Oscars - Best Picture Milestones
|Year of Awards (No.) Production Company
||Best Picture Winner/Year and Director
Number of Awards/Nominations and Milestones
The King's Speech (2010)
d. Tom Hooper
speech therapist helps insecure monarch King George VI control his stuttering.
- the Best Picture winner was just shy one award from
winning the Big Five; it won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original
Screenplay (David Seidler), and Best Actor (Colin Firth), and was only
lacking a Best Actress nomination/win.
- it was the seventh film in Academy history to win three Guild prizes:
Directors, Producers, and Screen Actors. In six of those seven cases,
the film went on to win Best Picture. The only exception was Apollo
13 (1995) which was also lacking a Best Director nomination
- the most-recent biopic to win Best Picture
- the MPAA had given The
King's Speech (2010) a restrictive 'R' rating for its abundant
profanity - basically, for its repeated use of the F-word, although
the British Ratings Board had given the film a much milder '12A'
rating, on appeal. As a result of the MPAA's firm decision to not
alter the original R rating, an alternate, sanitized or muted version
of the film (without the F-word profanity, replaced with the S-word)
was released by the Weinstein Company on 1,000 screens after the
Best Picture win, to expand its potential audience. The studio received
a waiver to immediately release the new version, and did not have
to wait 90 days from the time the R-rated version was pulled. The
short-lived PG-13 version grossed only $3.3 million, while the R-rated
version grossed $135.4 million.
- in the same year, Toy Story 3 (2010), the most-recent
Best Picture nominee with a G rating
- in the same year, Toy Story 3 (2010), the only
sequel to be nominated for Best Picture without any of its predecessors
The Artist (2011)
d. Michel Hazanavicius
handsome silent film star George Valentin struggles with the coming
of the talkies.
- it was the second 'silent'
Best Picture winner in Oscar history, the first was Wings (1927).
[The soundtrack for The Artist was non-diegetic.]
- it was the first black and white film to win Best Picture
List (1993) (although Spielberg's film contained a few spots
of color), and it was filmed in the older 4:3 aspect ratio; it remains
the most recent B/W film to win Best Picture
- it was the first silent (almost) to be nominated for
Best Picture since Ernst Lubitsch's The Patriot (1928/1929).
- with its Best Picture win, it went from the most Oscar-nominated
French film in history to being the first to win the top prize
- the Weinstein Company began another streak of Best Picture
nominees (with some wins), beginning in 2008: The Reader (2008),
Inglourious Basterds (2009), The King's Speech (2010), and The
d. Ben Affleck (un-nominated for Best Director)
agents in the Middle East in the 1970s team up with filmmakers to
create a fake movie production to help free embassy workers (during
the Iran hostage crisis).
- the most-recent film to win Best Picture without being nominated for
- the last film to win Best Picture without a
director nomination was Bruce Beresford's Driving Miss Daisy (1989),
and the previous victors before that were Wings (1927/28) and
Grand Hotel (1931/32).
- a possible sympathy vote and backlash in support of
un-nominated director Ben Affleck may have had some impact and possibly
accounted for the Best Picture win.
- the last film to win Best Picture without winning
the Oscar for Best Director was Crash (2005).
- Argo won numerous awards
pre-Oscars, including AFI Movie of the Year, BAFTA's Best Film honors,
Cesar Award's Best Foreign Film, Critics Choice Best Picture, the Golden
Globes Best Motion Picture - Drama, and Producers Guild of America
Best Picture, among others.
- to date, it ties
Gigi (1958) for the Best Picture winner with the shortest
title of 4 letters.
- the film's title referred to the name of the fake
movie being filmed, and in Greek mythology, it was also the name of
the ship sailed by Jason and his Argonauts to retrieve the Golden Fleece.
- at the time of the awards, Argo was only the fourth highest-grossing
(domestic) film among the Best Picture nominees.
- in the same year, Silver Linings Playbook (2012) was the
most-recent Best Picture nominee to receive nominations in all four
of the acting categories
- in the same year, Amour (2012) was the most-recent
foreign language film to be nominated for Best Picture (French)
- in the same year, Life of Pi (2012) was the
most-recent Best Picture nominee with a PG rating.
Regency Enterprises and Plan B
12 Years A Slave (2013)
d. Steve McQueen
harrowing tale of freed black man/musician Solomon Northup
from Sarasota, NY who was kidnapped and sold into bondage
in the 1840s.
- it marked the first time a film directed by a black
filmmaker had won Best Picture, although McQueen did not win Best Director
- it was only the fifth highest-grossing film among
the nine Best Picture nominees at only $50 million (domestic revenue),
at the time of the awards
- only 20 other Best Picture winners in previous Oscars
history have claimed three or fewer Oscars (e.g., 12 with 3 Oscars,
5 with 2 Oscars, and 3 with only 1 Oscar). It matched the most recent
Best Pictures Argo (2012) and Crash (2005) with only
three total wins. Interestingly, all three films
won Best Picture without winning the Best Director Oscar.
- Gravity (2013) was the first film since Cabaret
(1972) (with eight wins) to win seven or more Oscars
and still not win Best Picture. Its director Alfonso Cuaron became
the first Mexican and Latino to win Best Director.
- this was the first major slavery film told from an
exclusively black point of view
- it lacked a major star (except perhaps Brad Pitt in
a minor role), was made by a black British director, and starred a
black British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor
- earlier, the film had swept up Best Picture accolades
from the PGA, Critics' Choice, Golden Globes, and BAFTA
- the film's Best Supporting Actress winner, Lupita Nyong'o,
became the ninth Best Supporting Actress contender to win an Oscar
for her film debut
- scriptwriter John Ridley became
the second African-American
writer to win the Oscar for Best (Adapted) Screenplay
- during the 2013 film season, there were four other
black-themed Oscar contenders including 42, Fruitvale
Station, (Lee Daniels') The Butler, and Mandela:
Long Walk to Freedom, but only 12 Years A Slave was rewarded
d. Alejandro González Iñárritu
tale of a fading star questing for redemption - washed-up Hollywood actor
Riggan Thomson, who portrayed the costumed, comic-book superhero 'Birdman'
from decades earlier (his alter-ego), was attempting a Broadway
comeback to revive his career.
- The most recent comedy to win Best Picture.
- This marked
the first year since the academy expanded the Best Picture field in
2009 that every nominee won at least one Oscar.
- Birdman was the third film in four years
to win Best Picture with its story about show business (and backstage).
- Inarritu was the second consecutive Latino (Mexican)
director to win after Alfonso Cuaron last year for Gravity (2013).
- The Mexican director became the fifth consecutive
non-American to win Best Director, following Britisher Tom Hooper for
The King's Speech (2010), Frenchman Michel Hazanavicius for
The Artist (2011), Taiwanese-born Ang Lee for Life of Pi
and fellow Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity (2013).
- Inarritu won the Directors Guild Award, which has matched Oscar all
but seven times in the DGA's 67-year history.
- The film was a miraculous feat - it appeared to be comprised
of a single, seamless, unbroken shot.
Open Road Films
d. Tom McCarthy
on the true story of the The Boston Globe's inquiry into
local allegations of child abuse in the Catholic church.
- The ensemble film won only two Oscars (Best Picture
and Best Original Screenplay), in the same year that
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) won six Oscars.
- The last film to win Best Picture and just one other
Oscar was director Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on
- It was the second lowest domestic-grossing film
ever to win Best Picture (at $39.1 million at the time of the award),
compared to $17 million for The
Hurt Locker (2009).
- Spotlight won over the more widely-predicted
Revenant, which won Best Director for
Alejandro Iñárritu. It
was the third time in four years that Best Picture and Best Director
were split between different films.
- It was the second digitally-captured movie to win the
Oscar for Best Picture, after last year's Birdman (2014).
- Although a number of journalism-themed films in Oscar
history have received lots of nominations, including Best Picture (e.g, Network
(1976), All the President's Men (1976), The Killing Fields (1984),
Broadcast News (1987), and Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)), Gentleman's
Agreement (1947) was the last journalism-related film
to win Best Picture.