50. MILLION DOLLAR BABY
dir. Clint Eastwood
world premiere 2004
U.S. release 2004
Because Oscar can't be wrong all the time, notwithstanding that even stronger movies went unnominated in a uniquely majestic
year. This was still the decade's worthiest Best Picture champ, and a late-breaking surprise to critics and audiences: lean, tough, and
immediate in its storytelling and its sense of time and place, but radiating the delicate patina of an old-timer idiom, magically unearthed.