9 Best Picture Oscar Winners

Not all films are Oscar winners. However, here are nine of the winners of best picture.
9 Best Picture Oscar Winners

Last update: 21 October, 2021

There’s always silence in the Dolby Theater (formerly the Kodak Theater) when they announce the best picture award. Without a doubt, it’s the most eagerly anticipated moment of the evening. In fact, the best picture Oscar sums up what it is that the whole ceremony represents. A festival, where the whole world of moviemaking comes together.

The Oscars ceremony has been held since the 1920s. It’s an unequaled spectacle where fashion designers are able to display their newest creations.

For the nominees, it’s the glamorous part of their work. For the viewers, it’s a chance for them to join in and enjoy the party. Some people may think it superficial, but for the industry, it’s the high point of their year.

In this article, we write about nine of the Oscar winners for best picture. Indeed, nine of the best films whose awards provoked delight, surprise, and disappointment for some. There was even one dramatic mistake in the announcement of one of them.

Titanic, James Cameron (1997)

Titanic was a revolutionary film in the year of its premiere and at the 70th Academy Awards ceremony. In fact, it took a total of 11 Oscars out of 14 nominations. Hardly surprising then, that James Cameron, on accepting his award for best picture, paraphrased his film’s protagonist and said “I’m the king of the world”.

It was a historic triumph for a movie that offers a dizzying mix of spectacular images, romantic melodrama, and historical tragedy.

Cameron’s Titanic is an epic, action-packed romance set on the unfortunate maiden voyage of the ship Titanic. It was the prize ship of the White Star Line and the largest moving object ever built.

It was the most luxurious ocean liner of the time, the “ship of dreams”. However, it sank, resulting in the death of more than 1500 people in the icy waters of the North Atlantic in the early hours of April 15, 1912.

Moonlight, Barry Jenkins (2016)

Moonlight isn’t one of the best-known Oscar winners. Nevertheless, the presentation of the award remains one of the most surreal in the history of the ceremony.

At the most anticipated moment of the 89th Academy Awards, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty announced that the winner was La La Land. Minutes later, the producers of the film starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling took to the stage to give their thank-you speeches. Suddenly, it all changed. There’d been a mistake. Moonlight was, in fact, the winner. This was a historic moment as well as a nightmare for the event organizers.

Moonlight is a look at three episodes in the life of Chiron. He’s a young black man, growing up in Miami. His journey into manhood is guided by the kindness, support, and love of the community.

Moonlight is an in-depth study of a character. Three different actors play Chiron, representing different stages of his life.

 

Birdman, Alejandro González Iñárritu (2014)

This entire movie appears as if it were filmed in a single sequence. The cast includes Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, and Emma Stone. Birdman tells the story of faded former movie superhero, Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton).

Riggan hopes to revive his career by putting on an ambitious Broadway production. He struggles to put together a stage adaptation of a story by Raymond Carver. It’s a risky proposition. Anyway, he hopes his bet will pay off and prove he’s a true artist and not just a washed-up movie star.

However, as opening night approaches, a co-star is injured in strange circumstances. This forces Riggan to hire an actor, Mike Shiner (Edward Norton). He’s convinced that his luck with him will change and he’ll eventually succeed with his play.

 

Spotlight, Tom McCarthy (2015)

Spotlight is a film with an extremely sober narrative. However, this didn’t stop it from winning best picture. As a matter of fact, initially, this film pleased the critics more than the viewing public.

The film clinically handles the lurid details of a sexual abuse story based on true events.

In 2001, Marty Barton (Liev Schrieber) is the new chief editor of The Boston Globe newspaper. He assigns a group of journalists to investigate allegations made against Father John Geoghan, accused of sexually abusing more than 80 children. Editor Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton) leads the investigation. Reporters Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James), and Sacha Pfeifer (Rachel McAdams) interview the victims and try to access confidential documents. They have to find evidence of a cover-up of sexual abuse within the Catholic church.

 

Schindler’s List, Steven Spielberg (1993)

Schindler’s List combines the narrative of the horror of the Holocaust with Spielberg’s tender humanism, creating a dramatic masterpiece.

This is considered to be one of the best films ever. It was awarded seven Oscars, one of which was, naturally, best picture.

Businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in Krakow in 1939 to make his fortune. He joins the Nazi party, mainly to advance up the political ladder. For similarly pragmatic reasons, he uses Jewish workers in his factory.

However, when the SS starts to exterminate Jews from the Krakow ghettoes, Schindler makes arrangements to protect his workers, thus keep his factory running. He soon realizes that, by doing so, he’s saving innocent lives. From then on, it becomes a personal mission for him to continue.

 

Platoon, Oliver Stone (1986)

Based on Stone’s personal experiences in Vietnam, the film gives a heartbreaking view of the truth of war. Both Charlie Sheen and Willem Dafoe give memorable performances.

Platoon is the first film in a trilogy about the Vietnam War. The other two are Born on 4 July (1989) and Heaven and Earth (1993).

Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) leaves college to enlist in combat service in Vietnam in 1967. However, once in the midst of the fighting, his idealism fades.

Infighting breaks out in his unit between Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger) and Sergeant Elias(Willem Dafoe). Barnes believes the nearby villagers have been helping the North Vietnamese army. However, Elias has a more sympathetic view of the locals. The soldiers end up pitted against each other as well as the enemy.

 

The Deer Hunter, Michael Cimino (1978)

This is another classic film about the Vietnam War. As well as best picture, it won four more Oscars.

It could be said to be overly long at three hours. However, this possible weakness is overcome by Michael Cimino’s direction. Cimino had previously suffered a bad time in the industry. In fact, he was sacked from directing the film Footloose.

Michael (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken), and Steven (John Savage) are lifelong friends from a working-class Pennsylvanian steel town. It’s 1968, and they’re celebrating enlisting for duty. However, their dreams of military honor are quickly shattered by the reality of war.

In Vietnam, the Vietcong capture them. They keep them in inhumane conditions. Furthermore, they force them to play Russian roulette, taking bets on who’ll survive. The friends escape. However, they’re left with psychological wounds that badly affect them on their return home.

 

The Godfather Part II, Francis Ford Coppola (1974)

Many people would consider this to be the ultimate film. Indeed, like the other three films in Francis Ford Coppola’s trilogy The Godfather, this film portrays a magnanimous and exaggerated story of generational angst, wealth, and power.

The world in this film is one where nobody’s safe. In fact, every decision they take puts people’s lives at stake.

Marlon Brando‘s portrayal of Don Vito Corleone has passed into the realms of the history of character acting. Indeed, it’s shaped our collective understanding of how a mafia member looks, behaves, and thinks.

They usually say that sequels are never as good as the originals. However, The Godfather Part II is an exception. It traces the problems of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) and a young immigrant Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) in the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, New York in 1917.

Michael Corleone survives a series of misadventures, while Vito leaves his academic life behind and is introduced into a life of crime.

The Best Years of Our Lives, William Wyler (1946)

This is a fascinating look at the trials and tribulations of war veterans. As a matter of fact, the film deals specifically with the aftermath of World War II.

It doesn’t present any sermons or lengthy messages. It’s simply a realistic drama presented in an extremely skillful manner.

Fred, Al, and Homer are three World War II veterans who face difficulties in re-entering civilian life.

Fred (Dana Andrews) is a war hero who’s unable to compete with more skilled workers. Consequently, he has to return to his job selling sodas and ice cream. Al gets into trouble for selling loans to veterans. Meanwhile, Homer, who lost both hands in the war returns to his beloved fiancee but struggles to adapt.

It might interest you...
Six Academy Awards Films You Must Watch
Exploring your mind
Read it in Exploring your mind
Six Academy Awards Films You Must Watch

The hangover from the latest Academy Awards gala makes it a good time to remember award-winning films. Every winner has made history in their own w...