Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins an Oscar and Spotlight wins Best Picture at the 88th Academy Awards. With yet another Academy Awards coming to a close, let's take a look back at the best of the Best Picture winning films, and if you missed it, click here for Part 1.
Clocking in at around three and a half hours, Ben-Hur is historical epic that follows the fictional character Ben-Hur on his journey that takes him through various historical events. From the incredible chariot race to seamlessly tying in Christ's resurrection into the film's plot, Ben-Hur truly is an epic in every sense of the word. Ben-Hur even won eleven Academy Awards, which is tied with Return of the King for the most all-time, so there is little doubt that Ben-Hur is one of the best?
My first exposure to Humphrey Bogart films, Casablanca is an undeniable classic of the romance genre. While it might not be Bogart's finest film, it is easily one of his many best. If you consider yourself a film fan and have not seen this classic, you are doing yourself a disservice. "Here's looking at you, kid."
3: The Bridge on the River Kwai
Based on the novel of similar name, The Bridge on the River Kwai deals with the psychological, opposed to physical, damage caused by the horrible tragedies that the Japanese put the Ally POWs through in World War II. Despite the heavy subject matter, the film is still very entertaining, largely thanks to Alec Guinness’ brilliant Oscar winning performance.
2: The Silence of the Lambs
As thrilling and it is disturbing, Silence of the Lambs blends a riveting mystery thriller with elements of horror. While the film is certainly not for the squeamish or faint of heart, the plot is brilliantly crafted from beginning to end. Thanks to exceptional performances from Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster, the film's plot was elevated even further, with the Academy even rewarding it the much deserved Best Picture. However, despite my praise, The Silence of the Lambs is not exactly a film I want to watch again anytime soon, if ever, but it is an unforgettable watch for sure.
1: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Could there be any other? The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King provides a fittingly epic and emotional conclusion to one of the greatest achievements in the film history. Despite being the first fantasy film to win Best Picture, the gateway to science fiction, comic book, and other fantasy films remains, unfortunately, closed in the minds of the Academy. Even though all of the LOTR films should have won Best Picture, since they all are equally amazing, The Return of the King more than deserved it the year it won. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, along with the other LOTR films, are the closest thing we have seen to a flawless masterpiece of film in the 21st Century, and while others have made a valiant effort, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy still reigns supreme.
Honorable Mentions: Dances with Wolves, The French Connection, The Godfather Part II, Patton, The Sting, Rocky, Unforgiven,
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