genre: Drama
Language: Spanish
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Starring: Javier Bardem, Eduard Fernández, Maricel Alvarez
What's it about?
This multiple Oscar nominee of 2011 tells the story of Uxbal (Javier Bardem), who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality within the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona. 

Bardem plays Biutiful on- and off-screen
Biutiful Review

Man on Wire

United Kingdom, 2000
Genre: Documentary
Language: English
Starring: Philippe Petit, Annie Allix
What's it about?
A daredevil, a maverick, a dreamer, an artist: Philippe Petit is all of these things and more. On a slightly windy day in the summer of 1974, a lone figure appeared high above the heads of the people of Manhattan, balancing perfectly on a high wire strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. For almost an hour, the performer danced on the wire, ignoring the pleas from police to get down, simply rejoicing in his artistic expression. This "coup" marked the culmination of several months of planning, during which Petit and his rag-tag bunch of conspirators would become implicated in a feat considered "the artistic crime of the century".   Best Documentary Feature winner, 2009 Academy Awards. 

'Man On Wire' celebrates Philippe Petit's walk across the sky
Man on Wire: interview

Barry Lyndon

United Kingdom, 1975
Genre: Drama, Romance, War
Language: English
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Hardy Krüger, Patrick Magee, Marisa Berenson, Ryan O`Neal
What's it about?
Stanley Kubrick's sumptuous saga of Ireland In the Eighteenth Century,Redmond Barry is a rogue Irishman who is forced to leave England when he mistakenly believes he has killed the fiancé of his paramour in a duel. Robbed of all his money, he enlists in the British army to fight in the Seven Years War in Europe. Eventually he deserts only to be discovered as a charlatan by the Prussian Captain Potzdorf, and forced to serve in the much harsher Prussian army. At the end of the war, the Prussian police minister gives Barry a position in the household of the Chevalier de Balibari, a conman and gambler, so that Barry can spy on him. Barry and the Chevalier get on famously, as both are Irish, and Barry becomes the pupil of the conman. In this company, Barry is admitted to the highest social circles in Europe. The film was nominated for seven Oscars and won four, including best cinematography.  

Battle lives on for Kubrick's Barry Lyndon


Australia, 1996
Genre: Music, Drama, Biography
Director: Scott Hicks
Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Lynn Redgrave, Noah Taylor
What's it about?
Geoffrey Rush was at home on the podium at the 1997 Oscars to claim his best actor prize for his turn as Australia's piano prodigy David Helfgott (Geoffrey Rush). Scott Hicks' film examines Helfgott's journey from a childhood dominated by an overbearing father to his nervous breakdown as a young adult. When David is accepted to a prestigious music school in London as a teen, he's only too happy to escape his home life and pursue his passion for classical music. But his father's rejection and the pressures of mastering such concertos as Rachmaninoff's lead to his downward spiral into mental illness. Only the love of the one woman who truly understands him (Lynn Redgrave) can help him re-enter society and share his musical gifts with the world.

Shine: Cheat Sheet
Shine review: Mature, intelligent and profoundly moving

The White Ribbon

M, 2009
Genre: Crime, Drama
Language: German, Italian, Polish
Director: Michael Haneke
Starring: Ursina Lardi, Leonie Benesch, Ernst Jacobi, Christian Friedel, Ulrich Tukur
What's it about?
A tautly constructed whodunit set on the eve of World War I in a staunchly Protestant village in northern Germany. The village is plagued by a series of mysterious accidents – the doctor tumbles from his horse, a farmer’s wife falls to her death from a barn loft – which become increasingly more sinister and brutal. Neighbour turns against neighbour, even as the cruelty pervading the village breeds fresh atrocities. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2009 Academy Awards.

The White Ribbon Review: A compelling, gripping thriller

Purple Rain

USA, 1984
Genre: Drama, Romance, Music
Language: English
Director: Albert Magnoli
Starring: Prince, Apollonia Kotero, Morris Day
What's it about?
In his movie debut, Prince stars as 'the Kid', a Minneapolis musician on the rise with his band, the Revolution, escaping a tumultuous home life through music. While trying to avoid the same mistakes as his truculent father (Clarence Williams III), the Kid navigates the club scene and a rocky relationship with a captivating singer, Apollonia (Apollonia Kotero). But another musician, Morris (Morris Day) looks to steal the Kid's spotlight - and his girl. Prince won Best Music, Original Song Score at the 1985 Academy Awards for the unforgettable soundtrack. 

Prince's motorcycle jacket from 'Purple Rain' film going to auction
Purple Rain review: “Dig if You Will the Picture


France, Germany, 2012
Genre: Drama
Language: French
Director: Michael Haneke
Starring: Emmanuelle Riva, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Isabelle Huppert, Rita Blanco, William Shimell
What's it about?
Michael Haneke finally got a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2013 for his story of enduring love. Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack and the couple's bond of love is severely tested. Haneke was also nominated as Best Director at the 2011 Academy Awards for this film. 

Amour wins Oscar for best foreign language film - Oscars 2013
Amour review: Leave it to the master to tackle dying with dignity


Japan, 2008
Genre: Drama, Music
Language: Japanese
Director: Yôjirô Takita
Starring: Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Masahiro Motoki, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ryôko Hirosue
What's it about?
Daigo, a depressed and unemployed cellist, inadvertently finds himself after he takes a job preparing the dead for funerals. This exploration into Japanese perceptions surrounding death won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. 

Departures Review


USA, 1988
Genre: Drama, Music
Language: English
Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Forest Whitaker, Keith David, Sam Robards, Anna Levine, Bill Cobbs, Diane Venora, Damon Whitaker
What's it about?
Director Clint Eastwood, a noted jazz aficionado, directs this heartfelt study of pioneering bop saxophonist Charlie Parker (Forest Whitaker). Moving forward and backward through Parker's brief life before his death of a heroin overdose at age 34, the film foregrounds the saxophonist's difficult relationship with his wife, Chan Parker (Diane Venora), but also features lengthy scenes of Parker improvising on stage, lit with the neon and cigarette smoke of vintage jazz clubs. The film won Best Sound at the 1989 Oscars. 


USA, 1971
Genre: Thriller, Crime, Adventure, Action
Language: English, Hungarian
Director: Gordon Parks
Starring: Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi
What's it about?
Cool black private eye John Shaft is hired by a crime lord to find and retrieve his kidnapped daughter. Isaac Hayes won an Oscar for his wocka-wocka super hit 'Theme From Shaft'. 


The 90th Academy Awards will occur on Monday 5 March (in Australia). Join us at SBS Movies on Facebook and Twitter from midday AEDST for live commentary of the 90th Academy Awards ceremony.  

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