The Oscars have so many different award categories: best original score, best cinematography, best visual effects, best editing, best makeup design, even best title writing! Isn’t it about time we acknowledged the hard work that goes into love scenes???
A good love scene is about much more than sex; it’s about making it real and relatable to us, the viewers. We want to see a love scene that reminds us of our lives: of loves we have felt and want to feel again, loves we thought could have been, loves that turn sex into something greater. A great love scene gives us hope. Hope for the characters and hope for ourselves…that we too might find a love like this someday. Creating a love scene that can live up to all of this is no easy task and should be honored.
Furthermore, the act of filming love scenes is never simple. Actors have to develop very complex relationships to prepare themselves for this kind of work, and they invest so much more than their emotions when sex and romance are involved; it pulls in their physiology, their biology, even their hormones. Not to mention actors spend so much of their time dieting and practicing (Yes, practicing. Not just rehearsing, but practicing) for the day they film these scenes. They put a lot of work into these few minutes.
It’s about time we paid credit where credit is due. Spoilers ahead, people; don’t say you weren’t warned. Here’s the Fifteen Hottest Oscar’s Love Scenes!
15. Atonement – “I’ll wait for you. Come back to me.”
James McAvoy and Keira Knightley star in this romantic movie about a a couple of lovers torn apart by lies. Winner of three Oscars (Best Motion Picture, Best Original Score, Best Supporting Actress), the sad love story delivers on sexy moments. James plays Robbie, a man madly in love with Keira’s character Cecilia. The two find love unexpectedly and accidentally. They hide their relationship from their families and try to keep their love private, but Cecilia’s younger sister finds out and jealously fabricates a story to put him in prison. How does she find out, you ask? She finds them during a formal dinner having sex in the library. In their formal attire. Leaning against a bookcase. Using a ladder for support. I mean, come on! That’s hot! Not to mention other scenes where they’re lying in the meadow, jumping into fountains, swimming in ponds and more. These two are way too sexy.
14. The English Patient – “I always wear it. I’ve always worn it. I’ve always loved you.”
Maybe you wouldn’t have guessed that such a classic movie would top the list, but this one is worth watching. This 1996 Oscar winner tells the story of a World War Two soldier wrapped up in an inescapable love affair. Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas have such amazing chemistry, you’ll wonder what you’ve been doing wrong in your own love life.
The story is told in flashbacks from the perspective of Ralph’s character, Count Laszlo de Almasy. He recounts several amazing encounters with the love of his life, Katharine Clifton (Kristin’s character). Perhaps the sexiest scene is when they silently confess to their love for each other. Katharine angrily hits him a few times, but they sink to the floor in passionate kisses, and he tears the white dress from her body in a hungry, desirous fever. This movie is fraught with passion and vigor and lustful love.
13. Slumdog Millionaire – “This is our destiny.”
If you’ve yet to see this box office hit, which won eight Oscars, you’re missing out. This movie couple redefines the phrase “star-crossed lovers” in a beautiful romance that explores how love follows us throughout our lives.
The movie’s main characters Jamal (played by Dev Patel) and Latika (played by Freida Pinto) fall in love when they are small children trying to survive as orphans in poverty stricken Mumbai. They’re torn apart and forced to live their lives separately, though they occupy each others’ thoughts and continue to be each others’ motivation to find a better life. When they’re finally thrown together again, through twists of fate and destiny, they silently accept their shortcomings and the scars that have come with a lifetime of pain because it has led them to each other, and, ultimately, that is all that matters.
12. Silver Linings Playbook – “I love you. I knew it the moment I met you, I’m sorry it took so long for me to catch up.”
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have had a series of movies together now (American Hustle, Serena, Joy), but Silver Linings Playbook has yet to be beaten. Winning the Oscar for Best Actress, Lawrence portrayed a baggage-ridden and temperamental young woman named Tiffany. She meets Bradley Cooper’s character Pat, who is a man with an anger management problem trying to reconcile with his ex-wife. The two go through their ups and downs, but form an alliance deeper than any average friendship or relationship; they just don’t fully realize the extent of their feelings until the end of the movie. Each time they dance together, everyone can feel the electricity. Pat’s confession of love to Tiffany at the end of the movie is raw, realistic, insanely romantic, and it’ll get you in the mood for some love.
11. Moulin Rouge -“A life without love? That’s… terrible.”
Moulin Rouge won Oscars for best Art Direction/Set Decoration and Best Costume Design back in 2002. The quirky Baz Luhrmann musical, starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, has its hilarious moments, its charming romances, and its steamy love scenes. Kidman plays a courtesan who doesn’t know what sets apart sex and “making love” with someone until she meets a poet, McGregor, who falls hard and fast for her. One of the most romantic and funny scenes in the movie is when McGregor’s character, Christian, is nervously trying to profess his love to Satine (Kidman’s character; try to overlook the blunt symbolism in the names) and she’s too busy trying to do her job, pretending to be aroused! He can only capture her attention by belting out Elton John lyrics (that’d catch anyone’s attention). The sexy chemistry between Kidman and McGregor makes for literal fireworks in this love story.
10. Black Swan – “I just want to be perfect.”
We’re not talking about the crazy sexy scene between Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman; though it’s a hot scene, there’s not any love going on there. We’re talking about the one true-love in this movie. Between Natalie Portman and Natalie Portman.
She won the Oscar for her performance as Nina, the ballerina asked to portray both the white and black swan in the Swan Lake ballet. Nina goes through a lot over the course of this movie; her psyche is constantly switching between the innocent, virginal white swan and the seductive, villainous black swan. Perhaps one of her weirdest moments is when she masturbates; maybe for the first time, judging by her form and ease (or lack thereof). It’s not a typical love scene but it’s one of the only times Nina shows herself some love. Excepting, of course, for her singular moment of self-praise at the close of the film.
9. From Here to Eternity – “I never knew it could be like this. Nobody ever kissed me the way you do.”
You might think you don’t know this movie, but you definitely do; at the very least, you know the scene we’re talking about. Anyone who’s ever considered having sex on the beach (and we’re talking about the real deal, not the cocktail) has seen this iconic scene.
Burt Lancaster (playing Sargent Milton Warden) and Deborah Kerr (playing Karen Holmes) are the two sexy lovebirds making out in the tide (and they may be the only people in the history of the world to do it successfully). For a movie made in 1953, things get really hot and messy. These characters find forbidden love in Hawaii and, as you can imagine, things don’t end prettily. But in the meantime, these two had a blast.
8. Avatar – “Everything is backwards now: like out there is the true world and in here is the dream.”
There are people who love this movie and people who hate it, but no one can deny that it pushed limits and broke barriers in cinema. Avatar won six Oscars and broke a bunch of box office records; there’s no denying this one was a winner.
Zoe Saldana played Neytiri, an alien whose race is being threatened by humans. Sam Worthington played Jake Sully, a human using a surrogate alien body to improve inter-species relations. To everyone’s surprise, Jake and Neytiri hit it off a little too well and “mate for life.” When this alien race has sex, they engage another sense that sort of connects the consciousness between two people: they call it “Tsaheylu.” That connection makes their sex scene much more visceral, exotic, and passionate.
7. Titanic – “You saved me in every way that a person can be saved.”
Avatar wasn’t James Cameron’s only movie to hit the list; the man clearly knows how to direct a sex scene. Titanic won eleven Oscars, and anyone that’s seen this movie knows they’re well-deserved (and if you haven’t seen it, c’mon- get with it). Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jack Dawson, another young, poor artist that’s just trying to enjoy life. He wins a ticket on the Titanic where he meets Rose DeWitt Bukater, a woman of social and economic class betrothed to an asinine, rich jerk (basically, the love story we’ve been hearing since the dawn of time).
Trouble comes into play when the cruise liner scrapes an iceberg (no spoiler alert!) but, before all that drama, Jack and Rose find adventure in each other and fall in love. They hook up in a car in a cargo bay and things get pretty steamy. By act two of this heartbreaking drama, you’ll be rooting for this unlikely couple against all odds.
6. The Great Gatsby – “I knew it was a mistake for a man like me to fall in love…”
Leo does it again! This American love story was lifted off the pages like never before in this 2013 Oscar winning movie, which won for Best Costume and Best Production Design. Leonardo played Jay Gatsby, a man willing to do anything to win back the love of Daisy, played by Carey Mulligan. They have a couple of hot, intimate scenes throughout the film, but the best has to be their first time. Jay realizes that, as soon as he kisses her, he’ll have eyes for no one else. He realizes it, contemplates if she’s worth it, kisses her, and never looks back. Their electric chemistry is palpable and makes their love scenes that much more jaw-dropping and eye-catching. You won’t be able to look away once the music swells and their gaze locks.
5. The Departed – “Honesty is not synonymous with truth.”
Our third Leonardo DiCaprio film in a row- this guy doesn’t quit, does he? In this Oscar winning crime drama about Boston’s unsavory underbelly, Leo plays a double agent, Billy, who’s trying his hardest to keep his sanity and his head above water. His therapist Madolyn, is played by Vera Farmiga and, as soon as the two end their clinical relationship, they pick up a personal one. Billy shows up unannounced at Madolyn’s apartment and, while neither party exactly proclaims what they want from the other, they both know what they want to do. They bring the danger and edginess of their relationship into the bedroom and it gets hot. This love scene doesn’t show everything or even go on for very long, but it gives us just enough of a taste to want more.
4. Ghost – “The love inside, you take it with you.”
Okay, you know this one, right? Everyone knows this one! Even if you haven’t seen the award-winning romance, everyone knows at least this scene: Demi Moore is sitting at a pottery wheel with Patrick Swayze’s arms around her, Unchained Melody playing on vinyl. Maybe they’re trying to make something on that pottery wheel, but who cares? No one is really looking at that phallic lump of clay they’re running their fingers through. Even though they aren’t doing anything remarkably sexy, the ambiance, the music, and the dirty hands make for a tantalizing experience. All of us want to hit pause and find ourselves someone to make pottery with. The fact that these two lovebirds can find each other sexy in the simplest of activities inspires us all to find that special someone. Just spare yourself some heartache and stop after this scene, okay?
3. Her – “I’ve never loved anyone the way I loved you.”
Another unconventional love scene, but perhaps one of the most moving we’ve ever experienced. If you haven’t seen this 2013 Oscar winner (which won for Best Original Screenplay), you should find a way to.
Joaquin Phoenix plays a man fresh out of his marriage who is seeking companionship and has no idea where to find it. He tries blind dates, sex chat lines, even stalking his ex-wife, but none of those work favorably. Then he gets a new operating system that boasts artificial intelligence and finds love within it; it identifies as a female and goes by the name of Samantha ( voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Samantha is eager to feel all that Theodore (Joaquin’s character) feels, both emotionally and physically. They begin a romantic relationship and have a sex scene that takes our idea of phone sex to a new level.
2. Shakespeare in Love – “I would not have thought it: there is something better than a play. Even your play. And that was only my first try.”
It’s chock full of Shakespearean language, quirky comedy, and nudity; what’s not to love? Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes star in this Elizabethan love story about a fictional romance of William Shakespeare’s. The hottest love scene in this movie is fairly early on; the two undress each other while smiling and joking about Elizabethan garments. Perhaps one of the sexiest parts of this scene is when William, trembling with desire to be with Viola, unwraps her from her bindings; it’s a wildly sexy and honest moment that every woman wants to feel with a man. Their lust for each other is what any honeymooning couple out there feels for each other- insatiable hunger, and unquenchable thirst. The two are so awkward and sweet and genuinely in love with each other that the scene will get anyone hot and bothered.
1. Cold Mountain – “You are all that keeps me from sliding into some dark place.”
This movie’s Oscar was won by Renee Zellwegger for her performance, but she’s got nothing to do with this category. The couple that the movie focuses on spends the length of the movie fighting to reunite. Nicole Kidman and Jude Law play lovers in Civil War-era Virginia. They fall in love quickly, but love can’t keep Inman (Jude’s character) from fighting in a brutal war. Early into the movie, the two share a riveting kiss that literally brings them to their knees before he leaves to fight. At the end of the movie, the two finally reunite, both changed by what the war has done to them and both still absolutely and tragically in love with each other. They share one passionate night of love with lots of biting, grabbing, and kissing that’ll leave them, and us, completely satisfied.