The Oscar nominations have finally been announced, so now the question is, who will win. There is some fierce competition for best picture. While everyone is talking about Joker, I’m definitely rooting for Parasite, but it is unlikely to be able to defeat the big Hollywood blockbusters.
Let’s have a look at where the bar is set with every movie to have won the Oscar for best movie this millennium.
2000 – Gladiator
The action blockbuster starring Russell Crowe as Maximus, a Roman general turned gladiator, opposite a memorable performance from Joaquin Phoenix as the emperor Commodus. Ridley Scott revived a genre which had not been done successfully since the days of Spartacus.
2001 – A Beautiful Mind
Russell Crowe was clearly at the peak of his career, starring in this Ron Howard movie about John Nash, who won the Nobel Prize for Economics, but who also suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
2002 – Chicago
It has singing, dancing, crime and comedy, but mostly it was interesting to see some of our favourite actors trying their hand at musical theatre. Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere star in this movie about the ladies of 1920s death row.
2003 – Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
As Peter Jackson brought his epic trilogy telling Tolkien’s famous story to an end, there was little question that he would receive some recognition from the academy. While the movies had lots of flaws, they certainly defined a time in cinema.
2004 – Million Dollar Baby
Clint Eastwood showed us once more that he is more than just a pretty face as he got behind the camera to direct both himself Hilary Swank in this film about a veteran but struggling boxing training and a young woman desperate to become a professional.
2005 – Crash
Paul Haggis co-wrote, directed and produced this film about racism, which all starts with a car crash. Starring an impressive ensemble cast including Sandra Bullock Don Cheadle, Thandie Newton and Matt Dillon.
2006 – The Departed
Martin Scorsese was a deserving winner with this crime drama that turns the undercover genre on its head. This time Irish crime boss Jack Nicholson places a mole, played by Matt Damon within the Boston police force. But the police have their own mole in Leonardo DiCaprio.
2007 – No Country for Old Men
The Cohen brothers earned recognition for their neo-western set in the 1980s starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin. The film addresses the idea of fate versus coincidence.
2008 – Slumdog Millionaire
A delight for the eyes and for the soul, Dev Patel stars in this Danny Boyle film about a young man from the slums of Mumbai who miraculously wins the country’s version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Accused of cheating, he tells his life story to explain his win.
2009 – The Hurt Locker
This Katherine Bigelow war film starts Jeremy Renner as a member of an Iraq War Explosive Ordnance Disposal team. They are targeted by insurgents while in the country, and the movie dives into the psychological reaction of each of the team members to the stress of combat.
2010 – The King’s Speech
Another film that shows not all Oscar winner need to be gritty. Colin Firth stars as the king of England in this uplifting film in which he learns to overcome his speech impediment with an unconventional speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush.
2011 – The Artist
An unexpected winner, Hollywood fell in love with this French black and white silent film set in 1920s Hollywood that tells the story of the relationship between a veteran movie star and an up and coming actress while silent movies are falling out of fashion.
2012 – Argo
This movie is based on a true story also called in one article: The Great Escape: How the CIA used a fake Sci-Fi flick to rescue Americans from Tehran. And that is pretty much the remise of the film. Directed and starring Ben Affleck.
2013 – 12 Years a Slave
In this historic epic, Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as a free black man living in 1840s Washing DC who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Written by Ridley Scott and directed by Steve McQueen.
2014 – Birdman
Michael Keaton stars in this black comedy about a faded Hollywood star best known for playing the superhero Birdman as he struggles to build a new career for himself as a stage actor.
2015 – Spotlight
A biographical drama about the Boston Globe reporting team that cast a spotlight on the sex abuse inflicted by Roman Catholic priests in the Boston area, despite immense pressure to leave the story alone. Starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams.
2016 – Moonlight
This film by Barry Jenkins is semi-autobiographical and presents three important events in the life of a young black man, one from his youth, adolescence and early adulthood. It explores sexual identity and physical and emotional abuse. Starring Trevante Rhodes and Andre Holland.
2017 – The Shape of Water
Another dark fantasy from Guillermo del Toro, set in the 1960s is follows a mute cleaner at a high-security government laboratory who falls in love with a captured humanoid amphibian. Starring Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon.
2018 – Green Book
Turning Driving Miss Daisy, on its head Mahershala Ali stars as an African American classical and jazz pianist, and Viggo Mortenssen is Frank Vallelonga, his Italian American driver and bodyguard.