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The biggest Oscar winners of the decade

Winning an Oscar is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a movie or actor. Over the last decade, many original and exciting films — and many sequels and reboots — were released that earned the praise of critics and fans alike; some stood out among the rest. These are the biggest Oscar winners of the last decade.

Gravity (2013)

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/ YouTube

Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, “Gravity” tells the story of two astronauts out on a spacewalk when disaster strikes. The two are hurtling through space tethered to each other with little hope of ever returning to Earth. At the 2014 Oscars, “Gravity” was nominated for an astounding 10 Academy Awards and won seven of them. The awards included:

  • Best Visual Effects
  • Best Sound Editing
  • Best Sound Mixing
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Original Score
  • Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón)

Oddly enough, even after winning all of those awards, it failed to take home the Oscar for Best Picture, which went to “12 Years a Slave.”

Christoph Waltz

Actor Christoph Waltz on the red carpet of the 75th Venice Film Festival
Credit: Andrea Raffin/ Shutterstock

There are few actors who have managed to take home multiple Oscars; Christoph Waltz is one of them. The Austrian star is also one of the only actors who has never lost a nomination. For both times he was nominated for an Oscar, he ended up on the stage giving a speech — and he gave both of those speeches this decade.

Waltz won his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2010 for Quentin Tarantino's “Inglourious Basterds.” Just three years later, he won the same award for his work on yet another Tarantino movie, “Django Unchained.” Waltz is one of only two actors to win multiple Oscars this decade.

La La Land (2016)

Credit: Lionsgate Movies/ YouTube

La La Land” tells the story of an aspiring actress and a jazz pianist as they grapple with their careers and love lives in the notoriously tough city of Los Angeles. Starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, this film went on to be one of the biggest Oscar nominees not only of the decade, but all time.

In the 2017 Oscar season, “La La Land” was nominated for a record 14 awards. Only three movies in history have managed to receive that many nominations. Of those 14 nominations, it managed to win six of them, including Best Original Score, Best Actress for Emma Stone, Best Director (Damien Chazelle, who became the youngest winner of this award ever), and Best Cinematography.

Mahershala Ali

Actor Mahershala Ali accepting award at the 89th Academy Awards
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Mahershala Ali has been a part of some of the most popular movies and TV shows for the past two decades. He has been in the “Hunger Games” series along with the ever-popular Netflix original series “House of Cards.”

In the past decade, he has really shown off his talents. In 2016 he appeared in the Best Picture winner “Moonlight” as a drug dealer in a tough neighborhood. In 2018, he portrayed a completely different role as a genius-level pianist traveling on tour through the 1960s American Deep South in the film “Green Book” — also a Best Picture winner. Ali won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for both movies. He is tied with Christoph Waltz for the most Oscars won in the 2010s.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/ YouTube

The "Mad Max" movies from the '70s and '80s were not your typical considerations for Oscar acclaim. They were rough, dirty, violent action movies that people watched just to see cars crash. The reboot of the classic apocalyptic series wasn’t any different, but when it was finally released, it got a whole new respect.

Mad Max: Fury Road,” released in 2015, featured stars Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy battling their way across the desert in super-powered vehicles. There are lots of explosions, car crashes, gun fights, and even a man strapped into a vehicle made of speakers playing an electric guitar that doubled as a flamethrower. That’s how ridiculous it is, and that’s exactly why it’s so good.

This over-the-top post-apocalyptic action thriller was nominated for 10 awards and took home six of them at the 2016 Oscars. It was the winningest movie of the year.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio on the red carpet at 72nd Cannes Film Festival
Credit: Andrea Raffin/ Shutterstock

Although he didn’t win the most awards, it’s easy to say that Leonardo DiCaprio was by far the biggest Oscar winner of the decade. DiCaprio has been working in Hollywood for almost four decades and has become one of the biggest actors on the planet. Despite his large repertoire, incredible performances, and multiple nominations, he had never managed to win an Oscar. Finally, after years and years of getting passed over, Leo finally got his Oscar!

In 2015, DiCaprio starred “The Revenant,” about a man trying to survive in the cold winter wilderness after being attacked by a bear. It was a tough role, but in the end, it proved to be worth it. After decades of snubs, Leonardo DiCaprio officially won his first Oscar, for Best Actor, in 2016.

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