I’ve been watching the Academy Awards since the 2001 ceremony when Gladiator beat Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon & Traffic for Best Picture. Over the last 15 years not counting this year since it hasn’t happened yet, I’ve seen some really bad wins, like Crash winning Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain, and I’ve seen some really good wins that made me very happy. These listed here are my favorite wins in each major category over the last 15 years of Oscar watching. In other words, these wins made me the most happy.
Favorite Best Picture Win = The Departed
*Until 2007, Martin Scorsese had never won Best Picture, even though it’s arguable he should have won several times prior with Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas. When he finally won for The Departed, I was ecstatic since this was my favorite movie of 2006, and it was a giant exhale of emotion. It might still be my favorite win in Oscar history.
Favorite Best Director Win = Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
*This win meant so much because in 2010, Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman to ever win Best Director. Women have been making great films for years, and it was such a delight to see her win for a very worthy movie. The bonus was that she won Best Director over her ex-husband James Cameron who directed Avatar.
Favorite Best Actor Win = Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
*I gotta be honest, last year I would not have voted for Leo to win, since I really believed that Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs did the best overall acting performance. But it’s still my favorite win in this category because Leonardo DiCaprio has been my favorite actor since I saw him in Titanic in 1998. It was becoming almost annoying that he kept getting passed over for Oscar wins for several years before, and it was so nice to see him finally get one.
Favorite Best Actress Win = Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
*2012 was the year of Jennifer Lawrence, since she was great in The Hunger Games, and then even better in Silver Linings Playbook. She made quite the impression on me, and I was so happy to see her get the Oscar for a performance and a movie that was great on first watch and even better on re-watch.
Favorite Best Adapted Screenplay = Brokeback Mountain
*It didn’t win the Oscar for Best Picture, but it did at least win Best Adapted Screenplay, which made me so happy because the movie made such a great leap from the short story that Annie Proulx wrote. That story was vital in 2005/06 and even more vital now.
Favorite Best Original Screenplay = Django Unchained
*I think not only is Quentin Tarantino one of the best directors in Hollywood, but he’s also one of the best movie writers too. Django Unchained is the perfect example of that. I was so happy when he won because Django Unchained is my favorite movie of 2012, and by far one of the most bold and trail blazing scripts I’ve ever seen put to film.
Which ones have been your favorites? Comment below.