Oscar-Winning Movies about Death & Grief

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Picking up from our previous post where we dived into the 5 stages of grief, we thought we’d share some of our favourite Oscar-nominated (winning in some cases) movies that explored the difficult themes of death and grief. Also, spoiler alert ahead!

Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Nominated for 6 Oscars and won 2.
Genre: Drama
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We follow Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) as he navigates through life after experiencing back to back losses within his family.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Nominated for 7 Oscars and won 2.
Genre: Drama, Crime
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Frances McDormand plays Mildred, a mother who’s on a mission to force the incompetent local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder.

The Pianist (2002)

Nominated for 7 Oscars and won 3.
Genre: Drama, Biography, Music
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Adrien Brody plays Polish Jewish musician Władysław Szpilman whose family members fell prey to the Nazi occupation in Warsaw during world war II.

The Descendants (2011)

Nominated for 5 Oscars and won 1.
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Matt King (George Clooney), a wealthy land baron from Hawaii struggles to raise his 2 daughters after losing his wife to a sudden boating accident.

Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Nominated for 8 Oscars and won 2.
Genre: Drama, Musical, Romance
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Christian (Ewan McGregor), a young English poet moves to Paris in 1899 and falls in love with a terminally ill courtesan named Satine (Nicole Kidman).

Les Misérables (2012)

Nominated for 8 Oscars and won 3.
Genre: Drama, Musical, History
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Plenty of deaths plague this musical but it was Fantine’s (Anne Hathaway) passing that really shook us. We also get to see Hugh Jackman’s character, Jean Valjean come to terms with his own mortality towards the end.

Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

Nominated for 1 Oscar.
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lars (Ryan Gosling) is a gentle recluse living in a small Northern town. He copes with the passing of his mother (during his birth) by dating a sex doll.

Revolutionary Road (2008)

Nominated for 3 Oscars.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

April Wheeler (Kate Winslet) is a suburban housewife who suffers from depression and suicidal thoughts in this movie set in the mid 1950’s.

Are there any other award-winning movies that you would like to add to this list? Tell us more about it in the comments. We’ll be back again with another post covering must-watch documentaries about death and grief.

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