The true story of Scottish hero William Wallace, who united the clans of Scotland in a war against the tyrannical King Edward I of England.
Directed by Mel Gibson
Written by Randall Wallace
Starring Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson, Angus Macfadyen, Patrick McGoohan, James Cosmo, David O'Hara, Catherine McCormack, Peter Hanly, Tommy Flanagan,
John Kavanagh, Alun Armstrong, Stephen Billington
Oscar Wins - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Makeup
Oscar Nominations - Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score (James Horner)
Braveheart is one of the most moving and inspiring films ever to win Best Picture and remains an iconic piece of modern film history. As far as I'm concerned, it's the crowning achievement of Mel Gibson's career and despite its many historical inaccuracies, it tells an emotional and fiercely patriotic story of one of history's most noble figures. After watching this film, you start to understand the centuries-long plight of the Scots, who've been stuck under England's tyrannical thumb for pretty much ever. Historically, England has not been known for their leniency, considering they conquered most of the known world. Braveheart tells the story of just one of the times that England thought they might not have this one beat.
Mel Gibson delivers a powerfully real performance as Scottish warrior William Wallace, who led a revolt against King Edward I (or Longshanks, if you prefer) after English soldiers murdered his wife. Believe it or not, but there was a time when Mel Gibson was one of the most respected and cherished names in entertainment and before he started blaming the Jews for all the wars in the world (I wonder how he justified them starting the war in this film), he was crafting masterpieces of cinema like this. Along for the ride are expert character actors like Brendan Gleeson, James Cosmo, Angus Macfadyen, and Patrick McGoohan as Longshanks. With a cast like this and the brilliant script, it's no wonder this film's become iconic.
Braveheart features some of the most well-choreographed battle scenes ever filmed and it's somewhat inspiring to watch these Scottish rebels stick it to the superior English forces. As I said before, the film suffers from a great many historical inaccuracies, but unless you're a student of history, you'd hardly notice due to the emotional depth and intensity of the film itself. Many people still don't think it fit to hold the title of Best Picture, but I say different. Braveheart is one of the few films in history that thoroughly deserves that title, because it truly is a fantastic picture.