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12. Pulp Fiction
Winner for Best Original Screenplay, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction connects multiple non-linear, intersecting storylines of Los Angeles mobsters, fringe players and small-time criminals and a mysterious brief case. The highly stylized film is iconic for its eclectic dialogue, ironic mix of humour and violence, and host of cinematic allusions and pop culture references.
11. Dallas Buyers Club
This American biographical drama won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in the 86th Academy Awards, making it only the fifth movie ever to win both awards. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club tells the story of an AIDS patient diagnosed in the mid-80’s when the disease was highly stigmatized and medication not readily accessible.
10. The King’s Speech
Colin Firth’s masterful performance in The King’s Speech won him an Oscar for Best Actor. The film depicts Prince Albert trying to overcome his speech impediment with the help of Lionel Logue, an Australian actor and speech therapist. An extraordinary friendship develops between the two men as Logue uses unconventional means to teach the monarch how to speak with confidence as he ascends the throne as King George VI.
9. No Country For Old Men
With a total of 4 Oscar wins, No Country for Old Men is a must see, directed by the award-winning Coen brothers, who also brought you Fargo and Burn After Reading. In this American neo-Western thriller, violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.
8. The Departed
Directed by Martin Scorsese in his first Oscar win as director, Best Picture winner The Departed is a remake of the cult classic Hong Kong film, Internal Affairs and features a star-studded cast. Leonardo Di Caprio plays an undercover cop who has infiltrated an Irish gang in a deadly race with a mole in the police force to track down and identify each other before being exposed to the enemy. This tale of questionable loyalties and blurring identities will keep you at the edge of your seats with suspense. Also starring Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin.
7. LOTR: The Return of The King
Peter Jackson’s The Return of The King won a record of 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. This final instalment of the visually breathtaking Lord of the Rings trilogy sees heroes Frodo and Sam reach Mordor in their quest to destroy the `One Ring', while Aragorn leads the forces of good against Sauron's evil army at the stone city of Minas Tirith. This film is the epic conclusion to Jackson’s enthralling look at temptation, greed, power and good vs. evil.
A brilliant adaptation of the Broadway musical, Chicago, this Academy Best Picture winner tells the tale of Roxy Hart who is sent to prison for shooting her lying lover. In prison she meets tabloid darling and headline singer, Velma Kelly, played by Best Supporting Actress winner Catherine Zeta-Jones, who is also in for a double murder. With the help of a slick Chicago lawyer, she learns to play the media game and vies for the valuable press attention that will get her out of jail.
5. American Beauty
Best Picture winner American Beauty is described as a satire of American middle class notions of beauty and personal satisfaction. The film features Best Actor winner Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham and Best Actress winner Annette Bening, who stars as his materialistic wife, Carolyn. Fed up with his stagnant existence, he quits his job and decides to reinvent himself as a pot-smoking, responsibility-shirking teenager.
4. The English Patient
Multi-award winning The English Patient takes place at the close of WWII. Juliette Binoche was awarded Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of a young nurse tending to a badly burned plane crash victim who cannot remember his name. As the film progresses, his past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.
3. Forrest Gump
Winner of six Academy Awards, Forrest Gump features an unforgettable performance by Best Actor winner Tom Hanks, as a slow-witted boy who thanks to his supportive mother, leads anything but a restricted life. Whether dominating as a college football star, fighting in Vietnam or captaining a shrimp boat, Forrest inspires people with his childlike optimism.
2. Annie Hall
Multi-award winning Annie Hall is a romantic comedy directed by and starring Woody Allen. The film displays how neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer tries to figure out the reasons for the failure of his relationship with the ditsy Annie Hall. Voted by the Writers Guild of America as the funniest screenplay ever written, the film continues to receive positive reviews after more than a quarter of a century; definitely a Hollywood classic.
1. The Godfather 1 & 2
With a collective nine Oscar wins, The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the most influential films in world cinema. Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino in the first instalment, with Best Supporting Actor Robert De Niro in the sequel, The Godfather 1 & 2 tells the violent story of a Mafia family fighting to establish supremacy in the America.
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