The Oscars 2021 are just around the corners and the bets are on. As usual the Academy Award for Best Picture is the one getting the most attention. It is considered the most prestigious award, thus nominations and winners are subject to scrutiny from all sides.
In the history of the Oscars, there have been 571 films nominated and 92 winners. If I have to be honest, I have not always been on the same page with Academy members on who should win. However, there are many movies among the winners who truly deserveе recognition for their cinematic value.
These are the Top 10 movies I believe are the best of the best:
Shape of Water is maybe the most controversial movie to win the Best Picture award in the last decade. For me, it is maybe the most original to win the award. In the tradition of magical realism, it combines the most trivial and human with the most extraordinary in order to examine life from all sides. I think this an incredibly clever and very artistic movie about despair, hope, loneliness, love, fear, connection. On top of that, it is absolutely mesmerizing.
Only three movies in Oscar history have won 11 awards. The Lord of the Rings is one of them. But, awards are not enough to measure how appreciated and loved this movie is by people from all around the world. Lord of the Rings is such an epic masterpiece that it will always have a place in the history of cinema.
The Departed is rooted in nowadays-almost-forgotten age of gangsters’ movies. However, it not only brings the authenticity of the genre, but elevates it to 21st century movie-making. It is traditional and modern, predictable and unpredictable, classy and it is hell of an entertainment. The Departed has many layers, it is trilling, it is suspenseful, and it is very smart.
Million Dollar Baby is a powerful story about the strength of the human spirit, about faith and determination. It is a movie that is very emotional without being melodramatic, simple without being simplistic and intelligent without being snobbish. It is a must-watch for everyone looking for an inspiring cinematic experience.
A fascinating plot, and even more fascinating characters make No Country for Old Man an unforgettable experience. This movie is a bright example of powerful storytelling, artistic vision, cinematographic craft and superb acting.
Birdman is so real and so surreal, heavy, funny, wild, honest. It is so many things at once, but so well thought. This is a movie where every line and every second of every scene is right on the spot. I think this is a monumental movie that is wildly underrated. It is ambitious, imaginative, intelligent, artistic and meaningful in every possible way.
Seemingly a simple and trivial story, American Beauty is actually a complex and deep movie. It is about society, and it is about human existence in general. The movie is full of symbolism, it is physiological, it is philosophical. It is a dark, humorous, beautiful, simply brilliant movie.
Schindler’s List is a movie that will grab you by the throat. It shows the true horror of war, yet at the same time the endless capacity of human kindness. It is a shattering, disturbing masterful movie that should never be forgotten.
One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest is one of the few movies to win the 5 top Oscars – Best Picture, Best actor, Best actress, Best director and Best Screenplay. But no awards, not words, are enough to describe how powerful this movie is. It is a deep and emotional cinematic experience that with no doubt could be called a masterpiece. As David Fincher would say, I’m always interested in movies that scars. And this is one of those movies.
There are many good black-and-white era movies but Casablanca is maybe the most recognizable. It is not only one of the best of its time, but a movie that is truly timeless. Casablanca is a reflection of the cinematic art of the 40s, yet it doesn’t look outdated today. It is a smart, serious but funny, multidimensional film with a story and characters that have won hearts and minds all over the world. Today Casablanca is still watched, liked, loved, and quoted by people from all ages and nationalities.