Academy Awards
Best Picture Milestones



2010s
Note: Oscar® and Academy Awards® and Oscar® design mark are the trademarks and service marks and the Oscar© statuette the copyrighted property, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This site is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Oscars - Best Picture Milestones
Year of Awards (No.) Production Company Best Picture Winner/Year and Director
Number of Awards/Nominations and Milestones
Film Poster
2010 (83rd)

Weinstein Company

The King's Speech (2010)
d. Tom Hooper
Awards: 4
Nominations: 12

A 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 being nominated
2011 (84th)

Weinstein Company

The Artist (2011)
d. Michel Hazanavicius
Awards: 5
Nominations: 10

Declining, 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 since Schindler's 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 Artist (2011).
2012 (85th)

Warner Bros.

Argo (2012)
d. Ben Affleck (un-nominated for Best Director)
Awards: 3
Nominations: 7

CIA 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 Best Director
  • 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.
2013 (86th)

Regency Enterprises and Plan B

12 Years A Slave (2013)
d. Steve McQueen
Awards: 3
Nominations: 9

The 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

Best Picture Milestones
Intro | 1920s-30s | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s
Other Best Pictures Sections


Previous Page Next Page