Page last updated at 08:41 GMT, Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Choose your best of the Oscar winners


The 78th annual Academy Awards take place on 5 March in Los Angeles, but which has been your favourite Oscar-winning film of the last decade?

Braveheart (1996)

Mel Gibson directed and starred in Braveheart which told the story of William Wallace - the 13th Century commoner who led the Scots in their battle to overthrow English rule.

As well as winning the best film Oscar, Braveheart took another four Academy Awards, including the best director honour for Gibson, and three Bafta awards.

Gibson, who was in the directors' chair for a second time, also took the best director Golden Globe for his efforts.

The English Patient (1997)

The English Patient, based on Michael Ondaatje's award-winning novel was a triumph for director Anthony Minghella.

It centres on a critically injured man (Ralph Fiennes), his young nurse, a thief, and an Indian sapper in the British Army as they live out the end of World War II in an Italian monastery.

The burned man's history is told in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

The film won a total of nine Oscars - including best director and the best supporting actress award for Juliette Binoche - and six Baftas, including best film.

The Directors Guild of America honoured Minghella and the film also triumphed at the Golden Globes that year.

Titanic (1998)

Titanic made a huge splash at the Oscars in 1998 when it scooped a total of 11 statuettes - equalling the record held by 1959's Ben Hur.

The film - starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet - was a visual effects triumph and proved to be a career high for director James Cameron.

The fictional romance told the tale of a rich girl and poor boy who meet on the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic.

The film planted Winslet firmly on the Hollywood radar, but it was Cameron who reaped the rewards.

He took the best director honours at the Oscars, Golden Globes and the Directors Guild of America top award.

Shakespeare in Love (1999)

Romantic comedy Shakespeare in Love beat the hotly-tipped Saving Private Ryan to take the best film Oscar in 1999.

The Elizabethan period film, starring Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow, took a total of seven Oscars at the ceremony.

The other six were for best actress, best screenplay, best supporting actress, best costume, score and art direction.

In the film, a young Shakespeare, played by Fiennes, is inspired to write one of his most famous plays when he meets the woman of his dreams.

The role won Paltrow a tearfully-accepted Oscar and a Golden Globe, while Dame Judi won a Bafta to go with her best supporting actress Oscar for her role as Elizabeth I.

The film itself also won the best film Bafta and a Golden Globe.

American Beauty (2000)

American Beauty - a dark comedy about love, hate, passion, and murder - took five Oscars at the 72nd Academy Awards.

As well as best film, actor Kevin Spacey and director Sam Mendes took home statuettes for the movie about a dysfunctional US suburban family.

Spacey was widely acclaimed for his role as Lester Burnham, a man who is going through a mid-life crisis and dragging everyone down with him.

As well as the Oscar, Spacey took the best actor Bafta and top honours from the Screen Actors' Guild.

His co-star Annette Bening was also honoured by Bafta and the Guild.

Gladiator (2001)

Ridley Scott's Roman epic Gladiator was a big hit during the 2001 awards season.

Russell Crowe played Maximus - a betrayed Roman general who comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge when his family is murdered by a corrupt Emperor.

It was a role that would earn him his first Oscar and raise the New Zealand-born actor's profile in Hollywood.

In all, the film won five Oscars, four Baftas and two Golden Globe awards, scooping the best film category in all three.

Gladiator also earned Scott praise from his peers when he took top honours from the Directors' Guild of America.

A Beautiful Mind (2002)

A Beautiful Mind chartered the meteoric rise of John Forbes Nash Jnr, a math prodigy able to solve problems that baffled the world's greatest minds.

Russell Crowe's performance as the man who overcame years of suffering through schizophrenia to win the Nobel Prize was a far cry from his Oscar-winning Gladiator role.

The part earned him another Academy Award nod, but it was supporting actress Jennifer Connelly and director Ron Howard who took home statuettes on the night.

In all, the biopic took four Oscars in an awards season that also rewarded the film with four Golden Globes, including best film and best actor for Crowe.

Howard's other awards included was the top honour from the Directors' Guild of America.

Chicago (2003)

When Chicago made the leap from Broadway to Hollywood in 2002 it had been more than 30 years since a musical - Oliver! - had taken top honours at the Oscars.

Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta Jones razzle-dazzled in the film that came amid a mini-resurgence of musicals that began with Moulin Rouge in 2001.

The were both nominated for Oscars for their roles as murderous showgirls in the adaptation of the 1975 Broadway hit.

Zeta-Jones took the best supporting actress statuette for her role as the glamorous singing murderess Velma, while Zellweger missed out on the best actress honours to Nicole Kidman.

In total, Chicago took six Oscars, three Golden Globes, and one Bafta.

Golden Globe honours included including best film (comedy of musical), best actress for Zellweger and Richard Gere took the acting honours for his role as Billy Flynn.

The Return of the King (2004)

Peter Jackson's final film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy was a hit with the Oscar voters - sweeping the board with 11 awards to equal the record.

In the film, The Lord of the Rings trilogy reaches its climax as Sauron sets his sights on Minas Tirith, the capital of Gondor, while Hobbits Sam and Frodo continue their quest to carry the ring to Mordor and destroy it.

Like the previous two Lord of the Rings films, it was a box office smash and lauded for its visual effects.

Many people saw The Return of the King's success as a reward for the whole of Jackson's epic trilogy based on JRR Tolkien's fantasy books.

Jackson was rewarded with best film and best director Oscars and Golden Globes. He also took the Directors' Guild of America top award.

It also took the best film Bafta as well as the top awards from the Producer' and Screen Guilds of America.

Million Dollar Baby (2005)

Clint Eastwood won his second best director Oscar for Million Dollar Baby in 2005.

Starring Hilary Swank, the film centred around a poor waitress, Maggie, who takes up boxing and convinces tough box trainer (Eastwood) to be her coach and manager.

As well as best film and best director, Million Dollar Baby won a second best actress Oscar for Swank, and a best supporting actor honour for Morgan Freeman.

Eastwood and Swank also took the actress and director honours at the Golden Globe Awards, while both Swank and Morgan were honoured by the Screen Actors' Guild.



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