Tag Archives: the godfather

Netflix Can Get You Ready For Awards Season

Award season is in full swing so I thought I would take this opportunity to make my first post of the new content I plan on bringing to showcase some of the movies available on Netflix that were either Best Picture winners or nominees. There are several movies available to choose from but I have chosen just a few of my personal favorites that you might enjoy.

The Godfather Parts 1 and 2

Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpieces are the first two that really stand out. Long considered two of the best films ever made as well as the only movies where both parts one and two BOTH won the best picture at the academy awards. While nominated for several awards each it might be surprising that they did not win as much as you would think of for such highly regarded masterpieces. With two outstanding performances by Al Pacino yet he received no hardware for either performance while his counterpart in the second installment, Robert De Niro received his first Oscar for playing a young Vito Corleone in Godfather Part II. if you are going to take a look at awards movies this is the perfect place to start.


The best picture winner at the 2016 awards ceremony is a hard-hitting look at the effects journalism can have on communities as well as the world. An in-depth look at how the Boston Globe single-handedly brought Boston’s powerful Catholic church to its knees and the domino effect it had on the country as well as the world. With an all-star cast it conveys the hard work and courage of those needed to tell this remarkable and harrowing story. You can read my full review from 2 years ago here.

The Shawshank Redemption

For years now Shawshank has been number 1 on IMDb’s viewers top 250 rated movies of all time with a 9.3 rating out of 10. With career-defining roles from Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, it is captivating from being to end the emotion that goes through the story goes equally through the viewer. Most shocking of all was that although nominated for 7 Academy Awards it walked away with exactly zero wins. It would be one of the movies that would go on to show the academy and viewers that time proves greatness, not ticket sales because the movie was ultimately considered not box office success. I wrote a commentary about this very thing a few years back and you can read it right here.

The Reader

Speaking of career-defining roles, The Reader was the movie that finally gave Kate Winslet her night on the podium to take home Oscar in 2009. She was a double nominee at the Golden Globes that year but it was The Reader that brought her gold that night. She plays Hannah Schmitz a former Nazi guard at a concentration camp who forms an unusual attachment to a young boy who she has a brief love affair with who she also enjoys having him read to her. The two are brought together again years later when he is a law student and she is put on trial for her war crimes in which her illiteracy leads to her being the only one convicted. As an adult, he strikes up a correspondence with her that ultimately leads to her putting an end to her illiteracy. You can also find other films of hers that are fantastic in a top 5 list I put together here.

Michael Clayton

Finally is one of George Clooney’s greats films and performance as the attorney/fixer, Michael Clayton. Nominated for 7 Academy Awards in 2008 which included the best picture and best actor for Clooney yet only brought home one for best-supporting actress for Tilda Swinton. Michael Clayton is an attorney with a special skillset who is used by a law firm to get the things done that no one else is willing to do. He is thrust into the firms biggest case when its lead attorney has a manic episode and threatens to wreck a case worth hundreds of millions of dollars. With an intense story that has you captured from start to finish Michael Clayton is without question a defining moment in the career of George Clooney. It also features an underrated supporting role for Sydney Pollack as this was his next to last acting role before he died in early 2008 just a few months after the Oscar ceremony. For other George Clooney selections, you may be interested in finding check out a top 5 list I put together here.

Well, there you have it, just a few movies worth checking out to get you in the mood for the always fun award season.

Top 5 Greatest Films Adapted From Novels

Since the dawn of motion pictures, the most obvious and most used source material has been the novel and books adapted to the film. Everything from short stories to the Bible has been turned into some of the best and worst movies of all time. To see our most beloved stories come to life in the most vivid way has kept audiences reading and watching for years and will continue to be. The following list is some of the most well known and most revered movies and books of all time. Some of the criteria for this list is that the movie has to be one of a kind, meaning no remakes allowed i.e. Dracula, Frankenstein etc. There are too many versions to have a definitive version. Another minor criteria is that the book needs to be as loved as the movie. This will leave this list open to much interpretation and much debate but here it is none the less.

 5. Jaws

Peter Benchley’s terrifying novel that did with words what the movie did with image is one of the most loved thriller stories of all time. It not only has kept audiences from going in the water for more than 35 years but has continued to find new fans every year. While it took years to get the book published it likewise took, what felt like years to the cast and crew, to make the film. It is quite possibly still the film most identified with it’s director, Steven Spielberg, despite his many iconic and highly regarded films. It’s adaptation of the meat of the story is still the perfect blockbuster film.


4. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy

While the films and books were eventually split into a trilogy, it was originally one large novel by famed imagination icon J.R.R. Tolkien. Peter Jackson and his crew and writing staff could not have more perfectly portrayed what has been in the minds of readers for nearly 60 years. his creation of Tolkiens fantasy land, Middle Earth, is nearly perfect. With an instant mass following and a desire for more, Jackson produced a trilogy in the exact way a film fan wants it done, quickly. One can only wonder if The Hobbit will make this list after it’s release in December.


3. Silence Of The Lambs

Thomas Harris second novel based around his creation of the canabalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter proved to be the most intriguing story and most well thought out. Ted Tally’s screenplay adaptation was nearly written for him in Harris’ book. Tally used a majority of dialogue and 90 percent of the book makes it on the screen. With performances that are to this day unparalleled. In the hands of a director clearly out of his comfort zone, Silence Of The Lambs struck fear in the minds of all who saw it and yet left everyone wanting more of Sir Anthony Hopkins chilling portrayal of Lecter.


2. The Godfather

The film and novel have likely become American institutions not unlike my number one choice. Mario Puzzo’s brilliant look inside the mafia has been described as so perfectly accurate that since it’s release many actual members of the mob use it as reference and refer to it often. While the film is not the most perfect adaptation it is none the less a piece of film icon. With performances that set the bar for all acting in film, it is quite possibly the most perfect film ever made and one of the most read novel to film adaptations of all time except for maybe one, our final film/book.

 1. Gone With The Wind

Margaret Mitchell’s take on the American Civil War from the view of the rich southern plantation owner is quite possibly the greatest American novel ever written and it’s film version is the most successful movie of all time. Having sold more theater tickets by far than any other movie (including Star Wars after 2 releases) Gone With The Wind is what classic Hollywood is all about. With classic lines to unforgettable scenes. No special effects will ever compete with the distant views of Sherman’s march through Atlanta. Mitchell’s house and spot of death (A location on Atlanta’s famed Peachtree Street) are historical sites along with the rare opportunity to see the film in the famed Fox theater. No film and novel have ever combined to be so revered in the history of this great combination.

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