The American Academy of Motion Picture Awards Ceremony has always attracted attention. According to the results of the past year, cinema figures are awarded the Oscar statuette for success in certain nominations. I must say that there are so many of them that you cannot remember all of them.
But there are main nominations, the winners of which become part of the history of cinematography. It is said that some films, scripts and roles are created specifically for Oscars, demanding to be noted and awarded.
In this article, we recall the laureates of the XXI century, perhaps in the main category – Best Film of the Year…
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year 2000. American beauty. Drama, 122 minutes, IMDb: 8.3
The midlife crisis is an inexhaustible topic. The main character, Lester Burnham, is only 42 years old, but his life seems to have lost its meaning. The work was frankly disgusted, feelings for his wife were gone, who, realizing this, began to cheat on her husband. Unsurprisingly, Lester was plunged into depression. But soon life began to play with new colors – the man fell in love with his daughter’s classmate.
The main role in this film was played by Kevin Spacey, now a figurant of the scandal and having lost his earned reputation. American Beauty was not considered the main contender for the Oscar; they saw the much less provocative drama The Winemaker’s Rules based on the classic novel by John Irving. But the academics decided to give the statuette to a film that is more relevant to modern society.
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year 2001. Gladiator. Drama, 155 minutes, IMDb: 8.5
The plot of the story told is very formulaic for Hollywood. The main character is the brave General Maximus, the greatest commander of the Roman Empire. But the emperor Commodus, who ascended the throne, with the help of betrayal, decided to get rid of a competitor. Maximus himself almost lost his life, but lost his home, family and good name. The military leader had to master the career of a simple gladiator. Thanks to his strength and courage, Maximus makes a brilliant career in order to get the opportunity to face the enemy and eliminate injustice.
Director Ridley Scott boldly took on the historical film, which required extensive filming. The violent scenes and the unfolding human drama of the hero were shown quite realistically. The two antagonists were played by excellent actors: Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix. The powerful film did not go unnoticed by academics and received a well-deserved Oscar.
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2002 year. Mind games. Drama, melodrama, biography, 135 minutes, IMDb: 8.2
John Nash was considered a genius by all – his interest and ability in mathematics was truly amazing. The man chose the path of a teacher, and one of his students became his wife. A talented scientist attracted the attention of the CIA – a secret agent asked for help to discover encrypted messages in open sources. Nash actively gets to work, but it soon turns out that reality is not at all what he perceived to be.
And again the main role was played by Russell Crowe. Only he radically changed his image – a brutal Roman warrior was able to appear as a keen scientist in a year. But the academicians were bribed not only by the bright dramatic history, but also by the partial reliability of the events shown.
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2003 year. Chicago. Drama, musical, comedy, 113 minutes. IMDb: 7.1
Roxy Hart, like most girls, dreams of a stage career. Her idol is singer-songwriter Velma Kelly. Fate brings two women together, but the meeting took place in prison. Roxy shot her lover, who was supposed to help her with a career in show business, and Velma, in a fit of jealousy, killed her husband and sister. And now both ladies can only rely on the help of the cunning lawyer Billy Flynn.
Chicago is a famous Broadway musical that has been waiting for a long time to be transferred to the cinema. But since the 1970s, ideas have remained ideas. As a result, the production took place at the most successful time for that time. The beginning of the XXI century was just marked by the appearance of numerous musical films, against this background “Chicago” managed to collect an excellent box office and get the main prize – Oscar.
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2004 year. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Fantasy, drama, adventure, 201 minutes. IMDb: 8.9
This film was the final in the legendary trilogy based on the classic book by John R.R.Tolkien. In “The Return of the King”, the hobbits come close to Mount Doom, into the mouth of which they need to throw the Ring of Omnipotence and thereby save Middle-earth. Meanwhile, the brave Aragorn fights the hordes of Sauron for the throne of Gondor.
The two previous parts of “The Lord of the Rings” were also nominated for an Oscar, but failed to take it. It would be unfair if such an epic picture was left without a reward. In the struggle for the prize, the film bypassed serious competitors – “Lost in Translation” by Sofia Coppola and “The Mysterious River” by Clint Eastwood.
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2005 year. Million dollar baby. Drama, sporty, 132 minutes. IMDb: 8.1
The waitress Maggie has an unusual dream for a woman – she dreams of doing boxing. And she even looked after herself – the gloomy Dunn who had retired. But he does not want to study Maggie, because in boxing, in his opinion, women have nothing to do.
In the previous year, Clint Eastwood did not receive an Oscar, but this time nothing could stop him in pursuit of the prize. The sports drama turned out to be heartfelt, telling about loneliness, love and perseverance. In total, the film received 4 statuettes, including the most important one.
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2006 year. Collision. Drama. 108 minutes. IMDb: 7.8
The film consists of eight short stories, which have in common – car accidents and car robberies. The heroes will have to plunge into the confrontation of cultures, the problems of racism and, in an acute situation, reconsider their positions in life.
How many of us have heard of this film? Despite the many awards, “Collision” is clearly not heard. But the favorite competitor in the fight for the Oscars – “Brokeback Mountain” with Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, the film bypassed. “Collision” is a complex drama with numerous plot twists and an unusual interweaving of the fate of the main characters. And in the struggle for the Oscars, the raised topic of racism turned out to be important.
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2007 year. The apostates. Thriller, drama, crime. 151 minutes. IMDb: 8.5
The film is based on the Hong Kong thriller Castling Double. The story is dedicated to two graduates of the Police Academy. One of them serves in law enforcement, but at the same time cooperates with the mafia, leaking information to it. The other chose the path of a bandit and disappeared into the criminal community. But at the same time they are driven by noble motives – the help of the police. And both heroes are forced to portray those who are not at heart. But over time, it turns out that the world is not divided into black and white.
Director Martin Scorsese has long been considered a living Hollywood classic, whose films are deservedly nominated for an Oscar. But more successful competitors were constantly awarded. But this time “The Departed” surpassed everyone – the film not only became the best, but also gave the director his only Oscar.
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2008 year. Old men don’t belong here. Thriller, western. 122 minutes. IMDb: 8.1
Who among us does not dream of finding a large sum of money? Llewellyn Moss was lucky – he found a bag with two million dollars. But she was lying in a truck with the dead, packed with heroin. Moss was not taken aback and saw this as his chance to get rich. Of course, the criminals are trying to recover the lost values by sending the killer Anton Chigurah on the trail of the thief.
The films of the Coen brothers are traditionally full of a kind of humor, through the prism of which they assess life situations. But this time the academics decided to give the award to one of the darkest paintings by the Coens. No one imagined that a neo-western thriller would be able to win the main award. But the film turned out to be very good.
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year 2009. Slumdog Millionaire. Drama, melodrama. 120 minutes. IMDb: 8.0
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire seems like a life-changing chance. Jamal Malik, an 18-year-old orphan from a Mumbai slum, decided to use it. It remains for him to answer the last question and receive the coveted prize. But suddenly the player is arrested by the police, reasonably suspecting of fraud. The interrogation turns into the life story of an Indian, the events in which become the answer to the most difficult questions of the quiz.
The film “shot” by accident. The producers did not consider it significant and did not even plan to release it, immediately targeting the media. And only director Dennis Boyle defended his brainchild. “Slumdog Millionaire” did not leave anyone indifferent – the film paid off many times at the box office, eventually receiving a well-deserved Oscar.
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2010 year. The lord of the storm. Drama, thriller, military. 126 minutes. IMDb: 7.6
The film tells about the events of the war in Iraq. The demining team loses its boss and gets a new one in return, professional William James becomes it. There are no complaints about his skills – only he cannot find a common language with colleagues. This is because James is acting too recklessly, which endangers both himself and his subordinates.
Initially, the picture could not be nominated for an Oscar that year, because its premiere took place a little earlier than expected. But the release date of “The Hurt Locker” was postponed, and for good reason – the film received nine Oscar nominations. Among the six statuettes won, the most valuable is for the best film. It is noteworthy that Katherine Bigelow became the first woman to win the Best Director nomination.
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2011. The king speaks! Drama, historical, 118 minutes. IMDb: 8.0
King George VI of England ascended the throne at a difficult time for the country. He himself considered himself an unimportant leader, and besides, he stuttered a lot. Is this how an influential monarch should be? But the country needed a leader – the Second World War began. Thanks to careful training and the help of a talented speech therapist, the king was able to overcome his disadvantage.
The self-defeating film received 12 Oscar nominations but won only 4 awards. True, these were the most prestigious nominations: Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor.
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year 2012. Artist. Drama, melodrama, comedy. 96 minutes. IMDb: 7.9
The film tells about the events of the 1920s. The era of a little cinema is living out its own, not everyone can come to terms with it. Actor Jord Valentine is one of them, and the extra Pippi Miller, who is in love with him, helps him cope with changes.
That year, the Oscar went to far from the favorite. Among the contenders were works of cult directors: “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen, “War Horse” by Steven Spielberg and “Keeper of Time” by Martin Scorsese. But the academics gave their votes to the French director Michel Hazanavichus, little-known until that time. His retro film was not only shot in black and white, but it was also silent. But with the help of such laconic tools, the director was able to create a masterpiece.
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year 2013. Operation “Argo”. Political thriller, historical. 120 minutes. IMDb: 7.7
One of the results of the revolution in Iran was the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran by the Islamists. 52 American citizens became hostages. Six of them managed to escape and hide in the house of the Canadian ambassador. CIA agents are planning to rescue their citizens. For this, the shooting of the film “Argo” is staged, which should become a large-scale disguise for a special operation.
Initially, the plot of the film seems too implausible – only such events really happened in reality. But director Ben Affleck was still criticized, because he could not resist and adorned a boring story with a typically Hollywood action. As a result, the combination of historical events and thriller tension did not go unnoticed by audiences and critics.
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year 2014. 12 years of slavery. Drama, biography, historical. 133 minutes. IMDb: 8.1
The film is based on the autobiography of the American violinist Solomon Northup. Events take place in 1841. Black Solomon is nominally a free man and lives with his family in Saratoga Springs, New York. But while on tour, he is kidnapped, enslaved and taken to New Orleans. There, the musician has been working on plantations for 12 years, trying to preserve his human appearance in the most difficult conditions.
Steve McQueen’s painting became an emotional message about slavery. The director himself initially did not want to rely on someone else’s biography, just wanting to talk about the difficult fate of a black person in such a situation. But after McQueen got acquainted with Northup’s book, the choice of the protagonist became obvious.
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2015 year. Birdman. Drama, comedy. 119 minutes. IMDb: 7.7
The role of a Superhero does not always make a person successful. This film tells the story of an actor who at one time became famous for the role of Birdman. But now popularity has faded, career is going downhill, as is family life. What will an actor do to change his life?
The main role in the film was played by Michael Keaton. It’s funny, but Birdman is actually filmed about him. Keaton became famous after playing Batman at one time, but then disappeared from the screens somewhere. And glory returned to the actor now with “Birdman”. The film came out remarkable, thanks to the unusual approach of director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu. In Birdman, the whole action is one continuous scene, in which, as it seems, there are simply no cuts.
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2016 year. In the spotlight. Drama, crime, biography. 129 minutes. IMDb: 8.1
The story told in the film has a real basis. Journalists of The Boston Globe learn that the local priests are molesting minors. When trying to get to the bottom of the truth, the frightening scale of what is happening is revealed.
Birdman really gave Michael Keaton a creative boost. Another film with him in the title role won an Oscar. True, the theme of the tape was already different. And Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu won the Best Director Award that year with his “Survivor”.
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2017 year. Moonlight. Drama. 110 minutes. IMDb: 7.4
In the city of Miami, life is not at all as cloudless and sunny as it seems. In fact, crime, money and drugs rule here. A dark-skinned young man has to survive in this cesspool from birth, being among not the best people and at the same time building his own moral guidelines.
A curious incident occurred at the Oscar ceremony – the winner was declared the clear favorite of the musical “La La Land”. Fortunately, the presenters quickly corrected themselves and the award was received by the one who deserved it.
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2018 year. The shape of the water. Drama, fantasy. 123 minutes. IMDb: 7.3
The film turned out to be very strange. The year is 1963. Mute cleaning lady Eliza works in a science lab. Once a captured amphibian man is brought there for experiments. In pursuit of a discovery, scientists do not spare the subject. But Eliza falls in love with the mutant and helps him escape.
Not everyone understood the message of director Guillermo del Toro. After all, he managed to put a lot of social topics in a fantastic tape. All this did not go unnoticed by film critics. Against the backdrop of the Cold War, issues of racial prejudice and the struggle between man and the state machine are raised. And visually, del Toro is difficult to find fault with – he creates real masterpieces.
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2019 year. Green Book. Drama, biography. 130 minutes. IMDb: 8.2
There are many dark pages in the history of America, the story of which even today does not leave anyone indifferent. The film tells about the events of the early 1960s. Tony Vallelonga is a regular bouncer nicknamed Chatterbox. But the club where he worked was closed for renovations. Fortunately, there is a dusty job for Tony – being the driver and bodyguard of black musician Don Shirley.
Director Peter Farrelli is best known for his frivolous work Movie 43 and Dumb and Dumber. Surprisingly, his new film turned out to be both touching and at the same time serious, telling about the times of segregation. The film is based on the real story of Don Shirley’s tour. The Green Book deservedly received an Oscar, beating another favorite – Roma.
2020 year. Parasites. Thriller, drama. 131 minutes. IMDb: 8.6
The film tells the story of a Korean family who has to live in a damp, dirty basement, steal the Internet from their neighbors and interrupt occasional part-time jobs. But one day a friend of the son of the family, leaving for an internship abroad, suggests that he replace him and work as a tutor for a high school student in a wealthy Pak family. После подделки диплома о высшем образовании, парень отправляется в дизайнерский особняк и производит на хозяйку дома положительное впечатление. И здесь ему в голову уже приходит план по трудоустройству сестры.