Thursday, February 18, 2016

Ranking Oscar-Nominated Films With More Than 10 Wins

Ladies and gentleman, the time is upon us. In only a short 10 days, this year's Academy Awards ceremony will be held and we'll know for sure who is this year's Best Picture. Will it be The Revevenant? The Big Short? Spotlight? Who knows for sure. With that said, it's time to countdown to the big day by highlighting the final moments of double digits for Oscar prognosticators. Kicking things off will be films that won 10 or more Oscars. Which of the few is better than them all? You'll have to read on to find out.

One of the most impressive things to note is that even with films racking up a lot of Oscar nominations and formatting the zeitgeist, there aren't that many that have won the large bounty. As it stands, iconic films like Schindler's List and Lawrence of Arabia both have only won seven Oscars. While numbers aren't always indicative of success, there's something telling about a film that goes above and beyond with wins. To date, there's only been four to win double digits (including Best Picture in all cases), and not all as predictable as you'd think. The following is a ranking of those films from best to worst and what makes them stand out as being worthy of the acclaim.

Scene from West Side Story
1. West Side Story (1961)

Number of Nominations: 11
Number of Wins: 10

During the golden age of Hollywood, there are few musicals as immersive and exciting as West Side Story. While it's the first Best Picture winner to have two directors, Jerome Robbins' involvement was minimal compared to Robert Wise's (of whom would go on to do The Sound of Music a few years later). Still, there's an astounding amount of skill put into every frame from the singing to the elaborate choreography. Sure, it may be an updated version of William Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliette" (the film's only loss in Best Adapted Screenplay), but it still manages to make the concept of dancing gang members into something wonderful while providing iconic numbers such as "I Feel Pretty" and "Tonight." There have been many musicals to come close to the towering achievements of this film, but none have as much energy or clarity as this one does.

Scene from The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
2. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)

Number of Nominations: 11
Number of Wins: 11

Along with having the longest title of any Best Picture winner, this capper to director Peter Jackson's J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy adaptation is also the last film to win over 10 awards. While some consider it more of a cumulative win for the entire series, there's no denying the impact that Jackson's epic had upon its release, including revolutionary technology and innovative film schedules. It's the only third entry to hold the Best Picture honor as well. Even if Jackson's later work (specifically The Hobbit films) can't hold a candle to his three year blitzkrieg of genius, the world is a better place for knowing that epics of this scale could still be made and could still be awe-inspiring art.

Scene from Titanic
3. Titanic (1997)

Number of Nominations: 14
Number of Wins: 11

What's possibly more surprising than the film's billion dollar intake is how strangely relevant it still is almost 20 years later. For starters, its two lovebirds Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are both nominated for Oscars this year - and have been nominated several times between then and now. For a film that's technically impressive and emotionally rich, it's easy to see how director James Cameron's magnum opus clicked with so many audiences despite being 3.5 hour film about a boat sinking. Even then, it's incredible that unlike most of the films on this list, its cast and crew are still going strong, and that isn't bad at all.

Scene from Ben-Hur
4. Ben-Hur (1959)

Number of Nominations: 12
Number of Wins: 11

To the film's credit, Ben-Hur is the first to gain 10 nominations, breaking the previous record of 9 wins, held by Gigi the year prior. Director William Wyler wasn't an expert on making biblical epics, which made his attempt all the more impressive as he cast Charlton Heston in a Best Actor-winning performance that also features The Oscars' longest screen time. While known specifically for the chariot race scene, it was a standard for epics that were unfortunately on the way out a few years later upon the failure of Cleopatra. But in 1959, it was state of the art in ways that few films were. Even if the pacing and technology seem dated, it's still an impressive achievement in what studio films could do at the time.

No comments:

Post a Comment