After watching your share of this year’s Oscar nominees, you might find yourself following the time-honored tradition of renting every tangentially related film in the hopes of finding something else just as good. Type in Slumdog Millionaire or The Wrestler, and Netflix will offer up recommendations that are “more like this.” But if you are looking for quirkier recommendations, the kind that you’d find at your local independent video store, then head on over to Clerkdogs. The human-curated movie recommendation site has an OscarMatch feature that suggests 400 films similar to this year’s crop of Oscar nominees.
On Netflix, if you are looking for movies that are like The Wrestler, for instance, it comes up with Requiem For a Dream (same director), Slums of Beverly Hills, Sideways, and Sin City (also starred Mickey Rourke). On Clerkdogs, it comes up with a bunch of down-on-their-luck fighter films: Raging Bull, Requiem for a Heavyweight, and Fat City, a 1972 boxing movie described as “equally downbeat.” The Mickey Rourke pick is the classic Barfly, which seems more appropriate, and the sleeper pick is a 2008 movie called Ballast, a movie about a poor family in Mississippi described as having a “similar style” as The Wrestler. I doubt any computerized recommendation engine would make that match unless it saw an overlap in people who rented both movies.
Take a look at the other nominees and you’ll find the same type of serendipitous recommendations. For Slumdog Millionaire , you get Monsoon Wedding and Salaam Bombay! Those make more sense to me than Netflix’s suggestions of Little Miss Sunshine, Trainspotting, and Thank You For Smoking. I’m not sure Clerkdogs’ OscarMatch always comes up with better recommendations, but it does come up with ones you won’t find elsewhere.