Some classic cinema to tide you over Christmas
Christmas shouldn't just be the preserve of Die Hard and It's a Wonderful Life (although both absolutely must be watched annually). While everyone should indulge in some festive viewing, the holidays are also a good time to kick back and watch some quality classics. Here are eight Oscar-winning films you can watch right now on Netflix that you might want to consider.
Sidney Lumet's blistering satire about a TV network that exploits a deranged former news anchor in pursuit of profits. In its day this was a far-fetched black comedy; in recent years it's become strikingly prophetic.
Arguably the Coen's greatest masterpiece (and since expanded upon by two magnificent TV series), the story of a kidnapping gone wrong is the blackest of comedies set in the whitest of landscapes. A magnificent cast bring to life some of cinema's greatest characters.
Initial reports suggested this (then the most expensive film of all time) was dead in the water, but James Cameron confounded the critics with what became the biggest box office hit of all time (until he beat his own record with Avatar). Loved and hated in equal measure, there's no denying that Cameron is one of cinema's greatest action directors.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
It's easy to forget that Paul Newman and Robert Redford only made two films together (also The Sting), such is the incredible chemistry on display. This story of two Wild West fugitives on the run also has a cracking script and an unforgettable final scene.
Annie Hall (1977)
The last of Woody Allen's 'early, funny ones', Annie Hall is arguably the perfect romantic comedy with a deft script full of classic, quotable lines. A formidable cast (including supporting turns from Sigourney Weaver and Christopher Walken) are all on top form, and the central relationship is beautifully drawn.
Another classic from Sidney Lumet and a hark back to the times when Al Pacino was able to deliver a subtle performance. He's perfect here as real life NYPD officer Frank Serpico, the one good cop in a bad town, who risks his life to uncover a police force riddled with corruption.
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Sidney Poitier goes head to head with Rod Steiger as a black police detective sent to investigate a murder in smalltown Mississippi. Norman Jewison's fiery drama reflected the racial politics of the time, particularly in the southern US, and it remains both shocking and sadly relevant.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Another exploration of racial injustice in America's deep south, this beloved drama features Gregory Peck in his signature role (also look out for a very young Robert Duvall). It was based on the late Harper Lee's only novel until last year's sequel/original draft, Go Set a Watchman, was controversially published.