From 'Rocky' to 'Moonlight': 10 of the biggest Best Picture winners

The winner is... not at all who you'd expect.

It's Oscars season, which means the time between now and the big night of March 12 is the perfect time to rewatch, discuss and catch up on all the nominees. Bringing together over a year of great movies, this year's awards show was as exciting as ever.

While there's certainly a lot to look forward to regarding the Best Actor and Supporting Actor categories, as well as various technical accomplishments, the oft-controversial Best Picture award remains the biggest talking point of the season. While there seems to be a formula that predicts which movie will take home the coveted trophy, sometimes audiences are relieved (or disappointed) by surprise victories.

10 'Crash' in 2006

Crash is the story of several interconnected experiences of various characters in Los Angeles. The film tackles social issues of race, religion, gender and prejudice through the lives of the ensemble ensemble.

Surely enough has been wrestled with this 2006 Best Picture winner. The film was highly controversial at the time, with many taking issue with its portrayal of race relations as manipulative, superficial, and failing to address the institutional causes of racism. This emotion, accompanied by everyone's expectations, Awards darling "Brokeback Mountain" took home the trophy, leaving behind a draft pick that is still puzzling.

9 'Rocky' in 1977

Rocky follows its titular character Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), an unnamed boxer from Philadelphia, as he wins the fight against heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) opportunity of a lifetime.

Like the titular maverick boxer, Rocky was a clear underdog in other nominated films, which included movie heavyweights such as Martin Scorsese's classic Taxi Driver, All the President's Men, and other critically acclaimed films. Taking home one of Hollywood's most revered awards will be no easy feat for a film that's considered a niche sports flick.

8 'Shakespeare in Love' in 1999

Shakespeare in Love sees a fictionalized version of William Shakespeare falling in love with Viola Dlesseps, an aspiring actress who inspired him to write a now iconic play.

For a rom-com, the chances of winning the Oscar for Best Picture are slim, but when the rom-com's competition is Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, it's almost inconceivable The latter entered the night with a staggering 11 nominations. While still a beloved film in its own right, it was overshadowed by its unprecedented performance and an aggressive best picture award campaign.

7 'Moonlight' in 2017

Moonlight is a three-part story that all revolves around the life of Chiron, a young man struggling with his identity as he comes of age in 1980s Miami.

This is an extremely rare case compared to other underdogs, and what makes Moonlight so impressive has nothing to do with the film itself, which received eight nominations. The real drama came from the fact that, despite the award, the first film to announce the winner at the awards show was La La Land, leading to the iconic confusion that is still being discussed today.

6 'The Greatest Show on Earth' in 1953

The Greatest Show on Earth centers on the lives and exploits of various members of the circus, including clowns, trapezemen, and mahouts.

While most consider it a good enough film, this triumph confuses many when compared to the likes of High Noon and The Quiet Man - which, in terms of relevance, Movies seem to outlast the 1953 winner. With the big names gathered, this victory is definitely dazzling for people looking back.

5 'Forrest Gump' in 1995

"Forrest Gump" tells the story of a man with big ambitions With an IQ of 75, he's seen life's ups and downs, along with several iconic events in American history.

In another surprising case of victory, Forrest Gump beat out two masterpieces in the form of The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction. Despite its multiple nominations, the film's critical response was relatively lukewarm compared to its rivals, making its win still controversial.

4 'Spotlight' in 2016

Spotlight tells the true story of a shocking discovery involving allegations of serial sexual harassment by a local priest and a team of Boston Globe reporters seeking to expose what the Roman Catholic Church has been trying to hide.

Despite critical acclaim, Spotlight remains a dark horse. Making such waves with contenders like "Mad Max: Fury Road," "The Martian" and "The Revenant," the newsroom drama stunned many Oscars when it landed its final statuette of the night Ceremony audience.

3 'Parasite' in 2020

Parasite follows a low-class Seoul family, the Parks, who defraud the wealthy Kim family of their lives through a series of elaborate schemes.

You're unlikely to hear much negative opinion of the film from anyone who isn't just trying to stir up controversy, making the triumphant shock irrelevant to its quality. The moment was a pleasant surprise, as it was the first non-English language film to win the award. Paving the way for Korean cinema while beating the likes of Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino is a feat that doesn't happen every Oscar season.

2 'CODA' in 2022

CODA is the coming-of-age story of Ruby (Emilia Jones), a deaf child who struggles with her future as she chooses between her family ties and her passion for music.

Since CODA only had three nominations going to the ceremony, most of the discussion seemed to revolve around other nominees such as 12-time nominees The Power of the Dog and Denis Villeneuve's Dune. A streaming service won the award. Still, CODA took home the grand prize (and won every category it was competing in), leaving audiences in awe of the momentum this little indie game is gaining.

1 'Chariots of Fire' in 1982

Chariots of Fire tells the story of two British track and field athletes of different faiths They embarked on a journey to win the 1924 Olympic title.

"Chariots of Fire" had fewer total nominations than the iconic "Raiders of the Lost Ark," which at the time was the first time a British film had won in 13 years. Some marked it as one of the least popular Best Picture winners, which is frustrating because many didn't see it coming.

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