Academy Winners and Losers Watch List

Award-winning Movies The Hurt Locker (Blu-ray Disc) Avatar - Extended Collector's Edition (Blu-ray Disc) District 9 (Blu-ray Disc) No Country for Old Men 2-Disc Collector's Edition + Digital Copy (Blu-ray Disc) There Will Be Blood 2-Disc Special Edition (SE/DVD) Juno (Blu-ray Disc) Close Encounters of the Third Kind - 30th Anniversary Ultimate Collection (SE/DVD) The Matrix - 10th Anniversary (Blu-ray Disc) 2001: A Space Odyssey - Special Edition (Blu-ray Disc) Every year, when the Oscars® roll around, we're reminded of the sheer number of films that Hollywood puts out annually. Maybe some of your favorite movies have been nominated, or maybe the Academy gave them the shaft. Either way, watching the Academy Awards® is a great way to fill up your movie watch list.

 

The last couple of years have seen some great movies. I was personally gratified that "The Hurt Locker" beat out "Avatar" for Best Motion Picture. It was an intense film, with great actors who gave me a better appreciation for the mental toll taken on people at war. The special effects in "Avatar" definitely blew me away, though. My other favorite nominee in 2009 was "District 9", which had insane special effects and just as crazy storyline about aliens in South Africa in a kind of apartheid divided society. It probably wasn't the best picture that year, but it was definitely one of my favorite sci-fi movies ever.

 

A couple years earlier saw some darker nominees. Javier Bardem is forever burned into my brain as a creepy psychopath in "No Country for Old Men", which won Best Picture in 2007. For my money, it was a close race between that movie and "There Will Be Blood", about a ruthless oil tycoon in the oil rush of California around the turn of the 20th century. That year was lightened up a bit by "Juno", a quirky comedy about a teen pregnancy that was both hilarious and sweet.

 

Of course, you can always go a bit further back in Academy Awards® history to find films that still hold up, like "Rocky", which may have single-handedly made the music montage a staple for any underdog movie. I still think it's Stallone's best role. Jack Nicholson really shines in both "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" and Chinatown. And "The Godfather" is a film I can watch over and over again; it's just that good.

 

You'll miss a lot of great films if you stick to just Best Motion Picture nominees, though. The Best Visual Effects category will lead you to amazing films, like "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "The Empire Strikes Back" (in case you've been living under a rock). You won't want to miss "The Matrix" or "2001: A Space Odyssey", either -- two of my favorites. The whole "Lord of the Rings Trilogy" was nominated and won this award. Don't pass over the "Alien" series either; they're some of the last great films to use traditional special effects rather than computer generated images.

 

Those are the two awards I really watch to fill my movie watch list. I'm sure to have left off some classic films that cinephiles would be irate about. What are some of your favorite Oscar® nominees and winners?

 

 

Posted by Paul Sanders

Paul Sanders

 
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Comments

Feb. 22, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Normally I would have to cast my vote for 127 Hours because I have a crush on James Franco, even as a dirty hiker who drinks his pee and cuts off his arm. Nothing can make me stop loving you, James. but the interest of being less superficial this year I think I'm rooting for The King's Speech. Colin Firth did an amazing, amazing job!

Feb. 22, 2011 at 1:53 PM

I love "Gone With the Wind" and "Casablanca." Even though they're both old, no one would dare to touch them or remake them because they're so classic. To me, that is one sign of a great movie. I haven't seen most of the films on this list, but I am rooting for "Inception" during the Oscars. I thought the effects and the screenplay were both incredible.

Feb. 22, 2011 at 1:59 PM

I was devastated when The Reader lost to Slumdog Millionaire in 2009, but then I saw Slumdog Millionaire and I was very impressed. I could have done without No Country and the nominated There Will be Blood in 2008. The biggest tragedies occurred in 2006, however. Brokeback Mountain lost Best Picture to Crash and Heath Ledger lost Best Actor to Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote. I was crushed.

Feb. 22, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Best Picture is usually where I start, and the best and best supporting actress and actor categories are fun as well. I want to watch Best Foreign Film nominees, but often I find them less interesting than I hope. Maybe I'll check out some of the films nominated for Costume Design -- those are usually very visually satisfying.

Feb. 22, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Lord of the Rings for sure! However, I also enjoyed "A Beautiful Mind", "Casablanca" and "Gone With the Wind", although I did enjoy the novel more than the movie on the latter one.

Feb. 23, 2011 at 10:16 AM

This is a great selection of movies. I prefer quiet films to "guts and glory" war movies or thrillers; some favorites include Chariots of Fire and Babette's Feast. Of course, Casablanca gets better with each viewing.

May. 2, 2011 at 4:52 PM

ME AND A FRIEND JUST WENT TO THE MOVIES AND SAW "HALL PASS" AND FULLY EXPECTED TO BE LAUGHING THE ENTIRE WAY THROUGH, AS IT WAS LABELED A COMEDY AND THE SNIPPETS SHOWN ON TV WERE HILARIOUS. WELL, THE ACTUAL FILM WAS A TOTAL DUD AND O STARS. IT WAS A GOOD PREMISE BUT WITHOUT GOOD WRITING AND WITHOUT A GOOD ENSEMBLE CAST YOU WILL NEVER GET A GOOD COMEDY. LIKE I SAID, I BELIEVE CASTING WAS WRONG AND THE WRITING WASN'T FUNNY. ODDLY, IT WAS THE WOMEN WHO STRAYED ON THE HALL PASS AND NOT THE MEN. UH OH, SPOILER ALERT. IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT, DON'T WORRY, I JUST SAVED YOU THE MONEY TO WATCH IT BECAUSE YOU SHOULDN'T WASTE YOUR TIME SEEING IT. WAIT FOR IT TO COME TO CABLE OR TO NETFLIX OR REDBOX (EVEN THOUGH I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT REDBOX IS) JUST WAIT FOR IT TO GO THERE OR TO YOUR ON-DEMAND CHANNELS OR HECK, EVEN GO ASK YOUR NEIGHBORS TO BORROW A COPY FROM THEM. BUT DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, SPEND A PENNY ON RENTING OR BUYING THIS TOTAL FLOP OF A FILM. THE END. KG

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