Hello, Bloggers, as part of my Oscar coverage, I figured that for my latest top 10 list that I promised, just for the heck of it, I'd share my thoughts on what I think are the top 10 best Oscar wins of the previous decade. What I will do is pick the best winner in each of the top 8 major categories and a few techs. After this year's Oscars, I will do a top 10 list of the best of this decade so far. But let's get to this list:
10. Pan's Labyrinth wins Best Cinematography (2006): Despite not winning Best Foreign Language Film, Pan's Labyrinth still managed to not go home empty handed and pick up 3 Oscars for Art Direction, Makeup, and Cinematography. Its cinematography was absolutely mesmerizing and it is a thrill to see it, along with the film, get wuch recognition as it falls under a genre they typically avoid or at least weed out by giving it technical awards.
9. Lose Yourself wins Best Original Song (2002): When Barbra Streisand opened the envelope as she presented Best Song to Eminem's 'Lose Yourself' by 8 Mile. But with good reason because they took a chance by awarding the powerful rap ballad that still managed to hold up very well.
8. Mo'Nique wins Best Supporting Actress (2009): As Mo'Nique herself pointed out in her acceptance speech, this is a rare example of the performance trumping politics. She campaigned by letting her performance do the talking and boy, did it pay off! Not only is it one of the category's all-time best winners, but one of the best performances put on screen. I would've even given her the Oscsr just for her final scene which might've been what sealed the deal.
7. Daniel Day-Lewis wins Best Actor (2007): Of all of the 3 performances DDL won an Oscar for, I would say this is the best. This is a fully-dimensional performance as a businessman who exudes sly charm as a physical mask for the raging and manipulative monster underneath. Plus, it became an instant classic thanks to the famous 'I drink your milkshake' line.
6. Brokeback Mountain wins Best Adapted Screenplay (2005): The genius of the film's screenplay by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana is its quietness. Although the film deals with intense subject matter involving homophobia, it is still written in such a subtle and less patronizing manner (quite the opposite of the film it lost Best Picture to). Because of its quietness, I can't help but applaud the Academy for recognizing it.
5. No Country For Old Men wins Best Picture (2007): No Country For Old Men's win for Best Picture is quite a rarity: A film that is dark, violent, chilling, and has an unsure or *spoiler alert* unhappy ending. Despite my personal choice for Best Picture being There Will Be Blood, this is a choice I have absolutely no complaints about and I cherish it because it might be a while before a film as dark as this receives this kind of recognition. Well-deserved.
4. Charlize Theron wins Best Actress (2003): One could easily look at Theron's performance as a simple 'beauty-to-beast' transformation. But while she did pull off quite the physical transformation, the performance is all her. I may have only seen Monster once, but Theron's powerful portrayal still lingers on me. That is the sign of an extraordinary performance.
3. Heath Ledger wins Best Supporting Actor (2008): Like with Theron, I could sing my praises for Ledger's performance until the end of time. Ledger's portrait of the Joker is a reinvention of the already iconic figure and almost makes you wish the Joker had his own movie. Brilliant performance from a versatile actor that sadly left us too soon. Rest easy, fine sir!
2. Martin Scorsese wins Best Director (2006): Now, I know that people don't consider The Departed Scorsese's best work or as good as Goodfellas or Raging Bull. Those two will forever be his best. But I love this win so much simply because it finally happened. One of the greatest directors working today finally got his due and I can't help but be enamored with this win.
1. Almost Famous wins Best Original Screenplay (2000): This choice is a bit biased because I still consider Almost Famous my favorite movie. But what makes a favorite movie without a screenplay, right? The script is a potent blend of comedy, heavy drama, and of course, the film's vocal point: music. Plus, it works as a coming-of-age story with a nostalgic vibe. It is a script that flows as harmoniously as a guitar string and despite not getting a Best Picture nomination (Why, I'll never know), it still managed to nab the right prize.
Javier Bardem wins Best Supporting Actor (2007)
Christoph Waltz wins Best Supporting Actor (2009)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind wins Best Original Screenplay (2004)
The Departed wins Best Picture (2006)
Finding Nemo wins Best Animated Feature (2003)
So those are my top 10 picks for the best Oscar winners of the past decade. If you agree or disagree with any of my pics, please feel free to write in the comments section and add your own honorable mentions. My Oscar coverage continues with another post of the acting nominees and whether they will be back again. Until then, thanks for reading!