Back to the movies this week and as The Oscars are drawing closer I thought I would give you the first in my Oscar top fives. Today I shall concentrate on the most coveted prize at The Academy Awards, Best Film. There have been many many classic films to win this award from way back in 1927 when it was first awarded to the film Wings.
So, Number 5 – In 1991 the horror genre was redefined once more as a film took the world by storm just as The Exorcist had 20 years earlier. The Silence Of The Lambs claimed the top prize at The Oscars and Anthony Hopkins‘ portrayal of cannibalistic psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter was truly great. The film earned 5 Oscars that year and deserved every one of them. However, in my list it only makes it to the bottom spot. A fantastic film, but I think there are better.
Number 4. An oldie here for you. I am not a huge fan of the film personally, but I think that its production quality for the time that it was made is simply stunning and Gone With The Wind has to be considered as an all time classic and a deserved winner of Best Motion Picture. Coming in at 238 minutes it is also one of the longest winners of the Oscar for best film and there were some brilliant performances here to ensure the victory. Clark Gable was nominated for an Oscar but never won, losing out to Robert Donat for his performance in Goodbye, Mr. Chips. However, I think was the performance from Gable that enabled the film to win in the end.
Steaming onto Number 3 we go and a venture into the world of the Vietnam War. Many films have been made over the years regarding the matter, but my favourite is the Oliver Stone classic Platoon. The cast was great with Charlie turning in a very uncharacteristic serious performance as the rookie soldier who becomes the subject of a tug of war between the two main characters, Oliver Stone drew inspiration for his characters from soldiers he actually served with and under in Vietnam so it makes the whole story more real somehow, but the “good versus evil” story between Berenger and Dafoe’s characters is really gripping and I think it shows just how far some people are willing to go if they are pushed hard enough under high stress situations such as jungle warfare. A truly great film that won the top prize. Something that Saving Private Ryan never did.
Runner up today at Number 2 is one of my favourite films of all time, Rain Man. Made in 1988, this classic drama starring Dustin Hoffman (who captured Best Actor that year) and Tom Cruise (in an unfamiliar serious role) as a set of brothers who take a road trip. Hoffman’s character is autistic and his younger brother learns to see through the disadvantages his brother suffers from and see much more than that, a real person who can feel and love just as much as the next man. I loved seeing Cruise in this role and I personally think it’s a travesty that he never got a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Rain Man certainly showed a lot of critics that Tom Cruise was more than an all American action star such as the films he had done like Top Gun and it certainly made me sit up and take more notice of him. This film is superb, but there is one Oscar winner that is even better and oddly enough, the main character’s name is Oskar...
Number 1 – Schindler’s List. I think this was possibly the first film to make me cry uncontrollably. It still has that effect on me now and I rarely watch it because of the content. Based on true events of course, the way that it is filmed – all in black and white save for two moments in the film, gives us a sense of the period of time we are in, depicting the sparseness of feeling that exist between men in this horrible war and the atrocities that were carried out by the Nazis against the Jews. However, the emotion of the film is just bubbling away just under the surface and from time to time explodes like a volcano. The performances form the cast including Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley to name but three will never be topped by them. It’s a rollercoaster of a film and I think will always be remembered as one of the finest films in history and ranks way up there in Hollywood, but I personally think it is the best film to ever win the Best Motion Picture Oscar. It is also in my top 5 favourite films of all time, but that will be another post further down the line if I can ever settle on a definitive list.
Tell me your Top Five of Best Motion Picture winners. Post your comments here, or find me on Facebook, I’d love to hear from you. Happy reading.