Sunday, February 27, 2011

K-State Unrelated #1: Best Picture Winners

In honor of the Academy Awards tonight, I'm doing my first non-K-State sports post. The topic: Winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture. Since around two years ago, I've been working my way through all of them and up till now I've seen every Best Picture Winner since 1939 (winner- You Can't Take It With You). I'm not exactly proud of this, as it means I've wasted A LOT of my time watching movies, but it makes for an interesting blog post nonetheless. Following is my top 10 winners of Best Picture. Remember, this is NOT my top 10 movies of all time. It is my top 10 OF MOVIES WHO HAVE WON BEST PICTURE. So here goes.

1. Gladiator (2001)
This movie has everything. Incredible acting from Russel Crowe, Joakin Phoenix, and practically everyone else. Moving, original music. Sweet battle scenes. Themes, motifs, history, and just an overall epic story. Not only is this my favorite best picture-winner, it's my favorite movie of all time.

2. Forrest Gump (1995)
Witty, smart, charming, hilariously funny. Watching this movie I feel like I can quote every single line and still laugh till I cry. Tom Hanks is perfect, the story is moving, and I just can't get enough.

3. Slumdog Millionaire (2009)
Call me a sap, but I love this movie. Anything that has to do with fate, I usually fall for, and this story told in a unique fashion about love in the slums of India takes the cake. It is written.

4. Crash (2006)
Many people criticize this movie for being too cynical, not offering ways to fix racism, only bringing our attention to it. But anyone that believes racism is dead should watch this movie, because it shows very clearly how it is not. Combine that with an interweaving story, beautiful scenes and depictions, and some great cinematography, and you've got a fantastic movie that makes me cry every single time I watch it.

5. Rain Man (1989)
Two epic performances from Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman fuel this beautiful, funny, moving movie that I just love. Quotable throughout and a story that instantly grips you, I once watched this movie three times in one day.

6. Titanic (1998)
I know, I know. But sappy romance movie aside, this movie is just plain epic. The graphics (for the day), the cinematography, the story, and the music (my God, the MUSIC!) make this movie one of the best ever. Any time it's on TV (and that's plenty), I can't miss it.

7. The Sound of Music (1966)
Julie Andrews at her greatest. Rogers and Hammerstein at their best. Those two statements alone make this movie one of the greatest. I sing along, enjoy every second, and feel so much better after listening to "Climb Every Mountain" among all the amazing others.

8. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2004)
Even though it was only the third movie in this trilogy that won, everyone knew it was for the series as a whole, and really it's probably the greatest trilogy of all time. (And yes, I love Star Wars too). Peter Jackson created these epic masterpieces of Middle Earth just as I believe Tolkein would have done himself. The acting is impeccable, the music great, and the cinematography and scenes will make you desperately want to visit Middle Earth (or is it New Zealand?)

9. Casablanca (1944)
Even if you've never seen it, you'll feel like you've heard every line from this movie. And you probably have. But that's what makes it so epic. Almost every movie made after this took something from this masterpiece of black-and-white film-making. Innovative, beautiful, and once again some great acting make it another great one.

10. Gone With the Wind (1940)
Yes, it's four hours. But it's four hours of gloriousness. Not only is the music awesome, the acting incredible, and the story just plain epic, IT'S IN AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL TECHNICOLOR. In 1940. I was blown away by the cinematography. Nothing like it was seen for at least another twenty years. And if that isn't enough to convince you well, frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. ;)

So there you have it. My top 10 best pictures. I'd appreciate any comments on agree/disagree.

And if you want a prediction for tonight here's a quick one: Best Picture is, I believe, between The Social Network and The King's Speech. The Social Network has the contemporary commentary that the Academy loves, but The King's Speech has the acting, cinematography, story-telling, and pretty much everything else. I'm thinking King's Speech.



  1. I enjoyed your blog entry. I am a movie FANatic as well and I will be watching every minute of Oscar coverage before during and after. I think the King's Speech will win Best Picture.

  2. Of those I have only seen LOTR, Titanic, Slumdog, Gladiator and Forest Gump. I would reorder as follows:

    Slumdog - LOTR - Forest Gump - Gladiator - Titanic

    You're the man.