The decade of the 1990s was easily one of the finest, in terms of quality, when it came to Academy Ward-winning films. I have taken each year’s Oscar winner and ranked them for that 10-year span. At least a half dozen could have easily been considered No. 1:
1. Titanic (1997): One of the all-time great endings in cinematic history, and probably the only Leonardo DiCaprio film I have ever enjoyed start to finish.
2. Forrest Gump (1994): To this day, I think this was Tom Hanks’ finest accomplishment as an actor.
3. Schindler’s List (1993): Powerful. Incredibly powerful. There are still scenes from this movie that dealt with the Holocaust that are forever embedded in my mind.
4. American Beauty (1999): There are two Annette Bening films that rank among my all-time favorites. This is one, The American President is the other.
5. Silence of the Lambs (1991): We found out just how creepy Anthony Hopkins could be.
6. Braveheart (1995): Mel Gibson looked great in face paint.
7. Shakespeare in Love (1998): This film was one the all-time surprises for me. I decided to rent the film after not seeing it in the theater and was totally absorbed from beginning to end. I loved Gwyneth Paltrow’s performance.
8. Dances With Wolves (1990): Gimme cowboys and Indians anytime. I love westerns.
9. The Unforgiven (1992): Any time a Clint Eastwood western is ninth on a top-10 list you know how strong the list is.
10. English Patient (1996): This was the one stinker of the bunch. I tried to watch it — twice, and was bored out of my mind. Jerry Maguire or Fargo would have been much better choices.