By Blake Mandelberg
The 91st Academy Awards are approaching, and this year, they're causing more talk before they’ve even aired. That's because the show, originally to be hosted by Kevin Hart, won't have a host – a first since 1989. So what does this mean for the show (one that can still cause fun yearly traditions in the form of Oscars parties, yet also manage to bore a group of people)?
Likely, not a thing. As the saying goes, the show will go on.
We'll watch the fashion, praise and lament the winners, tweet obvious observations in the hopes of accruing likes, and, ultimately, still get bored. Which is why the movies themselves should count more than ever. At its core, this truly is a show for movie lovers. Rather than harping on the legitimacy of certain nominations, or deserved wins, let’s all instead celebrate the classics.
These beloved films set standards, became traditions, and even feel like the inspiration, in a way, for some of the nominated films of this year's Academy Awards. Some classic movies to watch include:
1. To watch after Green Book: Driving Miss Daisy. Since Mahershala Ali won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, Green Book has risen in the ranks and is huge for this year’s Oscars. The movie is about world class African American pianist Dr. Don Shirley, who headed out on tour in 1962. In need of a driver, and protection, he's connected with Tony Lip, a typical tough guy from the Bronx. Though the two come from completely different worlds, they forge a special bond and friendship.
While some have said this movie doesn't deserve so much praise, many others seem to completely disagree. In need of some inspiration after Green Book? Try Driving Miss Daisy, a 1989 film that is another true story about an unlikely driving duo. It also won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress.
2. After watching the most recent A Star Is Born, try the older versions. We've devoured every moment of Bradley Cooper's new rendition of A Star is Born, and why not? The movie has, well, him, great acting, and a killer plus now award-winning song in “The Shallow.” This remake is arguably the biggest, but people also love its predecessors. Try the Streisand version, or, if you're a real classic movie lover, go further back to Judy Garland's portrayal or even the 1937 version.
3. After Beautiful Boy, watch Ordinary People. Although these movies are different in every way, there are some parallels. Angst within a family, centered around a younger son, who gives an intense performance. In this case, Timothée Chalamet; back then, Timothy Hutton with a gut-wrenching (and Oscar-winning) portrayal of a son whose life and family is changed after his older brother dies. The Robert Redford-directed film also won the 1980 Best Picture Oscar.
It seems like a perfect movie to balance with the tough and emotional Beautiful Boy.
4. After Bohemian Rhapsody, watch The Doors. Bohemian Rhapsody tells the story of the legendary Freddie Mercury and his band, Queen. Though another film this year with controversy over its accuracy and more, it is still winning awards. If you want to stay in a rock biopic kind of mood, there are lots of classic movies to watch. But the first that comes to mind is Val Kilmer's dead-on impression of Jim Morrison in The Doors.
5. After Vice, Watch JFK. Vice tells the story of Vice President Dick Cheney, played by an unrecognizable Christian Bale. It's garnered critical acclaim for both Bale and the fast-paced screenplay. Though obviously much lighter in topic, it feels slightly reminiscent of Oliver Stone's political thriller JFK. That movie was nominated for Best Picture among other Academy Awards, and won for Best Cinematography and Editing.
Manhattan native, writer, story-teller and founder of NYC site Style Island. Obsessed with movies, (especially classics), 70's typography, Jean Paul Belmondo, and vintage. An old soul who can be found anytime devouring cappuccinos and discussing cinema.