And the Oscar Goes to…An American in Paris

It’s a love story filled with music by George and Ira Gershwin and dance choreographed by Gene Kelly. Along with five other Academy Awards, it won Best Picture of 1951. This is my look at An American in Paris starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.

And the Oscar Goes to…: Hamlet

The first and so far only Shakespeare film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, Hamlet (1948) was Sir Laurence Olivier’s second Shakespeare film as director. It landed him a Best Director nomination and won him his only acting Oscar. Also nominated for Best Score and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Jean Simmons, Hamlet took home four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Costume Design for a Black and White film,  and Best Art Direction for a Black and White film. Beating out Johnny Belinda, The Red Shoes, The Snake Pit, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, this is the Best Picture of 1948.

And the Oscar Goes to…: The Best Years of Our Lives

Here we’ve come to what I consider the last contemporary World War II film in the Best Picture list. There were three: Mrs. Miniver (1942), Casablanca (1942), and now The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). They were the only World War II Best Picture movies to come out during the war, sort of. The Best Years of Our Lives premiered in 1946 and won big time at the 1947 Academy Awards. So, while the war was officially over by that point, since the film is about soldiers coming back to their homes after the war, I count it.

Anyway, this hard hitting film is considered one of the best, if not the best, movie about soldiers returning to civilian life. It was told from the perspective of a man who had served in the military, director William Wyler. Wyler had directed many Best Picture nominated films previous to The Best Years of Our Lives (one of those being Mrs. Miniver, which won Best Picture and won him the first of his three Best Director awards), and he also directed a few documentaries during his time as a major in the U.S. Air Forces. He came back from the war with, I believe, total deafness in one ear, partial hearing in the other, and concerns regarding his directing career. With his first hand experience of the battlefields and as a disabled veteran himself, he turned to the story of three veterans coming home. It became a classic that went on to win seven academy awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Music. My thoughts in the video below.