Academy Awards
Best Picture Milestones

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Oscars - Best Picture Milestones
Year of Awards (No.) Production Company
Best Picture Winner/Year and Director
Number of Awards/Nominations and Milestones
Film Poster
2000 (73rd)


Gladiator (2000)
d. Ridley Scott
Awards: 5
Nominations: 12

A slave in ancient Rome finds dignity and a reason to live in gladiatorial combat.

  • in the same year, to date, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), a Best Picture-nominated foreign-language film with the largest number of Academy Awards nominations (10)
  • in the same year, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), the first martial arts film, and the first (and only) Mandarin film to be nominated for Best Picture
  • in the same year, the crime drama Traffic (2000), to date, the last Best Picture nominee to have been based on a TV movie or mini-series (UK's Channel 4 TV series Traffik)
2001 (74th)


A Beautiful Mind (2001)
d. Ron Howard
Awards: 4
Nominations: 8

Mental illness plunges a once-brilliant mathematician into devastating paranoia and schizophrenia.

  • to date, the last biopic film to win Best Picture
  • three consecutive Best Picture wins for the DreamWorks Studio; with this win, DreamWorks became the second studio to win three Best Pictures in a row (the first was UA - 1975-1977)
  • this was the tenth consecutive year that Miramax had a Best Picture nominee (this year, it was In the Bedroom (2001) - a record for any studio
  • the first year for a newly-created category - Best Animated Feature Film, won by Shrek (2001), the first-ever Oscar for an animated feature film
2002 (75th)


Chicago (2002)
d. Rob Marshall
Awards: 6
Nominations: 13

Bob Fosse's cold, glittering, cynical musical about death and showbiz.

  • the first musical film to win Best Picture since 34 years later (Oliver! (1968)), and to date, the last one to win (or be nominated) for Best Picture
  • Chicago tied the record set by Mary Poppins (1964) of 13 nominations for a musical
  • in the same year, Best Picture nominee The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) - only the third sequel to be nominated for Best Picture
2003 (76th)

New Line Cinema

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
d. Peter Jackson
Awards: 11
Nominations: 11

The spectacular conclusion to J. R. R. Tolkien's epic fantasy trilogy. "The Journey Ends"

  • the third of only three films to win 11 Academy Awards (including Best Picture) (the other two were Ben-Hur (1959) and Titanic (1997))
  • the first - and only - film to win more than 10 awards (including Best Picture) and not receive an acting nomination; it was one of only ten films in all of Academy history that won Best Picture without receiving a single acting nomination - other notable examples were in 2008, 1995, 1987, and 1958
  • the first - and only - fantasy film to win Best Picture
  • the Best Picture winner with the longest title
  • the Best Picture winner joined two other Best Picture winners that experienced clean sweeps - all three films won every award for which they were nominated (and none of the films were nominated for acting awards!) (also Gigi (1958) - 9 for 9, and The Last Emperor (1987) - 9 for 9)
  • the second film trilogy in Oscar history (after Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather pictures in 1972, 1974, and 1990) to have all three of its movies nominated for Best Picture - and the only threequel to have its third installment win the top prize
  • the film was the first movie with a credited female screenwriter(s) to win Best Picture since World War II - it was co-scripted by Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens
2004 (77th)

Warner Bros.

Million Dollar Baby (2004)
d. Clint Eastwood
Awards: 4
Nominations: 7

A cranky, aging boxing trainer agrees to work with an underdog female boxer in this macho tearjerker.

  • in six of the last ten years, the Best Picture winners had a central character who died at the end
  • to date, the last Best Picture winner to be nominated for every major Academy Award (including Best Picture)
  • in the same year, to date, The Aviator (2004), the last film to win the most Oscars (5) in its year, without winning Best Picture
2005 (78th)

Lions Gate Entertainment

Crash (2005)
d. Paul Haggis
Awards: 3
Nominations: 6

The lives of LA's rich and poor, smug and desperate, law abiding and criminal both intersect and collide.

  • the first of only two Best Picture winners to be a film festival acquisition (the second was in 2009)
  • the Best Picture winner won the fewest Oscars since Rocky (1976) (both won only 3 Oscars)
  • the five low-budget Best Picture nominees fairly evenly split the major nominations - no film received more than 8 nominations; this was also the first time since 1947 that no picture won more than 3 Oscars
  • for the first time in 49 years (since 1956) and only the third time in Oscar's 78-year history (it also occurred in 1952), six different films split the top six Oscars (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress)
  • in the same year, to date, Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), the last completely B/W film to be nominated for Best Picture since The Elephant Man (1980)
2006 (79th)

Warner Bros.

The Departed (2006)
d. Martin Scorsese
Awards: 4
Nominations: 5

A cop and a criminal go undercover and infiltrate each other's worlds in this crime thriller.

  • the first - and only - remake of a foreign film to win Best Picture (it was a loosely-based remake of the action film Infernal Affairs (2002, HK) (aka Mou Gaan Dou, or Wu Jian Dao))
  • in the same year, to date, Letters From Iwo Jima (2006) was the last foreign-language film (Japanese) to be nominated for Best Picture
2007 (80th)

Miramax/Paramount Vantage

No Country For Old Men (2007)
d. Joel and Ethan Coen
Awards: 4
Nominations: 8

A disillusioned, retiring sheriff tracks a sociopathic killer through modern West Texas.

  • the most-recent Best Picture winner to have more than one credited director (Joel and Ethan Coen)
  • the Coen Brothers were the third duo directing team to be nominated in Academy Awards history; it was also the first time a sibling team had been nominated in the category; the Coens became only the second pair of directors to win Best Director, after Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise for West Side Story (1961); the only other instance of dual nominations was for co-directors Warren Beatty and Buck Henry for Heaven Can Wait (1978)
  • the third consecutive year in which the Best Picture-nominated films were not big-budget studio pictures; all five nominated films were made for budgets of $30 million or less, about a third of the cost for a normal studio production
  • the winning Best Picture marked the fourth consecutive year in which a film set in modern times won the top prize - a first for the Oscars!
2008 (81st)

Fox Searchlight/Warner Bros.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
d. Danny Boyle
Awards: 8
Nominations: 10

Game-show success fuels one man's escape from poverty in this Bollywood-tinged romantic drama.

  • to date, the last Best Picture-winning film without any acting nominations; it was the 5th film in the past 50 years to win Best Picture without any acting nominations (this also occurred in 2003, 1995, 1987, and 1958)
  • all five titles of the Best Picture-nominated films referred to the film's characters (this also occurred in 1964)
  • the second-most winningest UK-produced Best Picture winner with 8 Oscars (tied with Gandhi (1982))
  • the third of only three partly foreign language films (English/Hindi) to win Best Picture (the other two were in 1974 and 1987)
  • in the same year, Doubt (2008) became the 4th film in Academy history to receive four acting nominations without a Best Picture nomination (this also occurred in 1936, 1948, and 1965)
2009 (82nd)

Summit Entertainment

The Hurt Locker (2009)
d. Kathryn Bigelow
Awards: 6
Nominations: 9

US Army ordnance disposal teams disarm IEDs placed by Iraqi guerrilla fighters.

  • for the first time since 1943 (66 years earlier), the Academy decided to return to featuring an expanded field of nominees for Best Picture - there would now be ten films nominated for Best Picture. [From 1931 to 1943, the Oscars had between eight and 12 Best Picture nominees]
  • the first - and only - Best Picture directed by a female
  • the second of only two Best Picture winners to be a film festival acquisition (the first was in 2005)
  • the lowest box-office gross of a Best Picture winner (after 1955), at $14.7 million at the time of its win
  • the fifth consecutive R-rated Best Picture winner
  • in the same year, Precious (2009) was the first - and only - Best Picture nominee directed and produced by an African-American (Lee Daniels)
  • in the same year, Up (2009), the second of two animated films to be Best Picture-nominated (the previous nominee was Beauty and the Beast (1991)), and the first computer (or CG)-animated film to be Best Picture-nominated; also the first animated film to receive a Best Picture nomination since animated films received their own category in 2001
  • in the same year, Avatar (2009), the first Best Picture nominee to be entirely filmed using 3-D technology
  • it was rare that two science-fiction films were nominated for Best Picture in 2009 (although there were now 10 nominees): District 9 (2009) and Avatar (2009)

Best Picture Milestones
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