Return of the Oscar King
I'm back on my movie kick, thanks to a discount,
"We Want You Back" offer from Netflix.
I figured ten bucks for a month of as many DVDs as
I can watch wasn't a bad deal, especially
considering how backlogged my movie-watching became
this past year. Over this past weekend, I caught up
somewhat by watching "The Pianist," "Terminator 3,"
"Dreamcatcher," "About Schmidt" and "Return of the
King." I saw the latter, however, on the big
screen, not on DVD, and it predictably blew all the
others out of the water.
My personal anticipation for this movie trilogy
burned like magnesium since the first rumors about
this production started circulating. I awaited
these movies with more excitement than for any
other filmwhich says a lot, since the
original "Star Wars" movies made their debuts
during my early teenage years. During those same
years, I first discovered the "Lord of the Rings"
book trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. In that formative
time in my life, the books had a tremendous
influence on my creative development, and in some
ways made me who I am today.
That is not to say that I'm one of those dorks
who lined up two days before the premiere of
"Return of the King," dressed up like Aragorn or
Gandalf. Rather, the trilogy fired my imagination
at an early age and inspired me to explore other
worlds in booksand in my own writing.
I thought seeing the last of the trilogy's films
this past weekend would leave me with a twinge of
melancholy, sad not only to see Frodo leave the
Grey Havens but also to know there are no more
"Lord of the Rings" movies to come. But now that
I've seen "Return of the King," there are no such
feelings. The movie packed so much power and
emotion that it fulfilledfar surpassed, in
many waysevery expectation I had.
The first installment, "Fellowship of the Ring,"
garnered a number of Oscar nominations, including
Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting
Actor (for Ian McKellen, as Gandalf). The Academy,
however, largely overlooked "The Two Towers" for
any of the major categories. This time, I predict
heaps of laurels for "Return of the King." I may
not be bold enough to call the Best Picture and
Best Director awards this early, but I do predict
Sean Astin, who pulled off a moving performance as
Frodo's sidekick, Samwise Gamgee, will be a heavy
contender for the Best Supporting Actor category.
His strong performances in the first two films went
mostly ignored, but this time I think Astin's peers
can't avoid noticing.
To be honest, though, I couldn't care less how
the film fares at the Academy Awards ceremony. The
event has become a farce in recent years. This
movie trilogy has achieved far more than any golden
statuette could recognize, and its impact will be
remembered long after everyone has forgotten who
won what Oscar in 2004.
Strickland ALL RIGHTS