Movies

Favorite love stories of the Academy Awards

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It’s everywhere you go.  Pink heart balloons, sugary sweets, and hoards of fragrant red roses all for that special someone.  Valentine’s Day is looming on the horizon and almost everyone seems to be bitten by the love bug.  This includes the Academy Awards who recently published a collection of romantic Best Picture winners.  That means the list is comprised of some of the best and most romantic films of all time.  Each movie is critically acclaimed and highly decorated with various awards and titles.  If you’re not interested in fighting the crowds this Valentine’s Day consider curling up with one of these classic hits which will be sure to set a romantic and cozy mood for the evening.

Gone With the Wind (1940)

“There’s one thing I do know… and that is that I love you, Scarlett. In spite of you and me and the whole silly world going to pieces around us, I love you.”

A war, love, jealousy and characters that are so vivacious they have lived in the hearts of viewers for more than fifty years.  Gone with the Wind is a classic that I’m sure we’ve all heard of.  One of the timeless romance stories of the century there’s no surprise that it ended up on the list.  It stars Scarlet O’Hara a beautiful and incredibly headstrong girl caught in the midst of the South during the time of the Civil War and the men she spends her life chasing and being chased by.

Casablanca (1944)
“I can’t fight it anymore. I ran away from you once. I can’t do it again. Oh, I don’t know what’s right any longer. You have to think for both of us. For all of us.”

This time the war is WWII and Rick Blaine is an American expedite who runs the most popular nightspot in Casablanca.  While rubbing elbows with Nazi officials and Europeans fleeing to America Rick comes into contact with his once love Ilsa who is accompanying a Resistance leader trying to escape the Germans.  The painful history between the two of them last left Rick stood up at a train station in Paris.  Now that they’re together again Rick has the ability to help the two out of the country, but will he?

From Here to Eternity (1954)
Set in Hawaii in the months preceding Pearl Harbor From Here to Eternity stars Montgomery Cliff as Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt.  When it’s discovered that Prewitt is an outstanding boxer Captain Dana Holmes attempts to recruit him for the regimental boxing club he is in charge of.  Prewitt refuses and Holmes makes his life a living hell.  As the tragedy of Pearl Harbor looms ahead Prewitt undergoes pressure and falls in love with a local dancer and call girl Lorene.

GiGi (1959)
A rich playboy and a courtesan-in-training are the center of this romnace that plays out in Paris in the 1900s.  Gatson seeks the company of his uncle’s former mistress and her granddaughter Gigi when he wants refuge from the shallow society of the Parisian upper class.  Gigi has been raised to be the lover of  a wealthy man, but love adds a twist to this Cinderella story as a once platonic relationship between Gatson and Gigi blossoms into more.

West Side Story (1962)
A adaptation of the star-crossed tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, this musical stars two youths from rival gangs in New York City.  Tony and Maria meet at a dance and despite their feuding family gangs, the Sharks and the Jets, they fall in love.  Meeting in secret and planning to run away the film reaches its height when the gangs plan a rumble for control of the streets.  Will Tony and Maria’s love be enough to bridge the bloody rivalry?

Annie Hall (1978)
Alvy Singer is a neurotic comedian who is sarcastic and cynical of the world.  He meets Annie Hall a talented photographer and singer who is equally unusual and the two are attracted to each other instantly.  The film is a historical account of their romance from the first date to the very end.  It serves as a testament to love in the 70s and the unique roles that relationships play in our lives.

Out of Africa (1986)
Karen Blixen, played by Meryl Streyp, is a baroness left to run a coffee plantation in Kenya while her husband is frequently away on business and having affairs.  While he is gone she faces hardships and disasters, but through resourcefulness and leadership she gains the respect of the men she is surrounded by.  She learns about love and loss and much about the African culture as it is being colonized on the verge of the first World War.

The English Patient (1997)
As WWII nears an end four people find company in one another in an Italian villa.  Two of the group include a nurse and a badly burned victim of a plane crash she is tending.  As he lays in agony his past is shown through a series of flashbacks that reveal a history of love, adventure, and betrayal.  The movie is an attempt to uncover the identity of the burn victim and the others in the villa as some of their lives are mysteriously entangled.

Titanic (1998)
One of the most recognizable love stories of this century Titanic won its Academy Award for Best Picture in 1998.  Many can recount the romance between the two passengers, Jack and Rose, as they take part in the ill-fated maiden journey of the Titanic.  It is presented as a 100 year old Rose recounting the shipwreck 84 years after the event occurred. The film journeys through the five days between departure and the untimely end against an iceberg and the unlikely love that blossomed during those brief days.

Shakespeare in Love (1999)
In this creative account of Shakespeare’s search for inspiration a young writter, played by Joseph Fiennes,  meets the woman who is to become his muse for Romeo and Juliet.  Viola de Lesseps loves the theatre and disguises her self as a man named Thomas Kent to pursue acting.  The disguise is quickly seen through and Viola and Shakespeare begin a love affair that become immortalized amid the lines of his most famous play.  Secrets between the both of them threaten their love to be hopelessly star-crossed as well.

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