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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

And the Oscar goes to … : We select Hollywood’s greatest of all time, our winners from all films since the Academy formed in 1927

By Paul Sell For The Spokesman-Review

For film lovers, the Academy Awards have become a celebration. Not to find out who deserves the highest honors in Hollywood, but a loving tribute to cinema both old and new.

Everyone has their own picks for the best film of the year or the best performance even if you only saw one movie.

And cinephiles love to make their own lists of nominees and subsequently get upset when the Academy’s nominees don’t match their own – but then make predictions on who will win.

And while the Oscars will happen later the usual this year – Sunday on ABC – it doesn’t quite feel the same without the award show in late February or early March. The buzz of what is truly the best is missing. So how about we fix that with our own Academy Awards show?

Rather than picking out nominees from the best of 2020, let’s make our own awards by not limiting ourselves to just one year. Instead, we’ll be using every film that’s been released since the Academy started in 1927.

This way we can have some of the greatest films of all time going up against one another to see who reigns supreme. We’ll limit this to the six biggest Oscars of the night: the four acting awards, best director and best picture.

Like the Academy has done in recent years, we’ll also have 10 nominees for best picture but five for everything else. As you’ll see, the majority of our nominees also are Oscar winners.

The nominees for best supporting actor are …

Mahershala Ali as Juan in “Moonlight” (2016)

Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in “No Country for Old Men” (2007)

Robert De Niro as Vito Corleone in “The Godfather Part II” (1974)

Robert Shaw as Quint in “Jaws” (1975)

Robin Williams as Dr. Sean Maguire in “Good Will Hunting” (1997)

And the Oscar goes to … Javier Bardem. Never has someone been as menacing or terrifying while saying so few words. And while all these actors stole their respective movies, Bardem did it with a look, a bolt gun and an unforgettable haircut.

The nominees for best supporting actress are …

Angelina Jolie as Lisa Rowe in “Girl, Interrupted” (1999)

Regina King as Sharon Rivers in “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018)

Mo’Nique as Mary Lee Johnston in “Precious” (2009)

Rita Moreno as Anita in “West Side Story” (1961)

Lupita Nyong’o as Patsey in “12 Years a Slave” (2013)

And the Oscar goes to … Lupita Nyong’o. Of all these emotionally captivating performances, Nyong’o’s tirade in “12 Years a Slave” not only jump-started her film career, but also set the bar for supporting performances.

The nominees for best director are …

Milos Forman for “Amadeus” (1984)

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for “Birdman” (2014)

David Lean for “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962)

Joseph L. Mankiewicz for “All About Eve” (1950)

Steven Spielberg for “Schindler’s List” (1993)

And the Oscar goes to … Milos Forman. Of all the visionary directors in this category, Forman’s vision was courageous, bold, unrelenting and very much his own. “Amadeus” is one of the most visually appealing movies of all time.

The nominees for best actress are …

Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling in “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

Judy Holliday as Billie Dawn in “Born Yesterday” (1950)

Diane Keaton as Annie Hall in “Annie Hall” (1977)

Meryl Streep as Zofia “Sophie” Zawistowski in “Sophie’s Choice” (1982)

Elizabeth Taylor as Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966)

And the Oscar goes to … Meryl Streep. It might seem like a cliche to have Streep win this award, but she’s certainly earned every bit of praise after the most unforgettable performance in “Sophie’s Choice.”

The nominees for best actor are …

Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy in “On the Waterfront” (1954)

Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview in “There Will Be Blood” (2007)

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in “12 Years a Slave” (2013)

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962)

James Stewart as Jefferson Smith in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939)

And the Oscar goes to … Marlon Brando. If you ever wanted to learn about acting, you can’t find a better teacher than watching Brando in “On the Waterfront.” It is everything that a leading role should be.

The nominees for best picture are …

“Casablanca” (1942)

“The Godfather” (1972)

“Lawrence of Arabia” (1962)

“Moonlight” (2016)

“No Country for Old Men” (2007)

“On the Waterfront” (1954)

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975)

“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

“The Social Network” (2010)

“Sunset Boulevard” (1950)

And the Oscar goes to … “The Godfather.” It’s a tale of family, power and corruption that has more than stood the test of time. It hits hard every time I watch it. It is one of the pinnacles of visual storytelling.