pointedview (pointedview) wrote,
pointedview
pointedview

The Lord of the Rings and this year's Oscar Nominations

List excerpted from Oscar.com:

I'm including the following full list for reference, with the six categories that are generally regarded as major highlighted in red, and LotR:RotK's 11 nominations highlighted in green.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Johnny Depp - Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Ben Kingsley - House of Sand and Fog
Jude Law - Cold Mountain
Bill Murray - Lost in Translation
Sean Penn - Mystic River
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Barbarian Invasions
Evil
The Twilight Samurai
Twin Sisters
Zelary
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Alec Baldwin - The Cooler
Benicio Del Toro - 21 Grams
Djimon Hounsou - In America
Tim Robbins - Mystic River
Ken Watanabe - The Last Samurai
MAKEUP
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Keisha Castle-Hughes - Whale Rider
Diane Keaton - Something's Gotta Give
Samantha Morton - In America
Charlize Theron - Monster
Naomi Watts - 21 Grams
MUSIC (SCORE)
Big Fish
Cold Mountain
Finding Nemo
House of Sand and Fog
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Shohreh Aghdashloo - House of Sand and Fog
Patricia Clarkson - Pieces of April
Marcia Gay Harden - Mystic River
Holly Hunter - Thirteen
Renée Zellweger - Cold Mountain
MUSIC (SONG)
"Into the West" - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
"A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" - A Mighty Wind
"Scarlet Tide" - Cold Mountain
"The Triplets of Belleville" - The Triplets of Belleville
"You Will Be My Ain True Love" - Cold Mountain
DIRECTING
City of God
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lost in Translation
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Mystic River
SOUND EDITING
Finding Nemo
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
BEST PICTURE
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return of the King
Lost In Translation
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Mystic River
Seabiscuit
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Brother Bear
Finding Nemo
The Triplets Of Belleville
ART DIRECTION
Girl With a Pearl Earring
The Last Samurai
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Seabiscuit
SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
Boundin'
Destino
Gone Nutty
Harvie Krumpet
Nibbles
CINEMATOGRAPHY
City of God
Cold Mountain
Girl With a Pearl Earring
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Seabiscuit
SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
Die Rote Jacke (The Red Jacket)
Most (The Bridge)
Squash
(A) Torzija ([A] Torsion)
Two Soldiers
COSTUME DESIGN
Girl With a Pearl Earring
The Last Samurai
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Seabiscuit
SOUND
The Last Samurai
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Seabiscuit
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Balseros
Capturing The Friedmans
The Fog of War
My Architect
The Weather Underground
VISUAL EFFECTS
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Asylum
Chernobyl Heart
Ferry Tales
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
American Splendor
City of God
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Mystic River
Seabiscuit
FILM EDITING
City of God
Cold Mountain
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Seabiscuit
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
The Barbarian Invasions
Dirty Pretty Things
Finding Nemo
In America
Lost In Translation

As you can see, out of the top six awards, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was only nominated for two of them. Not a single cast member was recognized for his or her performance in the production.

In a way, I can almost understand the hesitance of the Academy voters. The films have been such strong ensemble pieces that it is truly difficult to pull out a single cast member for recognition. Nevertheless, difficult or not, that is their task; their responsibility as voters. However, I am not necessarily suggesting that the voters shirked that job: in fact, the very power of the ensemble cast may have worked against it. For example, if some voters selected Bernard Hill, while others selected Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, or Andy Serkis, then no one cast member would have enough votes to make the final nomination cut.

If no single actor received a plurality, then that individual's vote numbers would not have been able to compete, even if the LotR vote totals for the cast was comparatively high. Indeed, voters may have counted on this problematic issue, and thus avoided voting for individual cast members entirely. One can mention Gone With the Wind as an example of a perfectly-cast film in which the Academy recognized numerous individual performances, however, there were far fewer characters in that film, and it was but one picture, not a three-film epic.

What I would wish to see, as a viewer, would be some sort of special awards presentation to the cast as a whole. That would do justice to the remarkable shared achievement that is Lord of the Rings.

As a side note, it appears that X-Men 2 and both of the Matrix movies were, unfortunately, completely overlooked in the categories listed above, even for Film Editing, Visual Effects, and Sound Editing, though I know there's an additional list for technical awards that I haven't yet seen.

Additionally, I agree wholeheartedly with those who are saying it's a crime that LotR: RotK wasn't nominated for Cinematography, but I recognize the limitations of the Academy, and the difficulty they face in getting their heads out of their collective bums. However, I don't ask much of them. Nope, I will be content if they don't split the Director/Picture awards this year, and if the Rings saga gets both. The entire cast and crew deserves it. If the Academy cannot grasp the truly monumental effort of almost a decade of work and give appropriate accolades, then it truly does not deserve the honor of selecting the best of the best.

We have seen great injustices done in the past by the Academy, especially when it comes to genre films. My hope is that 2004 will be the exception, rather than the rule. Of the numerous films that deserve recognition, Lord of the Rings stands head and shoulders above them. Please, may it be that its merits triumph over the Academy's history of pandering to that which is traditional, staid, safe, and quickly forgotten.

Tags: animation, celebrities, film awards, lord of the rings, movies
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