Best Picture Winners by Year – Part One

It was just two weeks ago that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced the 2017 films, film stars, and filmmakers that were nominated for Academy Awards. There weren’t many surprises, certainly not among the nine films nominated for Best Picture, among them “The Shape of Water,” which leads the race with a not-quite-record-setting 13 nominations, followed by “Dunkirk” with eight and “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” with seven.

You can watch for my predicting-the-winners post closer to Oscar night, which this year isn’t until Sunday, March 4th. I will wax poetic at that time about who I think will win, as well as who I think should win. For now, I’m still trying to catch up on some of the nominees, particularly in the categories of Best Documentary Feature and Best Foreign Film.

In the meantime, I’ve had a chance to write up a summary review of the previous 89 winners of the Best Picture Oscar. If this seems like a lot of work, know that I first had the idea last year, but it literally took me 12 months to gather my thoughts, and to rewatch some of the winners in question.

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Travel Movies

I mentioned in my Sidebar: Summer Movies 2013 blog entry that I would follow-up that critique of the season’s summer films with some potpourri about travel-themed movies. As I see it, there are two kinds: The Classic Road Trip Misadventure, and The Fish out of Water Tale. On my honor, I’ll keep this short. No, really. 🙂

The Classic Road Trip Misadventure

This sub-genre of travel cinema usually makes for a fun time at the movies. Here, the protagonist is sent on his/her way for a reason – often a family emergency – and he/she (I’ll just say “he,” “him,” or “his” going forward) is forced to share his bumpy journey with someone very unlike himself. The two will ultimately find some common ground by film’s end, and if they aren’t good friends by then they’ve at least garnered some sort of mutual respect. These films were huge in the 1980’s.

Examples: “Midnight Run,” “Planes, Trains & Automobiles,” “Rain Man,” “Twins.”

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