Thursday Movie Picks 2021: Oscar Winners Edition – Best Picture

ThursdayMoviePicksHappy first full week of 2021! It’s also the first TMP of the week. The Thursday Movie Picks blogathon was spearheaded by Wandering Through the Shelves Blog.

The rules are simple simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you’re up to it one of each. This Thursday’s theme is… Oscar Winners Edition – Best Picture.

Well, Oscar nominations isn’t coming out until March 15 this year, but naturally Oscar talks have already begun and film fans are likely making their predictions already. For this Best Picture edition however, I thought I’d take a walk down memory lane and pick from three different genres released in three different decades. I’m also picking those that I actually enjoy watching more than once.

In any case, here are my three picks:

The Sound of Music – 1965

Directed by Robert Wise

I’ve mentioned this a few times on this blog that this is one of the three VHS my late mother brought home from a European trip when I was in my early teens, which also marks my introduction to big Hollywood movies. The other two are also Oscar Best Picture winners: Gone with the Wind and My Fair Lady. 

I’ve since watched The Sound of Music at least a dozen times. I know a few of the songs by heart to this day, and there’s such a timeless quality to the story and obviously the music. Irwin Kostal also won an Oscar for Best Music in this movie, his second one after scoring West Side Story a few years prior. Well, both of the lead actors are still working today. In fact, it’s quite amusing to hear Dame Julie Andrews’ voice in Bridgerton series as Lady Whistledown.

Fun Trivia:

Christopher Plummer accidentally said the word “Captain” to Julie Andrews during the argument scene. Despite the error, producer and director Robert Wise thought it was that amusing, and liked it so much, he kept it in the movie.

Forrest Gump (1994)

Directed by Robert Zemeckis

I actually haven’t seen this one in a while but I’ve definitely seen it at least 2-3 times. It’s crazy that this movie is 26 years old already and Tom Hanks is still one of the best and most prolific actors working today. This is easily one of Hanks’ most memorable performance even in his illustrious career filled with indelible characters. It’s also one of the most quotable movies, some hilarious and some profound. It’s nice to see a character like Forrest Gump being such a popular icon… an earnest, good-to-the-bone human being that’s lacking any kind of malice, you could say he’s the modern day George Bailey.

Fun Trivia:
Tom Hanks signed onto this film after an hour and a half of reading the script, but agreed to take the role only on the condition that the film was historically accurate. He initially wanted to ease Forrest’s pronounced Southern accent, but was eventually persuaded by Robert Zemeckis to portray the heavy accent stressed in the novel, and he patterned his accent after Michael Conner Humphreys (young Forrest), who actually spoke that way.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Directed by Peter Jackson

It’s quite rare for a big franchise film to get an Oscar nomination and this one won 11 Oscars, rivaling Titanic and Ben-Hur, the latter is one of my all time favorites. I actually think The Two Towers is as good if not better, which was also nominated for Oscar’s Best Picture. The Battle of Helm’s Deep is perhaps one of the most amazing battle scenes ever filmed. But of course, The Return of the King is a spectacular end to the trilogy, with Aragorn leading the forces of good against Sauron’s evil army. This was the first fantasy film to ever win Best Picture. It’s still a rarity for fantasy films to nab the award, though The Shape of Water did win Best Picture in 2017.

Fun Trivia:

The last shot of principal photography was when the newly-crowned Aragorn bows to the four Hobbits. Although Viggo Mortensen did not need to be on-set for that day, he nevertheless insisted on attending. He didn’t have a crown (it wasn’t necessary, he wasn’t being filmed), so he fashioned one out of paper. With each successive take, the crown was becoming more ornate and sillier as crew members kept decorating it, so the four actors playing the Hobbits often had difficulty suppressing their giggles.

What do you think of my picks? Have you seen any of them?

24 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks 2021: Oscar Winners Edition – Best Picture

  1. I couldn’t remember much about The Sound of Music, saw way back in grade school, our choir teacher showed it during our movie Friday. I grew to despise Forrest Gump, I loved it when I saw it in theater back in the summer of 1994, but as I grew older and watched it again I didn’t like it at all. Lol!

    I totally forgot that The Return of the King actually won best picture at the Oscars! It’s my least favorite of the trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring is the best one in my opinion. But I thought the best one of the novels was Return of the King.

    1. Oh no, you grew to despise Forrest Gump? I actually haven’t seen it in a while but I remember really like it. But I suppose some films just don’t age well.

      I actually like The Two Towers which was also nominated for Best Picture, but I think the trilogy is really amazing and even Peter Jackson himself couldn’t really top the movies with The Hobbit.

      1. I think I really despised how they treated the whole thing with Jenny, it made me want to throw up actually. Lol!

        I thought The Two Towers was great too but I felt the first one was more complete, the middle film was just a set up for the finally of course. Then I thought Return of the King was just too long and kind of dragged, I enjoyed it but it’s the one that I’ve only watched a couple of times on Bluray. I’ve watched the first two films many times since it came out.

        1. I think the ending of Return of the King was way too long, I agree. It was like a Minnesota Goodbye, LOL. I think the first one has a ton of memorable scenes and since it’s the first one, it’s definitely got that novelty aspect. Plus there’s the death of Boromir that I still remember to this day… such an emotional scene!

  2. Cool picks! Totally agree about Forrest Gump and Tom Hanks’ performance. I think it’s the kind of movie that could’ve gone of the rails but Robert Zemeckis did a decent job grounding the story. We have Return of the King in common on our lists too. But as a big musical fan, I’m not sure I’ve ever watched The Sound of Music…I might have to change that this year.

    1. Hi Katy! I think Forrest Gump wouldn’t have worked as well without the perfect actor for the title role. It’s also a stellar directing achievement mixing humor, drama, war, historical fiction… so many different genres in one film and somehow making it work.

      Glad we have The Return of the King in common. Oh wow, if you’re a fan of musicals, then you MUST watch Sound of Music, it’s such a delightful movie with songs that will stick in your head for weeks!

  3. I love The Sound of Music even if parts stretch belief to extraordinary limits but Julie and Plummer smooth them over. She’s in absolutely glorious voice and that helps too. My favorite character and performance though is Eleanor Parker Baroness. She gets a bad rap but while she’s the fly in the ointment for the leads she’s not really a villainess and Parker gives her a lot of depth.

    Sorry to say I detest your other two. Gump was a dull lump of nothing for me and all the LOTR movies were torture to sit through. I cursed the first one because after seeing it and hating it I knew I’d have to watch the other two to see if 1. they’d improve and 2. they’d make sense of the story. They did not.

    So many choices this time out but having used so many of my favorite winners (From Here to Eternity, The Best Years of Our Lives, All About Eve, GWTW etc) before and trying not to double dip I decided to go with the three I consider the worst winners in the category’s history.

    The Broadway Melody (1929)-It only took two years for the Academy to award the wrong film. Glue-footed musical that came out shortly after sound changed the industry won more out of the novelty of songs being able to be heard on screen than any kind of worth the picture possesses….which ain’t much!

    Cimarron (1931)-Stiff as a board adaptation of Edna Ferber’s classic novel of the settling of the Oklahoma Territory. Leaden direction, dull performances (incredibly Richard Dix won Best Actor) and a sluggish pace aren’t compensated by one great land rush sequence. The first Western to win Best Picture (in a year where The Public Enemy, Little Caesar and City Lights weren’t even nominated!) soured the pot and it took another 60 years until Dances with Wolves captured another.

    Around the World in 80 Days (1956)-The title says just about all about this insufferable, tedious, tiresome and endlessly bloated adaptation of a Jules Verne adventure dealing with a balloon trip circumnavigating the globe. Stuffed with cameos of stars of the day in either passing bits or meaningless parts it made a mint on release but this is the worst film to ever win Best Picture.

    1. Hi Joel! As always I welcome your thoughts on my picks. Glad you Sound of Music, I actually rewatched it tonight after I did this post, ahah. Yes Julie Andrews’ voice is absolutely glorious and I agree about the Baroness, I don’t see her a the villain here, and I actually feel kinda bad for her that the Captain fell for Maria.

      Ouch, too bad you don’t agree with Forrest Gump and LOTR. They are long movies and if you don’t care for that world then I can see why you find it boring.

      As for your Worst Winner picks, well I’m glad to say I haven’t seen any. I actually have only heard of the last one. I’d love to see a good Jules Verne cinematic adaptation.

  4. Love ya Ruth but we disagree on The Sound of Music! 😉 Whenever it comes on the TV I quickly change channels. I mostly enjoy musicals so perhaps it’s something about Julie Andrews?! I do like Mary Poppins though…
    Forrest Gump is a treasure and actually made my ‘long list’. It’s highly quotable, like you say, and Hanks did such a wonderful treasure.
    For your third choice, well you know my feelings on my beloved LOTR 🙂

    1. Oh no, another one who isn’t keen on Sound of Music, ahah. I actually read that even Christopher Plummer apparently found Julie Andrews irritating on set, maybe he thought she was too jolly? Her nickname for her was Ms. Disney 😀

      What’s your Long List you’re referring to? Is that on your blog? Love that we match on LOTR, such a fantastic trilogy!

      1. You know, I really think some people can be too jolly and it grates on you after a while!
        So at the top of my post I wrote that “I found it very tricky whittling my choices down to just five: honourable mentions go to Casablanca, The Godfather, Forrest Gump and Green Book.” 🙂

  5. Great picks!
    Fun Fact about The Sound of Music: Even though I am born and raised in Austria, I had never heard about the movie until an English teacher mentioned how popular it is in the UK and U.S.
    Here in Austria, the majority of people are unfamiliar with it – even those who have seen it are not nearly as excited about it as the rest of the world. 😅

    1. Hey Becks! I actually visited Austria in Fall of 2019, spent a couple of days in Vienna, beautiful city. My hubby and I had planned to go to Salzburg to take the Sound of Music tour, but we didn’t have enough time, plus it rained the entire time so we decided to do it another time.

      It’s funny how some films from certain region are more popular in other countries. I mean, shows like Outlander probably isn’t as popular in Scotland as it is in US and other parts of the world.

    1. Hi Getter, long time no ‘chat’ on the blog. I hear ya about being familiar w/ certain movies without actually seeing it through. There are a few classic films that I FEEL like I have seen as I know bits and pieces of it, but never got around to seeing it in full. Glad you’re a fellow LOTR and Forrest Gump fan.

  6. I love the Sound of Mucas..hahahaaa. Julie Andrews was so good and her singing is amazing. I love the little trivia bits afterwards. I hate Forrest Gump. I have watched it more than once and it’s ok but Shawshank Redemption should have won. Love LOTR and glad it won. Love the trivia bit.

  7. Pingback: The Alliance Lately: Issue No. 20 – The Minnesota Film Critics Alliance

    1. Ahah, I totally get it that you like the Sound of Music songs more than the movie 🙂 I hear ya about FOTR which in many ways is a better film, but it didn’t win Best Picture and I wanted to include a LOTR movie on my list.

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