Welcome to our second Top Ten Tuesdays! Today, Tuesday January 24th, the official nominations for the 84th Academy Awards have been revealed. Honouring this prestigious Award, today's Top Ten Tuesdays will be about my Oscar's Best Picture Winners favorite films.

Note: The films have been placed in NO particular order. Let's be honest... It has been extremely difficult for me to choose just ten films out of my large list of favorite films. Right?

Synopsis:In the final days of Marcus Aurelius' reign, the aging emperor angers his son Commodus by making it known that he wants Maximus, a fearsome and respected Roman general, to be his successor. Power-hungry Commodus kills his father and orders the death of Maximus. But the latter flees, only to discover that his wife and child have been murdered by Commodus. Captured, Maximus is forced into slavery, where he is sold to Proximo, a former gladiator who serves as both mentor and slavemaster. Maximus trains as a gladiator in the arena, where his fame grows. He goes to Rome, intent on avenging the murder of his wife and son by killing the new emperor Commodus. Maximus has learned that the one power stronger than that of the emperor is the will of the people, and he knows he can only attain his revenge by becoming the greatest hero in all the empire.

Personal Comments: One of my top favorite Oscars film, ever! Being such a Rome lover, this story captivated my attention throughout the whole film. Russell Crowe delivered one of his best acting performances of his career. Ridley Scott did also an amazing job directing the film, and this great combination (lead acting role + director) was completed with an amazing cast and unique plot.

Synopsis: After winning a trip on the RMS Titanic during a dockside card game, American Jack Dawson spots the society girl Rose DeWitt Bukater who is on her way to Philadelphia to marry her rich snob fiance Cal Hockley. Rose feels helplessly trapped by her situation and makes her way to the aft deck and thinks of suicide until she is rescued by Jack. Cal is therefore obliged to invite Jack to dine at their first-class table where he suffers through the slights of his snobbish hosts. In return, he spirits Rose off to third class for an evening of dancing, giving her the time of her life. Deciding to forsake her intended future all together, Rose asks Jack, who has made his living making sketches on the streets of Paris, to draw her in the nude wearing the invaluable blue diamond Cal has given her. Cal finds out and has Jack locked away. Soon afterwards, the ship hits an iceberg and Rose must find Jack while both must run from Cal even as the ship sinks deeper into the freezing water.

Personal Comments: Another amazing classic that will remain through the future decades as one of the most amazing films ever. Titanic, on my opinion, gave the true credit to Leonardo DiCaprio as a respectable and top class Hollywood actor with his great and memorable performance in this film, supported by Kate Winslet and Billy Zane. You might ask... Will he go to watch Titanic again, this time in 3D? The answer is simple: NO! I totally disagree with the idea of bringing old movies again to the big screen, especially, films like Titanic.

The Hurt Locker
Synopsis: In the summer of 2004, Sergeant J.T. Sanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge of Bravo Company are at the volatile center of the war, part of a small counterforce specifically trained to handle the homemade bombs, or Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), that account for more than half of American hostile deaths and have killed thousands of Iraqis. A high-pressure, high-stakes assignment, the job leaves no room for mistakes, as they learn when they lose their team leader on a mission. When Staff Sergeant William James takes over the team, Sanborn and Eldridge are shocked by what seems like his reckless disregard for military protocol and basic safety measures. And yet, in the fog of war, appearances are never reliable for long. Is James really a swaggering cowboy who lives for peak experiences and the moments when the margin of error is zero - or is he a consummate professional who has honed his esoteric craft to high-wire precision? As the fiery chaos of Baghdad swirls around them, the men struggle to understand and contain their new leader long enough for them to make it home. They have only 38 days left in their tour of Iraq, but with each new mission comes another deadly encounter, and as James blurs the line between bravery and bravado, it seems only a matter of time before disaster will strike.

Personal Comments: One of the best war films I've watched in a while (after Black Howk Down). Director Kathryn Bigelow was able to capture the human and scary side of one of the most dangerous works in the world, the life and work of the Specialists trained to handle homemade bombs in Irak. I still remember this film competing with one of the most amazing films of the decade, Avatar, but because of its content and human point of view, it made it through the tough competition and defeated films like Avatar, The Blind Side, Up in the Air, Up, District 9, etc.

Forrest Gump
Synopsis: The title character leads viewers through an accidental travelogue of American social history from the early 1960s through the present in this revisionist fable. Vietnam, desegregation, Watergate, and more are presented from the perspective of Tom Hanks's loveably slow-witted Forrest Gump as he finds himself embroiled in situations he can't quite comprehend. Hanks leads an excellent cast, featuring Robin Wright Penn as Jenny, Forrest's lifelong love; Gary Sinise as the irascible Lt. Dan, his Vietnam superior; Mykelti Williamson as Bubba, a shrimp-loving soldier; and Sally Fields as his devoted mother. Robert Zemeckis's emotional, heartwarming film garnered 13 Academy Award nominations and six wins, including Best Picture, Director, Actor--Tom Hanks, and Adapted Screenplay.

Personal Comments: Definitely, Tom Hank's master piece. Tom Hank's acting performance on this film was simply spotless! One of the most amazing and memorable drama films I've ever seen.

The Godfather
Synopsis: Epic tale of a 1940s New York Mafia family and their struggle to protect their empire from rival families as the leadership switches from the father to his youngest son.

Personal Comments: I would call this film, the men's best film ever awarded by the Academy. Francis Ford Copolla gathered one of the most amazing cast, starting with Marlon Brandon & Al Pacino. The film had the complete package, not just to win the Oscars, but to become a film to remember. The cast, the plot, the director, the script, the soundtrack... All together combined made one of the best films of all times.

Synopsis: A slightly dimwitted amateur boxer from Philadelphia's tough neighborhood gets a surprise shot at fighting for the heavyweight championship, while at the same time he finds love in the arms of a shy, reclusive girl who works in the local pet store.

Personal Comments: One of the greatest boxing/sports drama films ever created. Sylvester Stallone's unique performace gave him the credit to be considered one of the most well known actors in Hollywood. Just another classic to remember, especially its soundtrack!

The Silence of the Lambs
Synopsis: An ambitious FBI agent enlists the aid of a criminally insane ex-psychiatrist to help track down a vicious serial killer.

Personal Comments: Dr. Hannibal Lecter, one of the scariest serial killers in films. Anthony Hopkins will always be remembered for his unique and amazing role and performance in this spectacular thriller. Jodie Foster did also played one of her most amazing acting performance of her entire career. Definitely a film that has kept me sealed to my couch every single time I watch it.

A Beautiful Mind
Synopsis: From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash, Jr. experiences it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery once he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. After many years of struggle, he eventually triumphed over this tragedy, and finally, late in life, received the Nobel Prize.

Personal Comments: I'm not personally a big fan of Russell Crowe, but I must admit that he's an excellent actor. This second film in my Top Ten Tuesdays list confirms it. This true, inspiring and disturbng story of Dr. John Forbest Nash was beautifully played by Russell Crowe and directed by Ron Howard. Totally recommended!

The Departed
Synopsis: 'The Departed' is set in South Boston, where the state police force is waging war on organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate run by gangland chief Costello (Jack Nicholson). While Billy is quickly gaining Costello's confidence, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the police department as an informer for the syndicate, is rising to a position of power in the Special Investigation Unit. Each man becomes deeply consumed by his double life, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operations he has penetrated. But when it becomes clear to both the gangsters and the police that there's a mole in their midst, Billy and Colin are suddenly in danger of being caught and exposed to the enemy -- and each must race to uncover the identity of the other man in time to save himself.

Personal Comments: Martin Scorsese is one of my TOP favorite directors in Hollywood. The Departed is one of the best criminal thrillers I've seen in these recent years, not just for the great plot and story, but the amazing cast performing in this film. Scorsese taught Hollywood how to make a great and memorable film with so many high profile actors and not falling on the very common situation of not knowing who's the lead role on the film. Great direction, unique plot, spectacular cast. All the ingredients needed for a memorable and award winning film.

Schindler's List
Synopsis: The true story of Austrian industrialist Oskar Schindler, who harbored Polish Jews during WWII by using them as workers in his factory. Schindler saved 1,100 Jews from certain death.

Personal Comments: Obviously, we couldn't miss one of the best directors of all times, Steven Spielberg. I still remember the first time I watched this film, almost 20 years ago, having so many mixed feelings about all the content and history related with this true story. Steven Spielberg was able to reflext one of the most heroic acts of love and respect for human lives, especially during one of the darkest moments in history. Liam Neeson was the lead actor responsible to play Schlinder in this film. One of the best films ever made, a fantastic and inspiring true story that should be watched for all movie lovers.

What do you think of this list? Is any of these films also one of your top favorite ones?


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