Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Netflix Picks - 12 Must-See Films Starring This Year's Nominees

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Sometimes a person wins an Oscar or gets nominated and it starts to feel like maybe we've seen them before... Were they in something else? We might not know their names, but we can recognize their faces. Other times the nominees or winners are household names and super famous, but you may have missed some of their really great early films. Either way, this year's pool of Oscar nominees have some incredible films under their belts. Here are my picks for 12 great movies on Netflix starring 2016 Oscar nominees...

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1. A Little Chaos stars Oscar nominee Kate Winslet alongside recently deceased Alan Rickman who also directed the film. This film is a period romance about two gardeners who get involved while working on a project in King Louis XIV's palace at Versailles. While the film is set in France, it was actually all filmed in England and it's a great movie to curl up with on a rainy night when you can't be bothered to go out.
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2. About Time is quite possibly one of my all-time favorite films. Starring Oscar nominee Rachel McAdams, the film boasts a wealth of other watch-worthy cast members including Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Nighy and Margot Robbie. The story centers around a family in which the men are able to travel through time. It's a handy skill to be able to go back in time and change things you messed up, however the perfect imperfections of life soon become too important to be missed when the youngest male in the family falls in love. Featuring idyllic British beach scenes complete with cups of hot tea, a great soundtrack, loads of laughs and a few touching tears, About Time is one for the ages which is no surprise given that it was written by the same man who gave us Notting Hill, Love Actually and the Bridget Jones screenplays. It's a winner!

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3. When I first saw Begin Again, I said to my husband "That is the most hopeful film I think I've ever seen." Starring Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo alongside Keira Knightley, James Corden, Catherine Keener, Adam Levine and Hailee Steinfeld, this is a film about two people who meet each other on the worst day of their lives at what should be the end of their journeys, but they find out it's really only the beginning... It's about second chances and it's a beautiful film. If that doesn't convince you, it's worth noting that Keira Knightley's wardrobe in the film is absolutely brilliant - enough for style icon status in my opinion.

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4. Another Keira Knightley film, The Duchess features Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling and beautifully tells the story of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. If you don't love this movie for its historically exciting story, you'll love it for the costumes... Think the British version of Marie Antoinette.

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5. Fast Times at Ridgemont High is one of my all-time favorites. Starring Jennifer Jason Leigh who's nominated for her performance in The Hateful Eight, Fast Times is a high school coming of age film directed by Clueless director Amy Heckerling that also stars Judge Reinhold, Sean Penn, Forest Whitaker and Phoebe Cates. It's funny and if for no other reason, watch it to see some of your favorite stars when they were younger.

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6. Matt Damon may be nominated for Best Actor in The Martian this year, but he claimed an Oscar already in the 90's for a film he wrote in college and also starred in. Good Will Hunting is a wonderful movie about a young janitor at M.I.T. who just so happens to be talented at math, but needs some help from a psychologist to get on the right track. The film also stars Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck and Minnie Driver.
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7. Another great Rachel McAdams film Morning Glory is about a young morning news producer who lands a job working with some unpredictable anchors played by Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton. Also starring Jeff Goldblum, Ty Burrell and Patrick Wilson, Morning Glory is touching comedy that will have you laughing, crying and singing along to the great soundtrack.
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8. I was 15 when Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet came out, starring My So-called Life's mega it-girl Claire Danes and my life-long crush, Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio. I'm pretty sure I watched the fish tank scene about a million times when I was a teenager... Swoon! Don't be fooled or scared off by the Shakespeare element - this is a modern conceptual version of the classic drama and features an incredible soundtrack that's worth listening to on its own. Grab a tissue, curl up on the couch and be prepared to fall in love with Leo all over again.
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9. Oscar nominee Alicia Vikander stars in Testament of Youth, a film that's based on a true story of a young woman coming of age during World War I. This is a beautiful film and Vikander is stunning in it... Well worth watching!

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10. One of my favorite films, The Aviator is a biopic about the legendary Howard Hughes and stars two of this year's nominees, Cate Blanchett who won the Oscar for her portrayal of Kathrine Hepburn and Leonardo DiCaprio who was nominated for his turn as Howard Hughes, the aviator himself. This is a grand film about the golden age of Hollywood and a man who had all the advantages, but not so much luck. If you don't love the story, you'll die over the glamorous hairstyles, gorgeous make-up and vintage fashion!

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11. I recently re-watched The Talented Mr. Ripley and I'm happy to report that it still holds up as a great film. Starring two nominees Cate Blanchett and Matt Damon, this film is quite possibly one of the most stylish movies I've ever seen. It's also a little creepy...

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12. Winter's Bone is a film that really got me... It's not for the faint of heart or anyone who's looking for a feel-good movie. Winter's Bone stars Jennifer Lawrence who's nominated this year for her 4th Academy Award, as a young girl in the meth-ridden Ozarks who's trying desperately to save her family. This was the film that earned her the first nomination when she was just a teenager, only 6 years ago. This is a powerful film with a heart-breaking story about poverty in America.

Keep checking back for more Netflix picks and in the meantime, if you've seen anything great you'd like to recommend, leave me a comment below, head over to @PinkJulep on Instagram and leave me a comment there or Tweet to @PinkJulep
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