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I guess I just like liking things

It’s still Oscar season as long as people are griping/celebrating/watching highlights on YouTube, right?

I got curious as to how many of the Best Picture Oscar winners I had seen, and once I found out was 41, I figured I might as well try to rank them. It ended up being kind of difficult, especially in the middle. If I did this again in ten years, I suspect my top ten and bottom ten would still look about the same (barring the next ten years’ worth of movies, of course), but the middle 21 would probably get all changed around. Hard to say. The best way to approach this, of course, would be to watch all 87 in a row and figure out their current standings from there. Maybe I’ll do that some day, but for now I have to rely on my memory, which I admit is not what it used to be.

Here are the 41 Best Picture winners that I have seen, ranked by how much I liked them:

41. The English Patient (1996) – I don’t hate it the way Elaine does, but it was all a bit much, wasn’t it?

40. Chicago (2002) – There are very few musicals I actually want to see again – unless they involve skeletons, man-eating plants, or animated characters.

39. Chariots of Fire (1981) – I know I was supposed to be moved by this, but I was mostly bored. I can still play many parts of the theme on the piano, though. Song > movie for me.

38. Ben-Hur (1959) – There’s a bar in my town named after this movie.

37. The Hurt Locker (2009) – I literally have nothing to say about this movie.

36. The Departed (2006) – I’ve said it before, but maybe if I hadn’t seen Infernal Affairs first I would’ve liked this one more.

35. The Artist (2011) – I liked it, I did. I just… I dunno. I wouldn’t ever seek it out again.

34. A Man for All Seasons (1966) – Honestly, I don’t remember a lot about this movie. It gets bumped up because I was in a theatrical production of it in college and I have fond memories of that experience.

33. Rain Man (1988) – It’s fine.

32. Driving Miss Daisy (1989) – A rewatch of this one would probably lower it, but Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy were wonderful together.

31. The Sting (1973) – A fun caper flick. Worth your time.

30. The Sound of Music (1965) – Yes, it’s a classic and it’s great, but I don’t ever need to see it again. I doubt I’ll get that choice, though, as my wife loves it.

29. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) – Nurse Ratched went on to play Kai Winn in Deep Space Nine, so that’s two evil characters to her credit.

28. Amadeus (1984) – The best part about this movie is Falco’s song “Rock Me, Amadeus,” which didn’t have anything to do with this movie. This movie also inspired an episode of 30 Rock that was pretty great.

27. A Beautiful Mind (2001) – I’ll admit it: I never saw the twist coming.

26. Argo (2012) – Good movie, but learning the actual facts around historical movies tends to lower them in my estimation.

25. The Deer Hunter (1978) – I’ve always been fascinated by the Vietnam War.

24. Crash (2005) – I know I’m supposed to hate this movie, but I don’t. Sorry.

23. The King’s Speech (2010) – Too many biopics at the Oscars.

22. Million Dollar Baby (2004) – I like most Clint Eastwood movies, as it turns out. There are a couple I haven’t seen, but they’re on my list.

21. Slumdog Millionaire (2008) – That outhouse scene is one of the grossest things I have ever seen and I’ll never forgive this movie for that.

20. Dances with Wolves (1990) – James Cameron’s remake isn’t nearly as good.

19. Shakespeare in Love (1998) – Hey, this was back before we knew Gwyneth was bananapants crazy!

18. Annie Hall (1977) – I feel bad admitting this, but I don’t remember much about this one. I remember liking it (and many other Woody Allen movies… please don’t judge me).

17. Casablanca (1943) – The best Humphrey Bogart movie I’ve ever seen.

16. Titanic (1997) – The boat stuff is great! The rest of it is ridiculous.

15. Forrest Gump (1994) – This one will get carry-over good vibes for a long time, even though I’m bitter it beat Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption for the Oscar, which is just plain ridiculous.

14. Gone with the Wind (1939) – I’ve seen this movie like four times. That’s plenty. Scarlett O’Hara is a jerk, folks!

13. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – Unnerving.

12. Platoon (1986) – I sometimes get this one confused with Full Metal Jacket.

11. American Beauty (1999) – Kevin Spacey was fantastic in this, as were many others. That plastic bag nonsense makes roll my eyes so hard it hurts, though.

10. Rocky (1976) – Hate all you want, Network and Taxi Driver fans!

9. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – If this were the whole trilogy rather than just part 3, this would be a lot higher up.

8. No Country for Old Men (2007) – The older I get the more I’ll like this one, I expect.

7. The Apartment (1960) – Hey, I’ve talked about this one before!

6. Schindler’s List (1993) – I think everyone should see it at least once. I’ve seen this movie three times, but I hope I don’t see it again.

5. Braveheart (1995) – I thoroughly enjoyed the director’s commentary on this one, even. I’ve only ever listened to maybe 5 or 6 of those.

4. Gladiator (2000) – Ancient Rome fascinates me almost as much as the Vietnam War.

3. The Godfather Part II (1974) – It might be better than the first one, but you can’t get here without it.

2. The Godfather (1972) – The first time I ever saw this movie I watched the second tape first on accident. I thought it was one of those “start in the middle of the story” movies. I felt pretty dumb about it afterwards.

1. Unforgiven (1992) – My favorite Clint Eastwood movie, my favorite Western, and one of my favorite movies of all time.

How many Best Picture winners have you seen?


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