We are well into the month of February now, and that means that the 88th Academy Awards are right around the corner. The Oscars give us the opportunity to host fancy parties, dress up, and shamelessly gawk at celebrities on the Red Carpet.
But most importantly, Oscar season also gives us an excuse to watch tons of movies. Now, you could fill your time blitz-watching every single movie nominated for an Oscar this year. Or, you could use one of our specially crafted Oscar movie marathons designed to highlight past Oscar winners, and to take you through years of film history. There’s something here for everyone, so check out our five Oscar marathons to get you ready for the big day.
Best Animated Feature Marathon
The Academy Award for Best Animated Feature is a relatively new award. Shrek was the inaugural winner in 2001, and since that time, plenty of amazing animated movies have won the award. As such, it’s fitting to begin the marathon with Shrek. The rest of the order is up to you, but I like to fly through a few of my favorite Disney winners next, including Up, Toy Story 3, and then either Frozen or Big Hero 6, depending on how sick you are of hearing “Let it Go”. Finally, wrap it up with one of the most interesting Animated Feature winners of all time, Spirited Away.
Movies: Shrek (Best Animated Feature, 2001) Up (Best Animated Feature, 2009) Toy Story 3 (Best Animated Feature, 2010) Frozen or Big Hero 6 (Best Animated Feature, 2013 and 2014) Spirited Away (Best Animated Feature, 2002)
8 hours and 40 minutes
This marathon celebrates five films with some of the very best music to be put into a movie. Each movie was either won an Oscar for Best Original Score, or Best Original Song. It would be easy to simply fill this marathon with movies scored by John Williams, but try to branch out and include some different movies other than just Spielberg/Williams collaborations.
Start off with the recognizable scores in Chariots of Fire. Then, give yourself a bit of culture shock by moving on to 8 Mile, before heading to the most famous score of all time with Star Wars Episode IV. After Star Wars, get ready for the sweet, sweet sounds of Phil Collins in Tarzan, and then bring it home with a score of a different sort with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Movies: Chariots of Fire (Best Original Score, 1984 — Vangelis) 8 Mile (Best Original Song, 2004, “Lose Yourself” — Eminem, Jeff Bass, and Luis Resto) Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Best Original Score, 1977 — John Williams) Tarzan (Best Original Song, 1999, “You’ll Be in My Heart” — Phil Collins) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Best Original Score, 200 — Tan Dun)
9 hours and 30 minutes
Best Visual Effects Marathon
Let’s get to the cool stuff, shall we? As we know it, Academy Award for Best Visual Effects has been around since 1977. Since that time, although it isn’t considered one of the “big” Oscar categories, it is pretty rare to see a great movie with crappy visual effects, making this an important category. Each movie in this marathon has won an Oscar for Visual Effects, and I like to watch these movies in chronological order to gain an appreciation for just how far visual effects have come.
Start your marathon with the 1988 classic live action/cartoon crossover, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? After that, move on to bigger and better things with Jurassic Park, followed by Independence Day and The Matrix. Then, witness a major jump in the visuals category with Avatar, and finish the night on a confusing, yet awesome note, with Inception.
Movies: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (Best Visual Effects, 1988) Jurassic Park (Best Visual Effects, 1993) Independence Day (Best Visual Effects, 1996) The Matrix (Best Visual Effects, 1999) Avatar (Best Visual Effects, 2009) Inception (Best Visual Effects, 2010)
13 hours and 45 minutes
Best Actors/Actresses Marathon
Say goodbye to the epic visuals of the last marathon, because this category is all about drama. Mostly. Each of these movies features an Oscar-winning performance from an actor or actress, and it spans through more than 60 years of movie history. Like the Visual Effects marathon, watching these movies in chronological order is the way to go.
Star the night with Roman Holiday, the only film for which Audrey Hepburn won an Oscar for her role. Move on to the emotional To Kill a Mockingbird, with Gregory Peck’s legendary performance. Keep those emotions running high for Rain Man and Driving Miss Daisy, and don’t forget that Jessica Tandy still holds the record for the oldest woman to win the Best Actress award.
Finally, if you need an action break, turn on Gladiator before ending the night with The Blind Side.
Movies: Roman Holiday (Best Actress. 1953 — Audrey Hepburn) To Kill a Mockingbird (Best Actor, 1962 — Gregory Peck) Rain Man (Best Actor, 1988 — Dustin Hoffman) Driving Miss Daisy (Best Actress, 1989 — Jessica Tandy) Gladiator (Best Actor, 2000 — Russell Crowe) The Blind Side (Best Actress, 2009 — Sandra Bullock)
12 hours and 45 minutes
Best Picture Marathon
This marathon is dedicated to the granddaddy of them all, the Academy Award for Best Picture. Typically, though not always, the award for Best Director also goes to the film that wins Best Picture, and this marathon reflects that notion.
Taking us through almost 75 years of movie magic, this marathon highlights some of the most important, memorable, and epic movies to ever win the Academy’s highest accolade. Again, chronological order is the way to go here.
Start with the ever-memorable Casablanca, and then move on to The Sound of Music. Don’t like musicals? Too bad. Watch it anyways. After The Sound of Music, get your training montage on with Rocky, and then grab some snacks, maybe even a box of chocolates, for Forrest Gump.
Finally, continue on to a more modern era of Best Picture winners with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Edition, of course), and then wrap up with the fantastic and intense Argo, the only movie in this marathon that didn’t also win Best Director. This is, by far, the longest marathon, so bathroom breaks will be required.
Movies: Casablanca (Best Picture, 1943) The Sound of Music (Best Picture, 1965) Rocky (Best Picture, 1976) Forrest Gump (Best Picture, 1994) Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Best Picture, 2003) Argo (Best Picture, 2012)
15 hours and 30 minutes (14 hours and 30 minutes if you watch the theatrical version of Return of the King)
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