All One-hundred and Six BAFTA Award-Winning Films (with links to full reviews)Apr 2, 2005 (Updated Dec 23, 2005) Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in MoviesThe Bottom Line Use this list to find British, American, and Non-English Language films selected by BAFTA as Best Film, Best British Film, or Best Non-English Language Film.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) began in 1947 as the "British Film Academy." It became the "Society of Film and Television Arts" in 1959 and, finally, the present name in 1975. The awards are in the design of a bronze theatrical mask and were originally called a "Stella."
From 1947 to 1967, the organization named two winners: Best Film and Best British Film. In eight of those twenty-one years, a British film was awarded both awards, so the total number of different films recognizes during those years was thirty-four. Only six of the Best Films were non-English language. From 1968 to 1981, BAFTA picked only one Best Film, regardless of source. All but two of those fourteen films were English language. From 1982 to 1992, BAFTA selected a Best Film and a Best Foreign-language Film. During those eleven years, the Best Film award went to a non-English language film just once. From 1993 to 2004, BAFTA selected a Best Film, a Best Foreign-Language Film, and a Best British Film. So, the total number of films recognized by BAFTA has been one hundred and six.
BAFTA is very nearly as xenophobic as the American Academy. Forty-five of the 106 films that they've selected over the years were made in the U.K. While twenty-three of those were picked only as the Best British Film, twenty-two were chosen as Best Film or as both Best Film and Best British Film. Another thirty-one films chosen as Best Film were English-language films made in the United States. One of the films made in the U.K. and another made in the U.S. were in a language other than English. One film made in Italy was made in English, so the total number of English-language films selected by BAFTA have been seventy-five. BAFTA has selected just thirty-one non-English language films. I've personally reviewed thirty of the non-English language films (the other was not released in the U.S.) and thirty-seven of the English language ones. I've provided links to my reviews for those sixty-seven as well as links to thirty-one reviews by other Epinionators for all of the other English-language winners that have reviews at Epinions. Eight of the films are not in the Epinions database. It is also interesting to note that many of the American films chosen by BAFTA have a British connection of one kind or another, such as a British star, an English novel as source material, or a setting in Europe.
Since forty-five of these films were made in the U.K., I've placed this list in the Best British Film category. For the sticklers among you, I've also included my list of the Top-Ten BAFTA-winners made in the U.K. at the end.
You will also find the following additional posted lists useful in identifying foreign films that have been recognized by awards:
Los Angeles Film Critics' Award Winners in the Best Foreign Film Category
New York Film Critics' Circle Awards for Foreign Films (1935-2004)
National Society of Film Critics' Awards for Non-English Language Films
London Critics' Circle Awards for Best Foreign Film
British Films Selected by the London Critics' Circle as Best Film or Best British Film
All Fifty-Six Best Foreign Film Oscar Winners
All Seventy-Seven Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Winners.
BAFTA Award-Winning Films (1947-2004):
1947 Best Film The Best Years of Our Lives (See pmills1210's Review.) Country: U.S. Director William Wyler pmills1210's Rating: * * * * *
This superlative war drama about "coming home," championed by Sam Goldwyn, starred Myrna Loy as Milly Stephenson and Fredric March as Al Stephenson.
1947 Best British Film Odd Man Out Country: U.K. Director Carol Reed My Rating: * * * * *
This IRA-related drama established Reed as one of the best British directors. James Mason stars as Johnny, who is wounded during a stick-up and hiding out, as his girlfriend, Kathleen (Kathleen Ryan) and IRA pals try to find him.
1948 Best Film Hamlet Country: U.K. Director Laurence Olivier My Rating: * * * * *
Laurence Olivier both starred and directed this abridged but attractive and well-paced version of Hamlet, filmed in black-and-white.
1948 Best British Film The Fallen Idol Country: U.K. Director Carol Reed My Rating: * * * *
This thriller stars Ralph Richard as Baines, the ambassador's butler, and Sonia Dresdel as his wife, who accidentally falls down the stairs to her death, shortly after learning that her husband was having an affair. Bobby Henrey plays the ambassador's son.
1949 Best Film The Bicycle Thief Country: Italy Director Vittorio De Sica My Rating: * * * * *
Lamberto Maggiorani stars in De Sica's celebrated classic of neo-realism that also earned an American Academy Award as Best Foreign Film.
1949 Best British Film The Third Man Country: U.K. Director Carol Reed My Rating: * * * * *
Carol Reed was back again with a gripping thriller set in postwar Vienna, starring Joseph Colten as an American novelist and Orson Welles in a classic turn as a deranged villain.
1950 Best Film All About Eve (See DavidMac's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz DavidMac's Rating: * * * * *
This drama, starring Bette Davis, won both the BAFTA and Academy Awards for Best Film. It is the ultimate backstage film, examining the egos and temperaments that abound in the theatrical environment.
1950 Best British Film The Blue Lamp (Not in Epinions database.) Country: U.K. Director Basil Dearden Rating: Undetermined
This crime drama stars Jack Warner as veteran detective George Dixon and Jimmy Hanley as rookie Andy Mitchell, pitted against two young punks and the girlfriend of one of them who are engaged in a series of armed robberies.
1951 Best Film La Ronde Country: France Director Max Ophüls My Rating: * * * * *
This stylish drama is intricately structured and features a who's who of star performers, including Anton Walbrook, Simone Sigoret, Serge Reggiari, Simone Simon, Daniel Gelin, and Jean-Louis Berrault.
1951 Best British Film The Lavender Hill Mob Country: U.K. Director Charles Crichton My Rating: * * * * *
Alec Guinness is the headliner in this hilarious crime comedy about a man who transports gold bullion and decides, after twenty years of honest work, to steal the company blind.
1952 Best Film and Best British Film The Sound Barrier (Not in the Epinions database.) Country: U.K. Director David Lean Rating: Undetermined
Nigel Patrick plays fighter pilot Tony Garthwaite who marries into the family of John Ridgefield (Ralph Richardson), a wealthy oil baron and airplane designer, who is intent on breaking the sound barrier. That effort is complicated by friction between Ridgefield and his daughter Susan (Ann Todd). The film features footage of early fifties jet aviation.
1953 Best Film Forbidden Games Country: France Director René Clément My Rating: * * * * *
This beautiful war drama set in France features one of the greatest performances ever by a child actress little five-year-old Brigitte Fossey as Paulette. Orphaned by a German strafing run, Paulette establishes a bizarre relationship with an eleven-year-old farm boy.
1953 Best British Film Genevieve Country: U.K. Director Henry Cornelius My Rating: * * * * *
This comedy couples John Gregson and Dinah Sheridan as the McKims and Kenneth More and Kay Kendall as the pair they challenge to a friendly race in classic cars.
1954 Best Film Wages of Fear Country: France Director Henri-Georges Clouzot My Rating: * * * * *
Yves Montand and Charles Vanel are among the motley crew of desperate men, in this French drama, who agree to try to deliver two truckloads of volatile nitroglycerin over rugged backroads to the site of an oilrig fire.
1954 Best British Film Hobson's Choice Country: U.K. Director David Lean Rating: Undetermined
Charles Laughton gives a marvelous performance in this comedy about a crusty old shop owner who rules his daughters with an iron hand.
1955 Best Film and Best British Film Richard III (See agentunderfire's Review.) Country: U.K. Director Laurence Olivier agentunderfire's Rating: * * * *
Laurence Olivier again stars and directs in this Shakespeare adaptation and historical drama. Richard, Duke of York, jealousy observes the coronation of Edward IV (Cedric Hardwicke) setting into motion the winter of his discontent.
1956 Best Film Gervaise Country: France Director René Clément My Rating: * * * * *
This mostly faithful adaptation of the beloved Emile Zola novel L'Assommoir takes place in working class Paris, where Maria Schell plays the title character, who is locked in a hopeless struggle to achieve the dream of owning her own laundry shop.
1956 Best British Film Reach for the Sky (Not in the Epinions database.) Country: U.K. Director Lewis Gilbert Rating: Undetermined
This war drama, based on the life of Douglas Bader, stars Kenneth More as a man who overcame the loss of both legs in 1931, in an airplane accident, to become a top fighter pilot during World War II.
1957 Best Film and Best British Film The Bridge on the River Kwai Country: U.K. Director David Lean My Rating: * * * * *
William Holden and Alec Guinness star in this war film about British prisoners forced by their Japanese captors to engineer and build a bridge over a gorge of the River Kwai.
1958 Best Film and Best British Film Room at the Top Country: U.K. Director Jack Clayton My Rating: * * * * *
Laurence Harvey and the incomparable Simone Signoret starred in this landmark film about class distinctions that launched a trend toward social realism in British cinema that became known as the "kitchen sink" movement.
1959 Best Film Ben Hur (See George Chabot's Review.) Country: U.S. Director William Wyler George Chabot's Rating: * * * * *
Charles Heston is Ben Hur in this historical and religious epic that features a galley ship and a stirring chariot race.
1959 Best British Film Sapphire (Not in the Epinions database.) Country: U.K. Director Basil Dearden Rating: Undetermined
Nigel Patrick stars as Hazard in this crime drama that exposes racial prejudices against Commonwealth immigrants in London, after a pregnant girl is murdered. Initially thought to be white, the girl's identity ultimately reveals a mixed raced ancestry, resulting in a sudden shift in the perceptions of both the public and the police.
1960 Best Film The Apartment (See artbyjude's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Billy Wilder artbyjude's Rating: * * * * *
I fell for Shirley MacLaine when I first saw this film as an adolescent. Jack Lemmon and the magnificent theme music provide the ultimate complement to MacLaine as the elevator girl who gets dumped by her sleazy boss, after a brief affair.
1960 Best British Film Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Country: U.K. Director Karel Reisz My Rating: * * * *
In this drama, Albert Finney plays a libertine lathe operator who spends his weekends drinking and bedding a co-worker's wife (Rachel Roberts), until he meets and falls for an old-fashioned girl (Shirley Ann Field), who won't sleep with him without a commitment.
1961 Best Film Ballad of a Soldier Country: U.S.S.R. Director Grigori Chukrai My Rating: * * * * *
A young hero (Vladimir Ivashov) of the Russian army is awarded a six-day leave to travel home across war-wracked Russia during World War II. Along the way, he meets and falls in love with a young woman (Zhanna Prokhorenko), in what becomes a classic love story.
1961 Best British Film A Taste of Honey Country: U.K. Director Tony Richardson My Rating: * * * *
Rita Tushingham plays Jo, the gawky, love-starved 17-year-old daughter of a promiscuous mother (Bora Bryan). After a brief romance on the docks of Blackpool with a black sailor, Jo moves in with a friendly gay man and discovers that she's pregnant with the sailor's child.
1962 Best Film and Best British Film Lawrence of Arabia Country: U.K. Director David Lean My Rating: * * * * *
Peter O'Toole is T.E. Lawrence in this biography of a desert-loving Englishman who rallies Arab tribes against the Ottoman Turks during World War I.
1963 Best Film and Best British Film Tom Jones Country: U.K. Director Tony Richardson My Rating: * * * * *
This ribald and rollicking comedy based on the Fielding novel stars Albert Finney in the title role and Susannah York as the female lead. It also provided the film debut for Lynn Redgrave.
1964 Best Film and Best British Film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb Country: U.K. Director Stanley Kubrick My Rating: * * * * *
Peters Sellers plays multiple roles in this classic of science fiction, comedy, and war. The final image of Slim Pickens, as Major T.J. "King" Kong, riding a missile to its ultimate destination is unforgettable.
1965 Best Film My Fair Lady (See George Chabot's Review.) Country: U.S. Director George Cukor George Chabot's Rating: * * * * *
In this Pygmalion adaptation, Audrey Hepburn is once again an "ugly" waif, Eliza Doolittle, this time transformed by Rex Harrison as Prof. Henry Higgns, to the strains of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.
1965 Best British Film The Ipcress File Country: U.K. Director Sidney J. Furie My Rating: * * * * *
Michael Caine plays the anti-hero Harry Palmer in this fast-paced spy film adapted from a novel by Len Deighton.
1966 Best Film Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (See George Chabot's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Mike Nichols George Chabot's Rating: * * * * *
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton star in this dramatic study of a marriage both loving and vicious between a history professor and the daughter of the college president.
1966 Best British Film The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Country: U.K. Director Martin Ritt My Rating: * * * * *
Richard Burton in a spy thriller? You betcha! Burton is a burnt-out espionage agent looking forward to retirement, when several of his operatives are taken down by his counterpart in East Berlin. Burton is assigned one last job, which is to infiltrate the East German operation.
1967 Best Film and Best British Film A Man for All Seasons Country: U.K. Director Fred Zinnemann My Rating: * * * * *
Paul Scofield stars in this adaptation of Robert Bolt's play about Sir Thomas More, an English Catholic statesman who opposed King VIII's decision to proclaim himself head of the Church of England. This film also took the American Academy Award for Best Film.
1968 Best Film The Graduate (See cripper's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Mike Nichols cripper's Rating: * * * * *
Anne Bancroft plays Mrs. Robinson, who seduces young Ben Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman. The relationship is complicated by the fact that Mrs. Robinson and her husband are best friends of Braddock's parents and more so, later, when Braddock falls for Mrs. Robinson's daughter, Elaine (Katharine Ross).
1969 Best Film Midnight Cowboy (See popsrocks's Review.) Country: U.S. Director John Schlesinger popsrocks's Rating: * * * * *
Dustin Hoffman stars as "Ratso" Rizzo and Jon Voight as the gigolo, Joe Buck, in this drama and, in part, road film. This film also won the Oscar for Best Film (the only X-rated film ever so honored).
1970 Best Film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (See susidee34's Review.) Country: U.S. Director George Roy Hill susidee34's Rating: * * * * *
Paul Newman and Robert Redford were an unforgettable pairing as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in this amusing western.
1971 Best Film Sunday Bloody Sunday Country: U.K. Director John Schlesinger My Rating: * * * *
Here's a drama and a love triangle with a twist, involving the homosexual Dr. Daniel Hirsh (Peter Finch), heterosexual Alex Greville (Glenda Jackson), and the bisexual Bob Elkin (Murray Head).
1972 Best Film Cabaret (See MrsNormanMaine's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Bob Fosse MrsNormanMaine's Rating: * * * * *
Wartime musicals are not common but this vision of Weimar Berlin succeeds marvelously on the talents of Liza Minnelli.
1973 Best Film Day for Night Country: France Director François Truffaut My Rating: * * * * *
Truffaut plays the director of a film-within-a-film, for which the performers include Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Valentina Cortese, and Jean-Pierre Aumont, each strange in his or her own peculiar way.
1974 Best Film Lacombe, Lucien (Not in the Epinions database.) Country: U.S. Director Louis Malle Rating: Undetermined
Director Louis Malle tooke his skills to Hollywood for this war drama starring Pierre Blaise as Lucien and Aurore Clement as France. After being rejected by the French Resistance, Lucien joins the Gestapo instead, but then falls in love with a Jewish girl.
1975 Best Film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (See susidee34's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Martin Scorsese susidee34's Rating: * * *
Ellen Burstyn stars as Alice Hyatt in this drama about an unhappy housewife living in New Mexico with a cruel husband and spoiled son. When the husband suddenly dies, Alice and her son pick up and head for California, but get waylaid by car problems in Arizona, where Alice takes up with David, played by Kris Kristofferson.
1976 Best Film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (See fuche bu's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Milos Forman fuche bu's Rating: * * * * *
Jack Nicholson's stellar performance as a mental health patient won this film the nod from BAFTA and Nicholson an Oscar as Best Actor. Nicholson's character struggles to hold onto his self-determination against the dominating influence of Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher).
1977 Best Film Annie Hall (See pmills1210's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Woody Allen pmills1210's Rating: * * * * *
Apparently the Brits love Woody Allen even more than do his fellow Americans. In this comedic study of relationships, Allen plays the neurotic, insecure Alvy Singer opposite his squeeze of that time, Diane Keaton, in the title role.
1978 Best Film Julia (See mariansmith74's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Fred Zinnemann mariansmith's Rating: * * * *
Jane Fonda starred in this biography based on the memoirs of Lillian Hellman. It is the thirties, and Hellman is living with author Dashiell Hammett (Jason Robards) in a beach house. After her first play is produced successfully, Hellman goes to visit a childhood friend, played by Vanessa Redgrave, now living in Austria, and becomes involved in a plot to smuggle money from Russia to Germany to finance anti-Nazi efforts.
1979 Best Film Manhattan (See fuche bu's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Woody Allen fuche bu's Rating: * * * * *
Woody Allen and Diane Keaton are back again in another comedy romance involving neurotic people. The characters are more fully drawn than those in Annie Hall.
1980 Best Film The Elephant Man Country: U.K. Director David Lynch My Rating: * * * * *
John Hurt got an Academy Award nomination for his performance in this bio-documentary as John Merrick, a grotesquely deformed man who has spent most of his life performing as a freak in carnivals. With the help of Dr. Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins), Merrick regains a degree of human dignity, but Treves's motivations come under scrutiny.
1981 Best Film Chariots of Fire Country: U.K. Director Hugh Hudson My Rating: * * * * *
This sports biography is one of those inspirational sports films that explores the motivations of two successful Olympic competitors, one driven by religious devotion and the other striving to overcome prejudice.
1982 Best Film Gandhi (See mkp51's Review.) Country: U.K./India Director Richard Attenborough mkp51's Rating: * * * * *
This three-hour biography of the great Indian leader stars Ben Kingsley in a stellar performance as Mahatma Gandhi. The film took the Oscar for Best Film as well.
1982 Best Foreign-Language Film Christ Stopped at Eboli Country: Italy Director Francesco Rosi My Rating: * * * * *
Gian Maria Volonté stars as Carlo Levi, a Jew and an anti-Fascist, who is exiled to the remote village of Aliano by Mussolini's fascist government. There he observes the simple, mystical ways of the uneducated and impoverished villagers, while struggling to become a useful member of the community.
1983 Best Film Educating Rita Country: U.K. Director Lewis Gilbert My Rating: * * * *
Julie Walters, in the title role, finds her horizons uncomfortably expanded when she begins adult education classes under the tutelage of an amorous and alcoholic professor, played by Michael Caine.
1983 Best Foreign-Language Film Danton Country: France Director Andrzej Wajda My Rating: * * * * *
This historical film depicts the conflicts between Georges Danton, played by Gérard Depardieu, and Maximillian Robespierre, played by Wojciech Pszoniak, during the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution. Wajda draws subtle parallels between his film's story and the situation in his home country of Poland at the time.
1984 Best Film The Killing Fields Country: U.K. Director Roland Joffe My Rating: * * * * *
In this war drama, a New York Times reporter played by Sam Waterston goes looking for a friend, Dith Pran, played by Haing S. Ngor, after he is captured by the Khmer Rouge. Dith spends time in a rural "reeducation" camp and, after escaping, comes across the remains of some of the three million victims of the Khmer Rouge.
1984 Best Foreign-Language Film Carmen Country: Spain Director Carlos Saura My Rating: * * * * *
This unusual version of the famous story uses the device of parallel storylines. A dance troupe rehearsing a flamenco version of Bizet's opera reenact the same basic plot elements in their personal lives. Antonio Gades stars as Antonio and Laura del Sol as Carmen.
1985 Best Film The Purple Rose of Cairo (See lemon lime's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Woody Allen lemon lime's Rating: * * * *
Cecilia (Mia Farrow), discontented with her loutish husband (Danny Aiello) and her dead end life as a waitress, finds comfort only at the local movie house. She especially adores The Purple Rose of Cairo and its wholesome hero (played by Jeff Daniels). When Daniels amazingly steps out of the movie screen and into Cecilia's life, sparks begin to fly in more ways than one.
1985 Best Foreign-Language Film Colonel Redl Country: Hungary Director Istvá Szabó My Rating: * * * * *
Klaus Maria Brandauer is is fine fiddle in this biography of an intelligence officer of the Austro-Hungarian Empire who inexplicably commits suicide. Director Szabo and screenwriter Peter Dobai draw on a play by John Osborne to have a go at why Redl might have killed himself.
1986 Best Film A Room with a View Country: U.K. Director James Ivory My Rating: * * * * *
This droll comedy of manners was made on a shoestring budget but received eight Oscar nominations along with its BAFTA award. The young and lovely Lucy Honeychurch (Helena Bonham Carter) travels to Italy under the watchful eye of her spinster cousin, Maggie Smith (Charlotte Bartlett), but one kiss surreptitiously planted by George Emerson (Julian Sands) on Lucy's lips, witnessed by Maggie, is enough to send the ladies scurrying back to Surrey. The plot thickens when George and his father move into a nearby villa.
1986 Best Foreign-Language Film Ran Country: Japan Director Akira Kurosawa My Rating: * * * * *
Tatsuya Nakadai stars as Lord Hidetora Ichimonji, who, in his old age, divides up his extensive kingdom among three sons. Only the youngest son questions the wisdom of his father's decision, but later, it is the older sons who betray their father. Ran features some of the most elaborate and brilliant battle scenes in film history.
1987 Best Film Jean de Florette (See Jean de Florette/Manon.) Country: France Director Claude Berri My Rating: * * * * *
This drama starring Yves Montand, Gérard Depardieu, and Daniel Auteuil was the first installment of a two-part film sequence completed later that same year with Manon of the Spring. The unscrupulous Cesar Soubeyran, played by Montand, is determined to drive the upstart landowner Jean (Depardieu) from his land, in order to gain access to a spring on Jean's property that will provide ample irrigation for the carnations of his nephew, Ugolin (Auteuil).
1987 Best Foreign-Language Film The Sacrifice Country: France/Sweden Director Andrei Tarkovsky My Rating: * * * * *
Andrei Tarkovsky's final film stars Erland Josephson as Alexander. The film deals complexly with the threat of nuclear holocaust and worldwide destruction, through haunting visual images.
1988 Best Film The Last Emperor Country: Italy Director Bernardo Bertolucci My Rating: * * * * *
This biographical costume drama, based on the real life of Aish-Gioro "Henry" Pu Yi, stars John Lone as Pu Yi. The Last Emperor also took the Oscar for Best Film.
1988 Best Foreign-Language Film Babette's Feast Country: Denmark Director Gabriel Axel My Rating: * * * * *
For this drama starring Stephane Audran, food provides the medium for examining the conflict and/or relationship between sensuality and austere spirituality. Babette, a French exile living as a servant in a remote religious community on the rough coastline of Denmark, teaches her reluctant community about the hedonistic delights of fine French cuisine.
1989 Best Film Dead Poet's Society (See voxpoptart's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Peter Weir voxpoptart's Rating: * * * * *
Robin Williams gives a sober portrayal as John Keating, an inspirational teacher at a Vermont prep school, who adopts unusual methods that violate the schools norms, while opening the eyes of the students to a broader world of ideas and culture.
1989 Best Foreign-Language Film Life and Nothing But Country: France Director Bertrand Tavernier My Rating: * * * * *
Philippe Noiret and Sabine Azema team up beautifully in this middle-aged romance and compelling drama about the terrible aftermath of war.
1990 Best Film Goodfellas (See George Chabot's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Martin Scorcese George Chabot's Rating: * * * * *
This crime drama stars Robert De Niro as James Conway, Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, and Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito, three erstwhile partners in crime, torn apart when Hill becomes part of the witness protection program, testifying against his former partners.
1990 Best Foreign-Language Film Cinema Paradiso Country: Italy Director Giuseppe Tornatore My Rating: * * * * *
Cinema Paradiso follows the story of Toto, who, as a boy in a small town in Italy, falls in love with the cinema, developing, in the process, a special bond with the old man who runs the projection booth of the towns movie house. Toto (Jacques Perrin) later becomes a renowned director, but at the price of remaining unfulfilled in another respect.
1991 Best Film The Commitments Country: U.S./U.K. Director Alan Parker My Rating: * * * * *
This musical drama, a U.S. and U.K. co-production, stars Robert Arkins as the manager of a small band. Arkin transforms them from dreadful to delightful, but the prices of fame are new tensions and tests of individual integrity.
1991 Best Foreign-Language Film The Nasty Girl Country: West Germany Director Michael Verhoeven My Rating: * * * * *
This film provides an embellished version of the true story of a woman named Anna Elizabeth Rosmus, who runs into a wall of resistance in the eighties when she tries to research the history of her hometown of Passau, in Bavaria, during World War II.
1992 Best Film Howards End Country: U.K. Director James Ivory My Rating: * * * * *
Ruth Wilcox (Vanessa Redgrave), a terminally ill spiritualist, strikes up a friendship with Margaret Schlegel (Emma Thompson) and decides to leave her beloved property, Howards End, to Margaret, rather than her husband Henry (Anthony Hopkins). After Ruth's death, her will is destroyed by the Wilcoxes but Henry develops a romantic interest in Margaret.
1992 Best Foreign-Language Film Raise the Red Lantern Country: China Director Zhang Zimou My Rating: * * * * *
Zhang Yimou and Gong Li teamed up to produce this classic about a Chinese household to which nineteen-year-old Songlian (Gong Li) is added as "fourth wife," giving up her university studies for the life of a concubine. She has to learn to manage the perverse competition among the wives for the favor of the master and the privileges that go with it.
1993 Best Film Schindler's List (See cripper's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Steven Spielberg cripper's Rating: * * * * *
Liam Neeson stars as Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who does what he can to prevent the deportation of the Jewish laborers hired by his accountant, Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), despite their lack of experience as factory workers. Over the course of the film, Schindler is gradually transformed from passive complicity in the holocaust to heroic, if veiled, resistance.
1993 Best Foreign-Language Film Farewell My Concubine Country: China Director Chen Gaige My Rating: * * * * *
Spanning more than fifty years of Chinese history, this historical drama features an usual love triangle. Duan Xialou (Zhang Fengyi) and Cheng Dieyi (Leslie Cheung) have been best friends since their days together as abandoned young children in the Peking Opera Academy, but Cheng's homosexual interest in Duan is not reciprocated. When Duan is drawn instead to the prostitute Juxian (Gong Li), a series of betrayals plays out in the context of turbulent times in China.
1993 Best British Film Shadowlands (See Dani257's Review.) Country: U.K. Director Richard Attenborough Dani257's Rating: * * * *
This biographical drama and romance stars Anthony Hopkins as C.S. "Jack" Lewis, the author of such books as The Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis's quiet life is shaken when he meets Joy Gresham (Debra Winger), an American poet with whom he has had some correspondence.
1994 Best Film Four Weddings and a Funeral Country: U.K. Director Mike Newell My Rating: * * * *
Charles (Hugh Grant) meets Carrie (Andie MacDowell) at a wedding and is hit by a thunderbolt. Will the intervention of friends, three more weddings, and a funeral be enough to win Charles his soulmate?
1994 Best Foreign-Language Film To Live Country: China Director Zhang Zimou My Rating: * * * * *
This epic drama follows the ups and downs of Fugui (Ge You) as he struggles with a gambling addiction, abandonment by his wife (Gong Li), and the social upheavals of the Communist Revolution, the Cultural Revolution, and loss of a child.
1994 Best British Film Shallow Grave (See phungus's Review.) Country: U.K. Director Danny Boyle phungus's Rating: * * * *
There plenty of thrills in this stylish crime drama in which three Edinburgh roommates, played by Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, and Ewan McGregor, decide to dispose of the body of their mysterious fourth tenant when he is found dead from a drug overdose with a suitcase full of money.
1995 Best Film Sense and Sensibility Country: U.S. Director Ang Lee My Rating: * * * * *
Though made in the U.S.A. by a Taiwanese director, this film feels as British as anything out of the U.K. Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet star in this adaptation of the sentimental Jane Austen classic, but receive plenty of assistance from a marvelous supporting cast.
1995 Best Foreign-Language Film Il Postino Country: Italy Director Michael Radford My Rating: * * * * *
Massimo Triosi stars in this popular film that features friendship, romance, politics, poetry, humor, and loss. A simple-minded postman (Triosi) with the soul of a poet develops an abiding friendship with a great Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret), who is in exile in Italy.
1995 Best British Film The Madness of King George Country: U.K. Director Nicholas Hytner My Rating: * * * *
Nigel Hawthorne stars as King George III, who becomes temporarily insane as a result of porphyria. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Pitt is locked in a power struggle with Whig leader Fox and the dissolute Prince of Wales looks on.
1996 Best Film The English Patient Country: U.K. Director Anthony Minghella My Rating: * * * * *
Ralph Fiennes is the English patient, Almasy, and Juliette Binoche the Canadian nurse who cares for him as he struggles with bitter memories of the death of his beloved Katharine (Kristin Scott Thomas).
1996 Best Foreign-Language Film Ridicule Country: France Director Patrice Leconte My Rating: * * * * *
Ridicule is a delightfully literate period drama set mainly in Versailles during the reign of Louis XVI, when wit and etiquette were the secrets to influence in the court. Ponceludon de Malavoy (Charles Berling) will need all of his wits to gain the financial support he needs to drain his region's disease-promoting marshes.
1996 Best British Film Secrets and Lies Country: U.K. Director Mike Leigh My Rating: * * * * *
Marianne Jean-Baptiste is Hortense, a young black woman of London, who seeks out her birth mother after the death of her adoptive mother. She is amazed to discover that her birth mother, Cynthia (Brenda Blethyn), is white. Cynthia is equally surprised, barely recalling the one-night stand she once had with a black man. Hortense is presented to Cynthia's family at the twenty-first birthday party of Cynthia's other daughter, Roxanne (Claire Rushbrook). This film also received five Academy Award nominations and the Palme d'Or from Cannes.
1997 Best Film The Full Monty Country: U.K. Director Peter Cattaneo My Rating: * * * *
This comedy features six unemployed men trying to make a living as strippers. And they're desperate enough to offer the ladies of the audience what other male strippers won't: the full monty (total nudity).
1997 Best Foreign-Language Film L'Appartement (Not in the Epinions database.) Country: Italy Director Gilles Mimouni My Rating: Undetermined
In this mystery romance set in Paris, Max (Vincent Cassel) spies the girl of his dreams, Lisa (Monica Bellucci), in a café and is so taken with her that he abandons a planned trip to Tokyo and his engagement to his fiancée. He's so obsessed with Lisa that he hides in her apartment to meet her, but when Alice (Romane Bohringer) arrives instead, Max is confused by the similarity in the two girl's looks and has sex with Alice. But Alice turns out to be the girlfriend of Max's friend, Lucien (Jean-Philippe Écoffrey). You get the idea!
1997 Best British Film Nil by Mouth (See reviewman's Review.) Country: U.K./U.S. Director Gary Oldman reviewman's Rating: * * * * *
Set in the lower class projects of southeast London, this film details the story of three of life's losers. Ray Winstone is the sadistic, coke- and alcohol-impaired loudmouth and Kathy Burke his victimized wife. Charlie Creed-Miles is her younger brother with a heroin addiction.
1998 Best Film Shakespeare in Love Country: U.S. Director John Madden My Rating: * * * * * *
Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, and Colin Firth are the trio of stars in Shakespeare in Love, an improbable account of the Bard's bawdy dalliance with a would-be actress (Paltrow), who has to disguise herself as a man to appear on stage.
1998 Best Foreign-Language Film Central Station Country: Brazil Director Walter Salles My Rating: * * * * *
Fernanda Montenegro won a Best Actress nomination for her stellar performance as an embittered ex-teacher who finds renewal through an unanticipated relationship with a suddenly orphaned boy, Josue (Vinicius de Oliveira). Together, they set out to find his father in a remote village in Brazil.
1998 Best British Film Elizabeth Country: U.K. Director Shekhar Kapur My Rating: * * * *
Cate Blanchett is Elizabeth I in this magnificent biography and costume drama. After the death of Henry VIII, who had engineered the historic split with the Catholic Church, his Catholic daughter Mary (Kathy Burke) assumes the throne and starts persecuting the Protestants. Mary's half-sister Elizabeth is occupied with the throes of first love with Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes) until she is summarily packed off to the Tower of London by the paranoid Mary and her advisors. Ultimately, Elizabeth assumes the throne as Mary's successor and ushers in the magnificent Elizabethan era.
1999 Best Film American Beauty (See DavidMac's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Sam Mendes DavidMac's Rating: * * * *
Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, and Mena Suvari are an odd trio indeed in this black comedy about midlife crisis in suburban America. Lester Burnham (Spacey) can't help ogling his daughter's cheerleader friend, Angela (Suvari), despite his nagging wife (Bening) and his life generally falling apart in every respect.
1999 Best Foreign-Language Film All About My Mother Country: Spain Director Pedro Almodóvar My Rating: * * * * *
When a devoted mother, Manuela (Cecilia Roth), suddenly loses her beloved son, Esteban (Eloy Azorin), in a tragic accident, she sets out to honor his last wish to know about his father. To do so, she'll have to turn back the clock twenty years and return to a world of prostitutes, transvestites, and stage actors that she had abandoned in order to raise her son in a more suitable environment.
1999 Best British Film East is East (See pmills1210's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Damien O'Donnell pmills1210's Rating: * *
Om Puri is the Pakistani father of a family living in England. He expects his children to abide by traditional Muslim ways, but his wife is English and the children, having lived their entire lives in England, see themselves as British. Matters come to a head when the father tries to arrange marriages for his sons.
2000 Best Film Gladiator (See George Chabot's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Ridley Scott George Chabot's Rating: * * * *
Russell Crowe starred in this historical adventure film about the Roman general Maximus in the second century A.D. Maximus is sold into slavery after he runs afoul of the aging emperor's ambitious and corrupt son, Commodus, but fights his way back for a chance at vengeance.
2000 Best Foreign-Language Film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Country: China Director Ang Lee My Rating: * * * * *
This mythological narrative set in ancient China combines martial arts with visual poetry. The intricately choreographed sequences involve gravity-defying ballet-like movements.
2000 Best British Film Billy Elliot Country: U.K. Director Stephen Daldry My Rating: * * * * *
Jamie Bell is Billy Elliot in this coming-of-age drama set in the mine country of England where Billy's father (Gary Lewis) and brother (Jamie Draven) are among the miners engaging in a strike. Billy's one joy is his weekly boxing lessons, but when a flock of little girls in tutus invade the gym with their ballet teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson (Julie Walters), Billy's newfound interest in ballet clashes with a whole series of prejudices at home.
2001 Best Film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (See thevoid99's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Peter Jackson thevoid99's Rating: * * * * *
Jackson et al. had to wait until the third installment of the trilogy for Oscar recognition but received much quicker recognition in the original Tolkein country. In Middle Earth, elves, dwarves, hobbits, wizards, and, yes, even humans, have to forge an alliance to save their world from the growing power of Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor. The key lies in destruction of an all-powerful ring, previously discovered by Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. Frodo Baggins (Elijah Woods) is charged with the unenviable task of bearing the ring into the heart of Mordor, where it can be thrown to its destruction in Mount Doom.
2001 Best Foreign-Language Film Amores Perros Country: Mexico Director Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu My Rating: * * * * *
Gael Garcia Bernal stars in this intricately structured film in which three parallel stories ultimately intersect. In one story, Octavio covets his brother's wife, believing that she actually prefers him to the rather brutish brother. In the second, a street bum who collects and cares for stray dogs is also a paid hit man. In the third, a family man abandons his family for a beautiful model. The three tragic stories ultimately justify the films title, which translates roughly as Loves a bitch.
2001 Best British Film Gosford Park Country: U.K. Director Robert Altman My Rating: * * * *
In this ensemble mystery, Sir William McCordle (Michael Gambon) and his wife, Lady Sylvia (Kristin Scott Thomas), throw a party at their rambling estate, Gosford Park. When Sir William is murdered, there're plenty of suspects among the myriad guests and servants because he was not at all a well-liked man.
2002 Best Film The Pianist Country: U.S./U.K./France/Poland/Germany Director Roman Polanski My Rating: * * * * *
This autobiographical film based on the life of pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew, stars Adrien Brody. Szpilman is forced into the Warsaw ghetto and witnesses the deportation of his entire family to one of the death camps. After escaping from the ghetto, Szpilman is aided by a cellist and members of the Polish resistance.
2002 Best Foreign-Language Film Talk to Her Country: Spain Director Pedro Almodóvar My Rating: * * * * *
Javier Camara and Dario Grandinetti play two men who know how to weep, in this daring and unconventional film. When Grandinetti's lover of the moment lapses into a coma during a bullfighting accident, he meets Camara's character, a male nurse named Benigno, who has been caring for a comatose young woman, Alicia (Leonor Watling), for a few years. Benigno is the epitome of sensitivity, or seems to be until Alicia is discovered to be pregnant.
2002 Best British Film The Warrior (Not in the Epinions database.) Country: U.K. Director Asif Kapadia 's Rating: Undetermined
In this Hindi language film, Lafcadia (Irfan Khan) is a warrior is feudal India who decides to renounce his position as chief enforcer for the local warlord, but, in so doing, becomes an object of pursuit through the Himalayan Mountains.
2003 Best Film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (See carl lazarevic's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Peter Jackson carl lazarevic's Rating: * * * * *
The final chapter of the magnificent Lord of the Rings trilogy based on the Tolkien masterpieces earned Jackson a second Best Film recognition from BAFTA. Elijah Wood stars as Frodo Baggins, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Viggo Mortensen as Aragon, and Orlando Bloom as Legolas.
2003 Best Foreign-Language Film In This World Country: U.K. Director Michael Winterbottom My Rating: * * *
Winterbottom and his crew used a hand-held DV-camera to film two Afghan refugees making a desperate overland trip from Pakistan, through Iran and Turkey, to Italy, France, and London, in the hope of a better life.
2003 Best British Film Touching the Void (See mcmaster's Review.) Country: U.K. Director Kevin Macdonald mcmaster's Rating: * * * *
This documentary traces the story of two climbers, Simon Yates (Nicholas Aaron) and Joe Simpson (Brendan Mackey), hoping to reach the 21,000 foot summit of Siula Grande, in the Peruvian Andes, a feat never previously achieved. They succeed in reaching the peak, but during the return trip, Joe breaks his leg. They continue their descent with Joe tethered to a rope, but when Joe end up dangling from an overhang, with no way back, Simon decides to cut the rope and let Joe fall to his death. Amazingly, however, Joe survives the fall and manages to work his way back to the base camp.
2004 Best Film The Aviator (See kristinafh's Review.) Country: U.S. Director Martin Scorcese kristinafh's Rating: * * * *
This biographical film covers an early phase in the life of Howard Hughes (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), from 1930-1947, from his aerial work for a production of Hell's Angels in 1930 to his romance with Ava Gardner and Katharine Hepburn in the mid-forties. Hughes parlayed a small, inherited fortune into one of the largest in the world, as a Hollywood producer, defense contractor, and owner of airlines, electronics companies, and casinos.
2004 Best Foreign-Language Film The Motorcycle Diaries Country: U.S. Director Walter Salles My Rating: * * * * *
This film chronicles an early adventure of Ernesto Guevara, who would later become known to the world as the revolutionary, Che Guevara. In 1951, a 29-year-old chemist, Alberto Granado (Rodrigo De la Serna) and a young medical student, Ernesto Guevara (Gael García Bernal), decide to take a motorcycle trip from southern Argentina, along the spine of the Andes Mountains, to Peru, where they will spend some weeks working in a leper colony. Along the way, the two encounter the brutal poverty and exploitation of the indigenous people.
2004 Best British Film My Summer of Love (Not in the Epinions database.) Country: U.K. Director Paul Pavlikovsky Rating: Undetermined
Mona (Nathalie Press) is a working-class tomboy. During a summer in the Yorkshire countryside, she meets the yuppie Tasmin (Emily Blunt) and the two young women find that they have lots to learn from one another.
My Choices for the Top-Ten BAFTA-winners Made in the U.K.
1. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
2. The Third Man (1949)
3. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
4. Tom Jones (1963)
5. Odd Man Out (1947)
6. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
7. A Taste of Honey (1961)
8. Room at the Top (1958)
9. Secrets and Lies (1996)
10. Genevieve (1953)
Honorable Mentions (alphabetically):
Billy Elliot (2000)
The Elephant Man (1980)
The Full Monty (1997)
Hobson's Choice (1954)
The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
A Man for All Seasons (1967)
A Room with a View (1986)
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1966)
You may also enjoy my other lists of award-winning films:
Celebrating the Oscars: All Seventy-Seven Best Picture Oscar Winners (with links to full reviews)
Celebrating the Oscar Divas: All Seventy-Seven Best Actress Oscar Winners (with links to full reviews)
All Fifty-Six Best Foreign Film Oscar Winners
All Seventy-Seven Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Winners
National Society of Film Critics' Awards for Non-English Language Films
New York Film Critics' Circle Awards for Foreign Films (1935-2004)
Los Angeles Film Critics' Award Winners in the Best Foreign Film Category
London Critics' Circle Awards for Best Foreign Film
|Read all comments (8)|Write your own comment|