10 Favorite Oscar Winning Movies in Austin

The annual Academy Awards ceremony brings the world together in a special event that acknowledges personas with a creative and technical worth in the movie industry. It was established in 1927, but the presentation was first started in 1929, and winners since then receive a gold-plated statuette commonly known as Oscar. Below is a list of favorite Oscar-winning movies in Austin.

Forrest Gump

The film was based on a 1986 novel by Winston Groom, who was raised in Alabama and served in the Army during Vietnam. In the movie, Forrest is a star runner and ping-pong prodigy who accidentally have socialized with important figures on many landmark occasions, from Elvis to the civil rights movement to Watergate to the surge of Apple computers. He pursues and eventually marries his childhood friend Jenny (Robin Wright), who diverged from Forrest’s conservative way and became a hippie in the 1960s. Some commentators asserted that Jenny’s eventual demise was a statement about the counter-culture movement in America. Forrest Gump obtained 13 Academy Award nominations and took home 6 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Hanks), and Best Director (Robert Zemeckis). The film also won an Oscar for its then-cutting-edge CGI special effects, which integrated Forrest Gump into current news footage with renowned world figures such as John Lennon, John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon.

The Hurt Locker

Before playing Hawkeye in the MCU, Jeremy Renner played the role of William James in Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraq drama, The Hurt Locker. As a savvy war veteran, Renner’s Sergeant First Class manages an enthusiastic ordinance disposal group in Baghdad, eventually going off-mission to get retaliation for killing a young boy. Through his unusual and usually dangerous techniques, the movie leads to its larger theme; how turmoil truly impacts soldiers. In addition, it’s the first Best Picture winner directed by a woman.


Released before Christmas in the year 1997, Titanic became a significant hit. It continued to earn continuously at the box office over the next six months until it became the first movie to gross over $1 billion worldwide. Critical reaction to the film was divided. Many critiques were positive, but some critics praised the visual effects and action sequences, particularly the final hour, which shows the legendary sinking of the luxury liner. The movie was the big winner of the night, obtaining 11 of the 14 Oscars for which it was nominated. That means the most number of nominations it also jointly holds the record for the film with the most significant number of Oscars tying with Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King and Ben-Hur.

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Although the series’ first two films, The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, were both nominated for Best Picture, it was not until the year 2004 that Peter Jackson’s final sequel of the fantasy drama would take home the award. Not to mention the movie would cement The Lord of the Rings in Oscar history. Earning all 11 Academy Awards for which it was nominated. The Return of The King shares the record for most Oscar awards by a film with Ben-Hur and Titanic.


You will find few movies as heart-wrenching as Moonlight; a movie separated into three distinct acts, each one of these focussing on various periods in the main character’s life. This could have been a total mess with three different actors playing Chiron/Black/Little. But beneath Barry Jenkins’ masterful touch, each performs in best tandem with the other. The result is probably the most emotional Oscar winner of the 21st century. Watching Chiron come of age while striving to understand his sexuality is devastating. After that, there’s his strained relationship with his mother, played brilliantly by Naomie Harris.

The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs is an American suspense film, released in 1991. The film was the first psychological thriller since Rebecca (1940) to take home the Academy Award for best picture. As The Silence of the Lambs opens, FBI trainee Clarice Starling is summoned to the office of Jack Crawford, the chief of the Behavioral Science Unit. He wants her to meet and interview the imprisoned serial killer Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lecter to find information to help with recent cases; Crawford thinks Lecter will be more forthcoming with Starling than he had been with more skilled interlocutors. It’s one of only three movies to win the “Big Five” Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Movie Director, and Adapted Screenplay. It is also still regarded as the only horror film to acquire the award for Best Picture, regardless of previous nominations for movies like Jaws and The Exorcist.


Similar to the film’s boxing idol, Rocky was an underdog going into the 1977 Oscars. Facing off against such recognized movies like All the President’s Men, Network, and Taxi Driver for Best Picture, this low-budget, cult favorite, written by the film’s breakout celebrity Sylvester Stallone, was regarded as a long shot to take the actual gold. But in true Rocky fashion, the movie might beat the odds, not only earned the Best Picture but also scoring Best Director for John G. Avildsen.


Who could forget the heartwarming story of elderly widower Carl Fredricksen and wilderness explorer Russell who explores the skies with lots and lots of balloons strung to Carl’s home? In 2010, Up would come away with the statue for Best Animated Feature Film, a category the Academy first presented back in the year 2001. While it’s certainly not the first animated movie to win Oscar gold, it would make history that year, being the second animated film to receive a nomination for Best Picture, following Beauty and the Beast in 1992.

The Sound of Music

Surprisingly, the beloved film musical was not a favorite to win Best Picture in 1966. Many critics determined the story of an Austrian nun who delivers love and music to a widower and his seven children to be simple. Yet, The Sound of Music would earn the top award and snatch four more Academy Awards that evening, which includes Best Director.

On The Waterfront

This film is based on a New Jersey whistleblower; this tale of corruption at the docks made Marlon Brando into a bonafide superstar. He won his first Oscar as longshoreman Terry Malloy, a conflicted soul who stands up against the mob-controlled association despite his weak points. Sure, he is most fondly remembered for The Godfather, but this positioned him on the map. The film also earned director Elia Kazan his second Oscar and brought Eva Marie Saint to the world.

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