7 Award-Winning Movies About Death and Grief

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite Oscar-winning movies that touch on the topics of death and grief to help you feel a little less alone in your grief.
7 Award-Winning Movies About Death and Grief

It’s common to feel lonely or isolated when a loved one passes. Seeking out ways to feel a little less alone can be challenging, and sometimes chatting to family, friends or a therapist isn’t quite enough to make you feel ‘normal’ or as though your experience with grief is a shared one.

Here’s our shortlist of Best Pictures all about death and grief to help you feel a little less alone during this time.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

  • Genre: Dark Comedy, Crime, Drama
  • Release date: 10 November 2017
  • Available on: Disney+

After her daughter is murdered, Mildred Hayes erects three roadside signs calling on the Ebbing police to investigate the crime, and the rape that preceded it. A heart-wrenching, and at times confronting, fictional tale, this film highlights a mother’s journey in fighting for her daughter and grieving over her loss.

Watch the trailer here.

Forrest Gump

  • Genre: Romantic Comedy, Drama
  • Release date: 17 November 1994
  • Available on: Stan

A classic, and a must-watch for every cinephile, this Best Picture explores a young man’s plight to protect his childhood love, Jenny, who falls ill due to complications related to HIV/AIDS. Starring Tom Hanks, this is a film that’ll make you both laugh and weep. You’ll want to watch this one with the whole family (or with your closest friends who ‘just get it’).

Watch the trailer here.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

  • Genre: Romance, Drama, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Release date: 26 December 2008
  • Available on: Stan, Apple TV, Binge, Paramount+

Featuring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett (the dream team), this romantic drama begins on the evening of 11th November 1918 when a boy (who will eventually be named Benjamin) is born with the appearance of an elderly man. His mother, Caroline, passes away not long after childbirth, and his father, Thomas, soon abandons the elderly-looking infant on the porch of a nursing home – perfect for an old man, but not quite right for a newborn. Over the years, Benjamin grows older in age, but younger in appearance, eventually finding love in Daisy.

Explore themes of friendship, love, and grief, when watching this Oscar-winning film.

Watch the trailer here.

Les Misérables

  • Genre: Historical Fiction, Drama, Musical
  • Release date: 22 December 2012 (most recent version)
  • Available on: Apple TV

If you’re a lover of heart-wrenching music, characters with depth, and a storyline that’ll keep your eyes glued to that screen for longer than you thought possible, Les Misérables (also known as Les Mis) is for you.

Set in the 1800s and bound to get you hooked on every melody, Les Mis is one of our favourites (and if you watch the new, award-winning version, you’ll fall in love with Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Amanda Seyfried, all over again).

Watch the trailer here.

Moulin Rouge!

  • Genre: Romance, Comedy, Musical
  • Release date: 24 May 2001
  • Available on: Disney+

Another one based in the 1800s (what is it about the films based in the 1800s exploring themes of death and grief?!), a young man becomes infatuated with a singer at the Moulin Rouge, Satine, who is hiding a big secret.

Think old-school infatuation and heart-wrenching grief, mixed with modern music (a ‘popera’ if you will?) and Baz Luhrmann’s bold cinematic style. ‘Moulin Rouge!’ is a classic, and always one of our top recommendations when it comes to award-winning films.

Watch the trailer here.

Revolutionary Road

  • Genre: Romance, Drama
  • Release date: 22 January 2009
  • Available on: Apple TV, Stan, Binge

Featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, this Best Picture explores themes of abortion, mental illness, and the impact living an unfulfilled life can have on relationships and love.

Watch the trailer here.

If Anything Happens I Love You

  • Genre: Short, Adult Animation
  • Release date: 20 November 2020
  • Available on: Netflix

Audiences don’t often flock to the screens to watch short films, but sometimes – especially at times where focussing on a storyline for too long feels like too hard a task – they’re the perfect choice.

‘If Anything Happens I Love You’ is a powerful, animated, 12-minute film (the perfect duration for demolishing a bag of popcorn) that sheds light on a family who have lost a child in a school shooting. Tread with caution, but tread nonetheless. This award-winner is a raw one, but certainly one worth viewing.

Watch the trailer here.

Wrap up

While logging onto Netflix, Stan, Binge, Apple TV or your streaming platform of choice can feel daunting during times of grief, we hope our short (but brilliant, if we do say so ourselves) list of Oscar-winning films aids your decision fatigue and makes you feel a little less alone.

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