January is the start of award season which means it's a tense time in Tinsel town! Actors are either being recognized or shunned for their tremendous work, agents are either celebrating with their stars or firing their "has-been" actors and we are betting on who is going to take home the Oscar! The stars, the fashion, the ambiance, the parties and actually taking home an Oscar along with the bragging rights that come along with it make this time of year so exciting!

The category of Best Picture is a huge deal and to be a part of the movie that wins is an honor! To say that you starred in, produced, wrote or even designed the costumes for the best movie of the year deserves a pat on the back. For about eighty years there has been one movie named to that honor.

Here are the top 20 movies that won an Academy Award for Best Picture:

The Departed (2006) - Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg. The film also won Martin Scorsese his first but well deserved Directing Oscar.

Forrest Gump (1994) - Starring Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump

Titanic (1997) - Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, this movie raked in the most money of all time at the USA box office (www.imdb.com).

Crash (2005) - Starring Terrence Howard, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon and Sandra Bullock

American Beauty (1999) - Starring Kevin Spacey, Mena Suvari and Annette Bening

The Silence Of The Lambs (1991) - Starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins

Rain Man (1988) - Starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) - Starring Jack Nicholson

Braveheart (1995) - Starring Mel Gibson

Chicago (2002) - Starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Renee Zellweger

Annie Hall (1977) - Starring Diane Keaton and Woody Allen

The Godfather (1972) - Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino

Dances With Wolves (1990) - Starring Kevin Costner

Schindler's List (1993) - Starring Liam Neeson

Million Dollar Baby (2004) - Starring Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman

Gladiator (2000) - Starring Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix

Terms of Endearment (1983) - Starring Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger

Casablanca (1943) - Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman

Gone With The Wind (1939) - Starring Vivien Leigh and Thomas Mitchell

West Side Story (1961) - Starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer

This year, the Oscars will be held in February and although the nominees haven't been released yet, the Golden Globes and Film Independent's Spirit Awards usually give us clues as to what movie will get a nod. The favorites this year are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, The Reader, Revolutionary Road, Slumdog Millionaire, Burn After Reading, Happy-Go-Lucky, In Bruges, Mamma Mia!, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Ballast, Frozen River, Rachel Getting Married, Wendy and Lucy, and The Wrestler.

Tune in to the 81st annual Academy Awards on February 22, 2009 to see which movie will take the top honor.

Story by Erin Demchak

Starpulse contributing writer