**Reviews may contain spoilers**

  • Ben Spicer

A Decade at the Oscars

Updated: Feb 14

Final Shot has started 2021 with a bang! Not only does my Twitter @benspicer14 continue to gain more and more followers, but I have also had the pleasure of guest-blogging on another excellent blog, and connecting with people in the film reviewing community.[i] Plus, Final Shot now features in a popular Feedspot list of the best film blogs on the web, which is definitely cause for celebration![ii] And so, encouraged by these recent successes, I now wish to introduce my first feature of the year: a look back on the last decade of Best Picture nominees at the Oscars, and a ranked list of their quality as I perceive it. We all know the Oscars are going to be a little different this year. The pandemic has affected every aspect of life, and cinema is no exception. That being said, home viewing has allowed the industry to continue to operate in a fashion, and some excellent films have been released this year despite the difficulties, whether they were distributed by streaming services such as Netflix, or played to sparse audiences in the brief periods when cinemas were allowed to open. With the Golden Globe nominations having been announced last week, awards season begins to rumble just as it does every year, and so we can celebrate great cinema in all its forms. Indeed, the Academy Awards having been pushed back to 25th April allows more time than usual to look back on films and think about the impact they have had on us. And with a new decade beginning in 2021, it seems the perfect time to reflect on the nominated films of the last decade and consider what a brilliant ten years it has been for cinema.

Who remembers this - probably the greatest moment in the history of the Oscars ceremony

To this end, I will review one or two of the Best Picture nominees that I have yet to see every week. These reviews will feature alongside a miscellany of other content that will be released perhaps once a week – from the films favoured to win the big awards this year to older classics that will hopefully balance out the saturation of 21st century films for my readers who prefer movies which have had longer to mature in the cultural memory. The most exciting aspect of this feature is perhaps the list I have included below in which I rank the Best Picture nominees of the last decade that I have already seen, along with a chronological list of those I haven’t. Each time I review a new film I will add it into the ranking, and include in that review a brief discussion about the films situated near it in my ranking, so you will get short justifications for their placings. I am very keen for my readers to interact with me on this one, so I’d love both your own takes on the ordering of my list, plus recommendations for which of those I haven’t seen I should watch and review, for I may not be able to complete the entire set before 25th April. You can comment either here under this post or @ me on Twitter. Here goes the ranking. The films that actually won Best Picture are highlighted in gold, and those I have yet to see are included at the bottom in red. I look forward to hearing you telling me how wrong I am…

1) Brooklyn (John Crowley, 2015) 2) Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010) 3) A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) 4) Birdman (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2014) 5) Her (Spike Jonze, 2013) 6) La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016) 7) Room (Lenny Abrahamson, 2015) 8) Call Me By Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017) 9) 1917 (Sam Mendes, 2019) 10) The Descendants (Alexander Payne, 2011) 11) Vice (Adam McKay, 2018) 12) Little Women (Greta Gerwig, 2019) 13) Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach, 2019) 14) Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell, 2012) 15) Les Misérables (Tom Hooper, 2012) 16) Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018) 17) Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015) 18) Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017) 19) Joker (Todd Phillips, 2019) 20) Get Out (Jordan Peele, 2017) 21) Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen, 2011) 22) 127 Hours (Danny Boyle, 2010) 23) Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010) 24) Hacksaw Ridge (Mel Gibson, 2016) 25) Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013) 26) Parasite (Bong Joon-ho, 2019) 27) The Imitation Game (Morten Tyldum, 2014) 28) Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014) 29) The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014) 30) Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016) 31) Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015) 32) Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019) 33) Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan, 2016) 34) The Revenant (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2015) 35) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh, 2017) 36) Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 2012) 37) War Horse (Steven Spielberg, 2011) 38) The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018) 39) Whiplash (Damien Chazelle, 2014) 40) BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018) 41) Moneyball (Bennett Miller, 2011) 42) Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011) 43) Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010) 44) American Hustle (David O. Russell, 2013) 45) Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016) 46) The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, 2019) 47) Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallée, 2013) 48) True Grit (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2010) 49) The King’s Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010) 50) The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro, 2017) 51) Manchester By The Sea (Kenneth Lonergan, 2016) 52) Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018) 53) Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017) 54) The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017) 55) American Sniper (Clint Eastwood, 2014) 56) The Big Short (Adam McKay, 2015) 57) Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass, 2013) 58) Darkest Hour (Joe Wright, 2017) 59) Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg, 2015) 60) Once Upon a Time in Hollywood… (Quentin Tarantino, 2019) 61) Bohemian Rhapsody (Dexter Fletcher and Bryan Singer, 2018)

The Kids are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko, 2010)

Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

The Fighter (David O. Russell, 2010)

The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius, 2011)

The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)

The Help (Tate Taylor, 2011)

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Stephen Daldry, 2011)

Life of Pi (Ang Lee, 2012)

Amour (Michael Hanake, 2012)

Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin, 2012)

Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012)

Lincoln (Steven Spielberg, 2012)

Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012)

The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)

12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)

Philomena (Stephen Frears, 2013)

Nebraska (Alexander Payne, 2013)

The Theory of Everything (James Marsh, 2014)

Selma (Ava DuVernay, 2014)

The Martian (Ridley Scott, 2015)

Lion (Garth Davis, 2016)

Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie, 2016)

Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi, 2016)

Fences (Denzel Washington, 2016)

Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)

Ford v Ferrari (James Mangold, 2019)

[i] Please check out my guest review of Bottle Rocket and Hamish’s fantastic blog: https://hcmoviereviews.wordpress.com/2021/01/31/bottle-rocket/ [ii] Final Shot places at number 160 at the moment, but I’m keen to get that to go up and up throughout the year: https://blog.feedspot.com/movie_blogs/

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