I truly thought that 1998’s Saving Private Ryan was a shoe-in to win Best Picture at the Oscars (even though I did not see the film until sometime after the ceremony). Even though the film won Steven Spielberg his second Best Director Oscar, Shakespeare in Love ended up being the surprise winner that year.
That said, Saving Private Ryan will probably go down as one of the most realistic portrayals of World War II ever shown on film. Spielberg defintely does not glamorize the war, especially with the brual dipiction of the Battle of Normandy, which opens the film.
Saving Private Ryan remains one of the better war films of the last twenty years and it definitely is a classic.