This week Hubby has gone with his top five movies that won the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture. We’re a bit film-buff-ish in our house, and we look forward to the Oscars every year (even though it’s not shown on any of the channels we get), and some of the Best Motion Picture winners rank among my favourite films. My list will maybe not have the best of the best film winners, but here are my favourites.
Join in if you feel like it – just don’t forget to link back to him at Smurfin’ the Web.
5. Chicago (2002) – 75th Academy Awards
This one was a bit of a surprise win, as it was up against some worthy and hard-hitting contenders. Everyone thought The Pianist or The Gangs of New York would take the coveted prize, but instead, the first musical to win it in 34 years romped home with the statue. Why do I love this film? It’s the sheer theatricality of it all (and it’s a show my sister and I see every time it tours near us!) that makes it such fun to watch. Team that with memorable show tunes and a killer performance from Catherine Zeta Jones (who won Best Actress in a Supporting Role that year) and that make this a colourful must-see.
4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) – 48th Academy Awards
From the quirky, jangling score to the off-the-wall performance from a seemingly insane Jack Nicholson, paired with the stone-cold facade of Louise Fletcher, to the smaller roles filled by other well-known names such as Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd and Brad Dourif (there’s even an uncredited cameo by Anjelica Huston, this is a hard-hitting look at the treatment of some of society’s most vulnerable members – those who do not have the capacity to cope outside the walls of a mental institution. It’s, by turns, funny, sad, touching, and infuriating, but it’s gripping from start to finish, and a very fine piece of film-making.
3. Gone With the Wind (1939) – 12th Academy Awards
Sweeping sunset-shaded scenery, iconic score, star cast and an unforgetable script make this lengthy epic one of the best motion pictures of all time. Scarlett O’Hara is the feisty, petulent heroine we all love to hate, and Rhett Butler is the smooth antihero that has every woman swooning – except Scarlett! Set against the exciting danger and uncertainty of the American Civil War, it looks at the morality of slavery, the horror of war, love and loss, and the utter devastation of the Southern way of life. It clocks in at a magnificently butt-numbing 238 minutes and always used to be shown in two halves, but it’s worth watching the whole film and glorying in its splendour.
2. The Artist (2011) 84th Academy Awards
The Oscars are no strangers to black and white movies – Schindler’s List being one of the more recent winners to lack colour (apart from a couple of brief flashes), but there hadn’t been a silent winner since the very first Academy Awards in 1927, when Wings took home the Oscar. It was an innovative and bold move to make a silent movie about making silent movies, and the cast wouldn’t have looked out of place in any of the classic silent films of years ago. The plot, performances and stylish presentation were such a delightful surprise that I couldn’t help hoping this film would win. My wish was granted.
1. Amadeus (1984) 57th Academy Awards
This is actually one of my all-time favourite films. The magnificent costumes and sets, the awe-inspiring music of Mozart, a battle of wills and talent between rival composers, the superb performances from F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce as the dour Salieri and childishly madcap Mozart respectively are a feast for the senses. The writing is witty and the direction is second to none. If you’ve never seen this film, even if you have never listened to classical music in your life, I beg you to watch Amadeus – it is brilliant on every level!
So, those are my top five. What are yours? Leave a comment with a link to your list, and don’t forget to link back to him at Smurfin’ the Web.