1. Moonlight, 2. Manchester by the Sea, 3. No Country for Old Men, 4. Chicago, 5. American Beauty, 6. Gone with the Wind, 7. Shakespeare in Love, 8. Room, 9. There Will Be Blood, 10. Monster. Oscar-winning films often go through a lot of thorough evaluation and are expected by the majority of viewers. There are films that have reached many Oscar awards and become artistic monuments. Here are the worthy award winners you can enjoy with your Prime membership.
- Manchester by the Sea
- No Country for Old Men
- American Beauty
- Gone with the Wind
- Shakespeare in Love
- There Will Be Blood
Moonlight is a 2016 American coming-of-age drama film directed and written by Barry Jenkins, based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unpublished semi-autobiographical play In Moonlight, Black Boys Look Blue. The film follows the main character through three stages of his life: childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. It delves into his struggles with his sexuality and identity, as well as the physical and emotional abuse he endured as a child.
Moonlight has been dubbed one of the best films of the twenty-first century. At the 89th Academy Awards, the film won Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Ali, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Jenkins and McCraney, out of a total of eight nominations. It was the first LGBTQ film, the first with an all-black cast, and the second-lowest-grossing film domestically (behind The Hurt Locker) to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Joi McMillon became the first black woman to be nominated for an Oscar for editing, and Ali became the first Muslim to win an Oscar for acting.
Directed by: Barry Jenkins
Starring: Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe
Release dates: September 2, 2016
Running time: 111 minutes
Manchester by the Sea
Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea is a 2016 American drama film written and directed by him. The plot revolves around a depressed man who is entrusted with the care of his deceased brother’s teenage son after his brother dies.
The film received critical acclaim and was widely regarded as one of the year’s best; the National Board of Review named it the best film of 2016. Critics praised Affleck, Hedges, and Williams’ performances, as well as Lonergan’s screenplay and direction. Manchester by the Sea won Best Actor for Affleck and Best Original Screenplay at the 89th Academy Awards, as well as nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Hedges), and Best Supporting Actress (Williams). The film was nominated for six British Academy Film Awards, including Best Actor in a Leading Role for Affleck and Best Original Screenplay.
Directed by: Kenneth Lonergan
Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler
Release dates: January 23, 2016
Running time: 137 minutes
Manchester by the Sea
No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western crime thriller film directed and written by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on Cormac McCarthy’s 2005 novel of the same name. The film is set in the desert landscape of West Texas in 1980. The story revolves around three main characters: Llewelyn Moss (Brolin), a Vietnam War veteran and welder who discovers a large sum of money in the desert; Anton Chigurh (Bardem), a mysterious hitman tasked with recovering the money; and Ed Tom Bell (Jones), a local sheriff investigating the crime.
Critics praised the Coens’ direction and screenplay, as well as Bardem’s performance, and the film received 76 awards from 109 nominations from various organizations, including four Oscars (including Best Picture), three British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs), and two Golden Globes. It was named an AFI Movie of the Year by the American Film Institute, and it was named the best film of 2007 by the National Board of Review.
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin
Release dates: May 19, 2007
Running time: 122 minutes
No Country for Old Men
Chicago is a 2002 American musical black comedy crime film based on the same-named 1975 stage musical, which in turn was based on the 1927 film of the same name. It looks at celebrity, scandal, and corruption in Chicago during the Jazz Age. The story revolves around Roxie Hart (Zellweger) and Velma Kelly (Zeta-Jones), two murderesses who find themselves in jail together in 1920s Chicago, awaiting trial. Roxie, a housewife, and Velma, a vaudevillian, compete for fame in order to avoid the gallows. Rob Marshall, who also choreographed the film, makes his theatrical directorial debut, and it was adapted by screenwriter Bill Condon, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb.
Chicago received critical acclaim, and the cast received widespread praise for their performances. The film went on to win six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, in 2003, making it the first musical to do so since Oliver! in 1968. Zeta-Jones received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the British Academy Film Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. Zellweger received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, while Gere received the award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere
Release date: December 27, 2002
Running time: 113 minutes
American Beauty is a 1999 American black comedy-drama film directed by Sam Mendes and written by Alan Ball. Lester Burnham, played by Kevin Spacey, is an advertising executive who has a midlife crisis after falling in love with his teenage daughter’s best friend, played by Mena Suvari. Carolyn, Lester’s materialistic wife, is played by Annette Bening, and their insecure daughter, Jane, is played by Thora Birch. Wes Bentley, Chris Cooper, and Allison Janney are also in the film. Academics have described the film as a satire of American middle-class notions of beauty and personal satisfaction, with additional analysis focusing on the film’s explorations of romantic and paternal love, sexuality, materialism, self-liberation, and redemption.
Most aspects of the production were praised, with special emphasis on Mendes, Spacey, and Ball centered on the characters and setting’s familiarity. The film won Best Picture, Best Director for Mendes, Best Actor for Spacey, Best Original Screenplay for Ball, and Best Cinematography for Hall at the Academy Awards. Many other awards and honors were bestowed upon and won by the film, primarily for directing, writing, and acting.
Directed by: Sam Mendes
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch
Release dates: September 8, 1999
Gone with the Wind
Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film based on Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel of the same name. Set in the American South during the American Civil War and Reconstruction era, the film follows Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), the strong-willed daughter of a Georgia plantation owner, through her romantic pursuit of Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard), who is married to his cousin, Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland), and her subsequent marriage to Rhett Butler (Clark Gable).
It received ten Academy Awards (eight competitive, two honoraries) from thirteen nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (Fleming), Best Adapted Screenplay (posthumously awarded to Sidney Howard), Best Actress (Leigh), and Best Supporting Actress (Leigh) (Hattie McDaniel, becoming the first African American to win an Academy Award). It broke records for the most wins and nominations at the time.
Directed by: Victor Fleming
Starring: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard
Release date: December 15, 1939
Running time: 221 minutes
Gone with the Wind
Shakespeare in Love
Shakespeare in Love is a romantic period comedy-drama film directed by John Madden, written by Marc Norman and playwright Tom Stoppard, and produced by Harvey Weinstein in 1998. The film depicts a fictional love affair between playwright William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) and Viola de Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) during the writing of Romeo and Juliet. Several characters are based on historical figures, and many of the characters, lines, and plot devices make references to Shakespeare’s plays.
Shakespeare in Love received critical acclaim and was a box office success, grossing $289.3 million worldwide and ranking ninth in 1998. The film won seven Oscars at the 71st Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Gwyneth Paltrow), Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench), and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.
Directed by: John Madden
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush
Release date: December 11, 1998
Running time: 123 minutes
Shakespeare in Love
Room, based on Emma Donoghue’s 2010 novel of the same name, is a 2015 drama film directed by Lenny Abrahamson and written by Emma Donoghue. Brie Larson plays a young woman who has been imprisoned for seven years and whose five-year-old son (Jacob Tremblay) was born while imprisoned. Their escape gives the boy his first taste of the outside world.
Room was named one of the best films of the year and received a slew of awards and nominations. Room received four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, at the 88th Academy Awards. It also received nine Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Motion Picture, as well as seven Irish Film & Television Awards, including Best Film. Larson was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress.
Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson
Release dates: September 4, 2015
Running time: 118 minutes
There Will Be Blood
Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, and Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the greatest actors of all time; their first collaboration produced one of the best films ever made. There Will Be Blood is an Oscar-winning drama set at the turn of the twentieth century that follows Daniel Plainview, a ruthless oilman played by Daniel Day-Lewis. Daniel’s insatiable desire for power at the expense of everything, including his young son H.W. and a neighborly preacher played by Paul Dano, is the focus of the film.
There Will Be Blood received widespread critical acclaim for its cinematography, direction, screenplay, score, and Day-Lewis and Dano performances. It has been widely regarded as one of the greatest films of the twenty-first century by critics, and it appeared on many critics’ “top ten” lists for 2007, including the American Film Institute, the National Society of Film Critics, the National Board of Review, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards at the 80th Academy Awards, tying with another Paramount Vantage/Miramax co-production, No Country for Old Men. Anderson was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Along with Day-Lewis’ Best Actor Oscar, Robert Elswit won Best Cinematography.
Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. O’Connor
Release dates: September 27, 2007
Running time: 158 minutes
There Will Be Blood
Patty Jenkins’s feature directorial debut, Monster, is a 2003 American biographical crime drama film written and directed by her. Aileen Wuornos, a street prostitute who murdered seven of her male clients between 1989 and 1990 and was executed in Florida in 2002, is the subject of the film.
The film won numerous awards and nominations, including the Academy Award for Best Actress, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Lead Actress, the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Actress, the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead, and the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature (Patty Jenkins). Theron’s performance has received critical acclaim, with film critic Roger Ebert describing it as “one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema”. The American Film Institute named the film one of the top ten films of 2003.
Directed by: Patty Jenkins
Starring: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern
Release dates: November 16, 2003
Running time: 109 minutes