What’s the Best 1990s “Best Picture” Oscar Winner?

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  • TrippyTrellis

    From the NOMINATED films of each year, I would have chosen:
    ’90- Goodfellas
    ’92- Howard’s End
    ’93- The Remains of the Day
    ’94- Pulp Fiction
    ’95- Sense and Sensibility
    ’97- TITANIC

    • WDPjr

      Howard’s End over Unforgiven? Remains of the Day over Schindler’s list? NO WAY!!!
      For ’94, I would take Shawshank Redemption over both Gump and Pulp.
      For ’96 I preferred Fargo.
      For ’97, I preferred ALL the other movies over Titanic!!!
      For ’99, I thought all 5 movies were pretty equally good (but Green Mile is too long).

      Thx for this sub-pole which is more interesting than the original poll!!!

    • Job Skeffington

      Are you really Fanny Trellis Skeffington’s brother?

      • TrippyTrellis

        I guess we are brothers-in-law.

    • Sam

      Shakespeare In Love over Saving Private Ryan? One of the Academy’s great injustices!

      • Gayle Feyrer

        Saving Private Ryan, was moving, but pretty predictable. And the harrowing first half hour is all anyone ever seems to talk about. Shakespeare In Love is brilliant all the way through – witty, gorgeous, and sad.

  • Blair Kramer

    Regarding “Titanic,” never let it be said that you can’t make a compelling movie out of an obviously lousy screenplay. James Cameron is a very talented director. He could probably squeeze feeling and drama out of a telephone directory. In other words, he proved that you just need the right attitude to elicit strong emotions. But let’s face it. The main characters in “Titanic” have little to do with reality. In the film, the itinerant street bum is a hero, while the wealthy young man is an evil, jealous murderer. I’m sorry, but this scenario is stupid. I grew up in the big city and the people who assaulted me didn’t jump out of a Rolls Royce to steal my wallet. They were all violent street thugs. The hero in “Titanic” may have been an artist, but he’s the guy who would most likely rob you in an alley. Frankly, I’m not afraid that some wealthy man will attack me any time soon. Basically, the screenplay for “Titanic” is nothing more than a silly, left-wing diatribe. But hey… Stupid though it certainly is, it still strikes all the right emotional notes. For that reason it remains a great movie.

    • Johnny V

      OMG! Really? All this just because it doesn’t measure up to YOUR standards?
      Street bum vs. wealthy young man is stupid? Guess you couldn’t wrap your head around the fact that our hero has morals (and a personality) while the arrogant, egocentric, wealthy young man has none.
      “…most likely rob you in an alley.” Wasn’t Jack NOT GUILTY of stealing the diamond?
      Get real, Mr. Kramer. Best not to comment if you have to make things up. You’re just an opinionated hack who would find fault on a gum wrapper.

      • Blair Kramer

        @ Johnny V:
        Obviously (to most people), I wasn’t talking about Jack as a character per se’. He was a fictional hero who would not victimize others. But my point (which clearly went over your head) was that, in the REAL world, such people generally are not heroes. And rich guys aren’t likely to shoot a gun at you. In other words: I was referring to a character type. Now… Where you are concerned, it is very clear that certain kinds of people routinely resort to juvenile insults merely because they don’t see eye-to-eye. Apparently, it’s much easier for you to be THOUGHTLESS than to be THOUGHTFUL. It would be a pleasure if you offered something of genuine value to the discussion. Of course, you have clearly failed in that regard. And no… We are not interested in any more juvenile insults just because you don’t appreciate this resposne.

        • Blair Kramer

          I appreciate your support jpp452. There is no doubt that my reaction to TITANIC is correct and I stand by it, but there is more to the problem. TITANIC is certainly a left wing harangue, and that’s fine. I really don’t care. As I already stated: I love the film just the same. It’s certainly an effective romantic drama. But as I say, when compared to the real world, the main characters in the film are completely reversed. Which is par for the course. This is the way popular entertainment has always dealt with good and bad. The hero is the average Joe, if not an itinerant bum. And the villain is a wealthy sociopath. Moreover, in movies, businessmen and large corporations have no regard for society at large. This is nonsense of course but since it’s all nothing but fantasy, it’s OK. This cliche’ ridden scenario has been a huge part of popular entertainment for a very long time. Eventually however, truly thoughtful people will finally get tired of such nonsense. Well… I’m finally tired of it. I grew up in a big city and I know who the criminals are. For the most part, they’re certainly not wealthy businessmen or large corporations. They’re thugs, gang members, and itinerant street bums. There’s just one thing… I suspect a great many people who are not deep thinkers actually take the reversed reality in movies and TV seriously. They think that the government is actually engaged in murderous conspiracies to develop chemical and/or biological weapons. They know it’s true because they saw it on INTELLIGENCE. They think that the wealthy businessman will routinely murder his rival. They know it’s true because they saw it on ELEMENTARY. They think that law enforcement officials across the country are members of underground crime groups. They know it’s true because they saw it on THE MENTALIST. And they think that itinerant street bums are lovable heroes with hearts of gold. They know it’s true because they saw it in TITANIC. That’s what bothers me. The left wing diatribes swamp popular entertainment. And you know full well that a great many weak minded people take all that idiocy seriously. To put it simply: it’s wrong.

          • Wayne P.

            Hey, Blair, Only right-wing govt’s. would be involved in what you described from INTELLIGENCE above as thats more MSM fare. For the far less typically available, but likely more realistically prevalent, radical left-wing (nut;) viewpoint, one might go back to this great TV show: 24!

          • Gayle Feyrer

            And where did you grow up? New Jersey? North Carolina? Florida? Jeez. Do you need a dose of reality!

          • Blair Kramer


            I’ve have my jaw broken by a street thug (among other things). I really don’t need any more reality than that.

          • Gayle Feyrer

            I’ve been held up at gun point (well, point to gun) by a black guy. It didn’t make me hate all black guys, like it did my best friend in high school who got beaten up. At least we didn’t get lynched, or burned alive in a church. Yes, you are right. Not all rich guys are bad guys. I know some nice ones. And you betcha I’d love to be rich, but not to the point of envy. And while many gang members are bad to the core guys, some simply have no other choice (unless they have the will and spirit of a Ghandi). Bullies with more social options can join the Army or the Police. And no, I certainly don’t think all soldiers or cops are bullies. I have great respect for them in general, but it is a place where bullies can go to act out their violence. My point was that rich guys have the means and influence to rip your life apart in plenty of other ways. If you look at what the banks are continuing to do to get their mitts on as much property as they can, foreclosing on serving soldiers and such. When you look at BP and Duke Chemical polluting the world and expecting us to pay for it, pardon me if I don’t think they are the virtuous members of society you think they are. To finish off my leftie harangue, tell me, if you lost the ability to do anything but stock shelves, would you rather do it at Cost Co or Wal Mart?

          • Blair Kramer

            My final response on this topic….
            You say that some street gang members have no other choice? Really…? Well, that’s pure and utter hogwash! Whether you think so or not, there are always alternatives to victimizing innocent people. “No other choice” is nothing but an intellectually hollow excuse gang members typically offer a Judge! Here’s an undeniable fact that I learned when I was quite young: The average criminal isn’t average at all. He’s well BELOW average!

          • Gayle Feyrer

            Of course there are always alternatives, and sometimes the alternative is join the gang or get killed or get your family killed. I lot of people will cave under that threat. And the level of their intelligence won’t have much to do with it. Interesting that you didn’t address the main points I made. I despise criminals, too, I just despise the ones that have much easier choices a lot more. Those Wall Street con artists should all be in jail. They didn’t just break one guy’s jaw to get his wallet, they knowingly destroyed millions of lives.

        • Gayle Feyrer

          In real life, as you would have it, the rich are by far the most likely to rob you blind. Case in point, just about every economic collapse in the history of the world. The poor and the middle class are far more generous (statistically), than the rich. They have more empathy, and more sympathy. Many artists live fast and loose, but I’ll take one over a banker any day.

          • Blair Kramer

            @ Gayle Feyrer:
            I rest my case. Just re-read my addendum. Obviously, you believe the hogwash negative propaganda about bankers, rich businessmen, and the wealthy in general. It is, to say the least, the exact reverse of the real world. I suppose it could be the result of envy on your part. In any case, we all engage in some form of generalizing, but it usually isn’t true. So, here’s a news report that you truly CAN take to the bank: As a group, bankers, rich businessmen, and the wealthy are certainly no better or worse than anyone else. This means, since most people have no desire to do harm to others, neither do bankers, rich businessmen, or the wealthy. On the other hand, there are reasons why some people become itinerant street bums, violent thugs, and gang members. None of those reasons are good. As I have said, I grew up in a big city and I know that the guy who drives a Rolls Royce isn’t going to try to steal my wallet in a back alley. Finally I have been a commercial artist much of my adult life and I have never lived “fast and loose” (unless you think over-eating qualifies as fast and loose…).

          • rocky-o

            most rich businessmen are thugs…that how they got rich in the first place…off the backs of the less fortunate…

      • jpp452

        Jack was an overgrown street urchin, not a group particularly regarded for their morality. However, I agree that crime and immorality has no bounds.
        In reality, of course, the romance could never have happened. Steerage passengers were securely locked away and would not get anywhere near the “classes.”
        I agree the abysmal screenplay is a left-wing diatribe with no semblance to reality.
        I was struck by the number of times “Titanic” referenced scenes and dialogue from THE Titanic movie, “A Night to Remember.” I can understand repeating dialogue — that would have come from survivors. But filming scenes shot-for-shot?

  • Laura-Leigh

    DWW without a doubt. For me it went downhill (with few exceptions, e.g. The Artist) after that.

  • Vinniejoe

    Actually my pick would have been Sling Blade.

  • Joe G.

    The Best Picture of the 1990s was the one that mystifyingly did not win in 1998, Saving Private Ryan.

  • rob

    This list is more a reminder of just how bad the selection process is and how poor movies are in general. Really the three best movies that stand out in my mind from the 1990s are The Shawshank Redemption, LA Confidential, and the animated Hunchback of Notre Dame by Disney.

    • Geneva P.

      Those would be my two favorites….Shawshank Redemption and LA Confidential. I cannot count the times I have watched those two movies and NEVER get tired of them…..especially Shawshank! What a cast of characters! Each character seemed to fit his role so perfectly. GREAT MOVIE!

  • hiram

    It seems impossible not to put Schindler’s List at the top.But a non-nominated film, John Sayles’ Lone Star, is my favorite movie of the decade ( the same year as Fargo, by the way, which I think should have won among the nominees). In 1999, the unnominated Magnolia over American Beauty. Having seen Saving Private Ryan three times and Shakespeare in Love twice, I’m actually one of the few people, apparently, who agrees with the Oscar that year. Shakespeare in love is a wonderful blend of comedy and romance in a most unlikely subject. However, after 60 years of following the Academy Awards, I have concluded that it is impossible to fairly select only one movie per year.

    • jpp452

      Americans require “winners”; they won’t settle for co-winners. (That would be too sportsmanlike.) The way I look at it, if a film was nominated it is worth a look-see. I’ve enjoyed many contenders over the winners as a matter of personal taste.

  • jpp452

    I’m surprised James Cameron’s stilted and seriously anachronistic soap opera, “Titanic”, garnered so many votes. The “romance” was ridiculous — a Harlequin effort, at best. As history, it is bunk. There are also several physical impossibilities in it that, to me, detract from it. “Titanic” is a primary lesson in how a director can make crap when he is given full power. I’ve watched it several times trying to find something to like about it and each time I end up liking it less.
    Sorry to see “American Beauty” so far down the list. Yes, it’s an uncomfortable film to watch but it is a masterpiece — far more so than “Schindler’s List”.

    • Geneva P.

      I so agree with you about Titanic. It is the worst Titanic movie ever. Cannot believe the comedic scene of Leo being chased and shot at on a sinking ship! Most of the men were doomed anyway so what’s the use. Over-the-top special effects left nothing to the imagination. Did enjoy the beautiful costumes. All of the Titanic movies made me cry just thinking of the tragedy except this one.

  • Lawrence P. Ressler

    I voted for “Unforgiven”, because director Clint Eastwood broke just about every rule there is for making a Western motion picture, and still made the story compelling, and the characters compelling as well. The final scene in the movie, when Clint Eastwood’s character rides off into a pouring rain and thunderstorm, is a scene that I will never forget, and will never be matched in any future Western in terms of irony and emotional impact.

  • davidalan

    I think LA Confidential is the best of the 1990s films nominated.

  • Frosty

    That was really a bad decade for movies.
    Of course, The Academy often picks the wrong one.
    1990. “Goodfellas”, (“Dances With Wolves”? Ya kiddin’?)
    1991. “Beauty and the Beast”, animation’s time has come
    1992. “Unforgiven”, but “A Few Good Men” comes pretty close
    1993. “Schindler’s List”, no contest
    1994. “Pulp Fiction”, tough call here – “The Shawshank Redemption” was great, also.
    1995. “Braveheart”, but I did like “Mr. Holland’s Opus” and “Casino” which weren’t even nominated
    1996. “Fargo”, “The English Patient” may just be the worst pick for best picture of all time.
    1997. “L.A. Confidential” – Much better than “Titanic”, Leo was the Justin Bieber of his time
    1998. “Saving Private Ryan” – “Shakespeare in Love”? Was this a mistake? What the hell?
    1999. “The Sixth Sense” – better than “American Beauty” but that’s not saying much, a weak year for movies

    Folks: It’s just my opinion. Feel free to express your own.

    • Richard Fowler


    • Rob in L.A.

      If I gave out the Oscar for 1992, I would have given it to “The Crying Game.”

  • akentg

    Glad someone picked “Lone Star” Great film that was better than “Fargo” or any other. Touched on problems we still have to live with. Also, great camera work and Chris Cooper’s finest work.

  • david rackley

    as far as these films of the 90s braveheart, and schindlers list best ones. I hated forestgump. silence of the lambs ok ,titanic suct ,best part of that flic was seeing the red head nude ,and we all knew how it ended. didn’t see dances with wolves. I bearley remember unforgiven. the rest I didn’t waste my time I think titanic was over rated!

  • Gayle Feyrer

    Braveheart? Please. Testosterone overkill. Titantic? I’m way at the bottom, since The English Patient and Shakespeare In Love are my favorites. I put The English Patient first, but rewatch Shakespeare In Love more often. Then Schindler’s List. Of them all, I watch Silence of the Lambs most often, since my husband and I are thriller fans.

  • Gayle Feyrer

    Ah. Someone mentioned Lone Star, which is probably the best of all of these. Amazing movie.

  • Pat

    Yes, I agree, the 1990s was a terrible decade for good movies..

  • Richy

    I confess to being a Titanic voter. Most of the critiques below–anachronistic, soap opera, etc.–are on-target, and yet for its visuals and music I found Titanic to be the most entertaining of the bunch

    • TC

      Found it entertaining also except the stupid ending of throwing the jewels back to Jack.

  • John Hutchinson

    Talk about a love/hate relationship… I saw titanic a dozen times… Unforgiven once…

  • Nicolas

    Schindler’s List is on my list as one of the seven greatest films ever made. But i would have Unforgiven second. When I went to see that with my wife, when I left the theater, I told her there will be no better film this year than that one, why bother going to another movie that year. I also did like The English Patient as my third. Felt that Forrest Gump is way over rated, and also see American Beauty as very pretentious, and would have that at the bottom of best pictures of this decade.

  • rocky-o

    wow…the 90′s really sucked for oscar winners…who was picking these things anyway?…