The Oscars this past Sunday created a great amount of buzz. The Academy Award for Best Picture is the greatest honor a film can be given. This award is always the main event of the Oscars, and it was one of the wildest endings ever. Not to be outdone by this year’s roller coaster Super Bowl, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were given the wrong envelope, causing a great deal of confusion. The award was given to the musical La-La Land when the Academy had awarded the Best Picture award to the Barry Jenkins helmed drama Moonlight. The gaffe may have hurt the image of the awards, but it may have been the best thing for the two films mixed up in confusion. They say any press is good press, so hopefully, it gets more eyes on these great films.
I wanted to write a countdown piece before any of the Academy Award drama had hit the fan this week. Some of the greatest films ever put together have been awarded the Best Picture Oscar. Going through every film would be tough, so I decided to give the top five greatest films of the millennial era. As someone who wasn’t sure what a millennial was a few weeks ago, despite being born right in the midst of the timeframe, I had to find out my parameters. The Millennial generation is often defined as the group of people born between 1982 and 2004.
Rain Man-Directed by Barry Levinson
This 1988 drama tells the story of two brothers. Charlie is a young arrogant yuppie who lies and cheats professionally. Raymond is an autistic savant who is a math genius but is a slave to his routine. Their father dies and leaves his entire estate to Raymond, which causes Charlie to reunite with his long lost brother to try and get his share of the money. The film is funny, heartfelt and is headed by two actors (Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman) at the peak of their careers. In fact, Hoffman won best actor for the film as well.
The Silence of the Lambs-Directed By Jonathan Demme
Okay, so I needed some darkness on this list. This film and its impact on pop culture are often overshadowing just how brilliant the movie is. Hannibal Lecter brings up to mind, regardless of if one has seen the movie. So does the name of the other wildly dangerous villain in the film, Buffalo Bill. The film is based on a novel by Thomas Harris, who has written an entire fantastic series on our favorite people eating antihero. Anyone who hasn’t seen the fantastic performances from Jodi Foster, Ted Levine, and of course Anthony Hopkins owes it to themselves to take a watch. After all, the internet memes get even funnier once you have seen the film.
Forrest Gump-Directed by Robert Zemeckis
We all know about the chocolate and Jenny, but this film is another that may be hurt by its culture relevance. Some younger audiences may have dismissed the need to watch this brilliant Comedy/Drama due to the fact they feel they have already watched it. Sometimes, the overload of quotes and internet videos can create some unfair preconceived notions. The fact is Tom Hanks has never been better, Robin Wright isn’t just Kevin Spacey’s husband in that Netflix show, and it may just be the most heartwarming film of its time. Film is about getting a reaction from an audience, and this one seems to get them all from me in its 142 minutes running time. It’s worth it, just think of it as about 2/3 of a season of Fuller House.
Gladiator-Directed By Ridley Scott
Wow, is this film fantastic? This is the perfect film for all of the guys reading this article. It’s got all of the violence of any summer action film, and all of the drama you could ever want for the story buffs out there. Russell Crowe is about as believable as it gets as Maximus, and Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus was a star-making performance. Try not to want to beat that man down every time he’s on screen, it’s impossible.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King-Directed By Peter Jackson
First off, what a list of directors for these five films. Now to the anti-Godfather Part III, The Return of the King. The last installment in the greatest fantasy story of all time is the greatest picture of the entire trilogy. Fans receive a satisfying conclusion to the saga, and viewers are treated to one of the most brilliantly shot films of all time. Peter Jackson created a masterpiece that few thought would ever be done justice with a film version. It not only avoids the trilogy curse so many films have been saddled with (Terminator 3, Alien 3, and Godfather Part III) but it manages to eclipse the first two films, which were fantastic in their right.