Now that the smoke has cleared at the Oscars and Argo, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Christoph Waltz, Anne Hathaway, and Ang Lee have all taken home their trophies for the major awards, it’s natural not to want to let the moment end. But except for Argo, none of the winning movies are out on VOD yet, so if you need a little more J-Law or A-Hath or, uh, D.D.-Lew? D-Day-Lew? (not every name really works for that), we’ve assembled some of the best past work by the 2013 Oscar winners, all available to watch instantly at Blockbuster On Demand!
Daniel Day Lewis, Best Actor for Lincoln
We don’t know about you but we were struck during DDL’s unprecedented third Best Actor acceptance speech by what a diminutive, unassuming, small-voiced, slightly effeminate fellow he is, in stark contrast to his other two Oscar-winning performances: in My Left Foot, where he played a sclerotic poet either drinking, verbally abusing someone, or convulsing (usually more than one at a time); and even more so, in There Will Be Blood, where he played deep-voiced, imposing, intimidating oil baron Daniel Plainview. Has anyone else ever actually been able to make their eyes gleam with evil? DDL does it here, and it’s the most impressive transformation into a character we can think of.
Jennifer Lawrence, Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook
Could this gal have stolen America’s heart any more decisively than she did Sunday night? Did you see her meet Jack Nicholson? Is there anyone not on board with Jennifer Lawrence right now? Her performance in Silver Linings Playbook was great: manic and charming at the same time (not an easy combination to pull off), so if you’re hankering for more, her Oscar-nominated turn in Winter’s Bone as a young girl taking care of her siblings and mentally ill mother in dirt-poor Missouri meth country should get you over the hump. It’s a very different performance from Silver Linings, but then that’s why they hand out trophies for this kind of thing. Likewise, Lawrence provided a welcome shot of both pathos and charisma in the role of shapeshifting alien Mystique in X-Men: First Class.
Anne Hathaway, Best Supporting Actress for Les Miserables
In the whole field of Oscar nominees, the easiest one to bet money on to win was Anne Hathaway for her role in Les Mis. It’s hard to find anything as intense or as soul-baring as that in her previous work — or anyone’s, for that matter — but to show how much range she has, don’t forget she was a shining bright spot in The Dark Knight Rises, the super intense, perhaps too grim capper to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. And for a third totally different tone, check her out in The Devil Wears Prada, which could have been a very by-the-numbers “ingenue in the big city” but is elevated with strong turns by Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, and of course Meryl Streep, nominated for her 83rd Oscar as Vogue editor Anna Wintour. We mean, “Runway” editor “Miranda Priestly.”
Ang Lee, Best Director for Life of Pi
It’s hard to imagine a bigger filmmaking challenge than to set an entire movie in a rowboat on the ocean with a young boy and a tiger as your only characters, but Ang Lee not only pulled it off, Life of Pi was nominated for Best Picture and 11 other Oscars, winning four. Ang Lee has had a very diverse career from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to Hulk to Taking Woodstock, but for me his best movie is The Ice Storm, a suburban drama set over Thanksgiving 1973, as both adult and adolescent characters struggle to break out of ennui, boredom, and well-worn roles through drink, drugs, sex, and of course, putting all their car keys in a bowl. Lee also won a Best Director for 2005′s Brokeback Mountain, the poignant story of a love more forbidden than most in 1960s Wyoming, starring Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams.
Quentin Tarantino, Best Original Screenplay for Django Unchained
Whatever else you want to say about Quentin Tarantino, give him this: the man can spin a good yarn. Over the last 20 years he’s written quite a few great screenplays, and Django was certainly no exception, but his best films were both from very early on: True Romance, his first produced script, was directed by Tony Scott and was as clear a mission statement as any artist could ever hope for. The off-topic conversational dialogue, the wall-to-wall pop culture references, the over-the-top violence, the matter-of-fact drug use… it’s all there. And, Tarantino’s directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs, may be his tightest script of all: the aftermath of a jewel heist gone wrong turns into a circular firing squad as the crooks try and figure out which of them tipped off the cops.
Ben Affleck, producer, director, and star of Best Picture winner Argo
The win for Argo, the snubs for Actor and Director notwithstanding, was Affleck’s second Oscar. The first was for co-writing the screenplay for Good Will Hunting, a surprisingly assured debut script about a math whiz with a troubled background. Then there was about 10 years of increasingly not so good movies, and then Affleck re-emerged in 2007 as the director of Gone Baby Gone, a tight kidnapping thriller starring Ben’s brother Casey (whom many consider to be a better actor than his big brother) and drawing on Affleck’s love of his hometown to make Boston a character in the movie. Affleck’s second feature as director, The Town, he took the lead role for himself, and although I didn’t like the movie quite as much as Gone Baby Gone it was nominated for Best Picture, which set the stage for Sunday’s Argo triumph. I’m happy for Mr. Affleck and I wish him continued success, but let us never forget: Gigli happened.