Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Best Picture Winners at the Library

It’s almost Academy season and already there is a buzz over this year’s nominees for Best Picture. Gravity, American Hustle, 12 Years A Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street are among the heavy hitters fighting it out for the prestigious award. Of course an “Oscar” is much more than a golden statue of a miniature-man, it recognizes mastery in the art of film and represents the legendary history of the Academy Awards. Almost every Best Picture ever honored is offered through our library system with many available in our building! Come in today to revisit and research the Academy Award’s history before the big show.

All of the Best Pictures from this millennium are available at the Collinsville Library:

Argo received seven nominations and won three including Best Picture. In a highly unusual snub, director Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated for Best Director.

The Artist
The Artist was nominated for a staggering ten Academy Awards and impressively took home half of them. It was the first French film to ever win Best Picture and the first silent film to do so since the very first Academy Awards in 1929. It was also the first black and white film to win Best Picture since 1960.

The King’s Speech
In addition to winning Best Picture in 2010 The King’s Speech won the awards for Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

The Hurt Locker
The Hurt Locker won six out of nine awards that it was nominated for and made history when director Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to ever win the award for Best Director.

Slumdog Millionaire
In 2008 Slumdog Millionaire dominated the Academy Awards when it won eight out of ten nominations including Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men won four Academy Awards including Best Director which was bestowed upon both Joel and Ethan Coen, marking only the second time in history the award was split between two people. Javier Bardem winning the award for Best Supporting Actor marked the first time a Spanish actor had ever won an Oscar.

The Departed
The Departed produced two landmark wins for the celebrated Martin Scorsese – his first “Best Picture” and (most surprisingly) his first “Best Director”.

In 2005 Crash upset the favorite Brokeback Mountain to take home the award for Best Picture. The decision was criticized by some for being a “safe pick” but Crash’s five other nominations (including two other wins) prove the film can stand on its own.

Million Dollar Baby
Clint Eastwood had a very good time of it in 2004 when his film Million Dollar Baby won Best Picture, netted him his second Best Director award, and also garnered a “Best Actor” award for himself.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Few movies in history have left as much of a mark on the Awards as Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King. The film is tied with Ben-Hur and Titanic for largest number of awards won while also setting the record for the highest Oscar “sweep”, winning all eleven of eleven nominations. The film is also the only fantasy film to ever win Best Picture as well as being only the second sequel to do so in history.

Considered to this day to be one of the Academy’s darlings, Chicago won six awards in 2002, mostly for sound and production design. The film was the first musical to win Best Picture since Oliver in 1969.

A Beautiful Mind
A Beautiful Mind won four out of eight awards it was nominated for including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Lead actor Russell Crowe starred in his second Best Picture winner in as many years and also received back-to-back Best Actor nominations.

Gladiator’s dual groundbreaking commercial and critical success is a rare feat that many Best Pictures never enjoy. The film was not only nominated for twelve awards, winning five of them, it grossed over $400 million worldwide.

Many more winners from years past are available in the building or through our system including popular titles such as Titanic, Braveheart, Forrest Gump, Schindler’s List, Rocky, and The Godfather. Come in today to check out a piece of cinema history!

Posted by Terry Pierson, Library Clerk