Top 10 Academy Awards Best Picture Winners
With the Oscars set to air on Sunday, the Super Bowl for movie geeks is obviously on my mind at the moment. However maddening, controversial, and self-serving as the Oscars may be at times, at the end of the day, it is still a celebration of cinema that inspires intelligent conversations and debates about the art of motion pictures.
Now, it’s no secret that the Best Picture winners are sometimes anything but. A lot of winners have faded from the public eye (“Tom Jones” and “A Beautiful Mind” come to mind), some winners are truly baffling (“Crash”??), a few films were robbed of the award (“Pulp Fiction,” “Star Wars,” and “Citizen Kane”), and there are many instances in which the best films didn’t even get nominated for Best Picture (1933’s “King Kong,” “The Dark Knight,” and much more). With all of that said, sometimes the Academy gets it right and that’s what this top 10 list is about.
- The Apartment- An expertly acted, ahead of its time drama-comedy courtesy of the late great Billy Wilder.
- Unforgiven- Clint Eastwood’s brilliant western is one of those rare films that gets better with age.
- Rocky- A truly inspirational boxing story that captured the hearts of moviegoers everywhere.
- The Godfather- The title says it all. Nothing more needs to be said.
- The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King- Whether or not this is the best film in the LOTR trilogy is entirely up debate, but one thing is for sure, this triumphant final chapter was wholly deserving of its Best Picture win.
- The Godfather 2- It’s rare to see a sequel nominated for Best Picture let alone one that wins the prestigious award. It’s also rare to find a sequel that is on par if not better than the original.
- The Bridge On The River Kwai- Movies don’t get much better than David Lean’s epic about the horrors of war.
- Casablanca- As time goes by (lame pun intended), it’s clear that “Casablanca” was Best Picture worthy as it has long been heralded as one of the greatest films in cinema history.
- The Best Years Of Our Lives- A deeply moving post WWII movie that doesn’t get nearly enough love.
- Silence of the Lambs- The tenth spot could have gone to a few films, but ultimately, ‘Silence’ won out. To me, it was refreshing to see the Academy recognize a thriller/horror film. As you can tell from the past winners, the voters simply don’t recognize movies like this so it was a big win for genre fans.
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