Daily Archives: March 1, 2004

Return of the King Sweeps the Academy Awards

I rarely watch the Academy Awards; I find them overblown, boring, and a waste of time. This year, however, I watched it all, simply because I wanted to see what would happen with Return of the King nominated for so many categories.

And lo and behold, it won every single category in which it had been nominated, prompting a documentary winner to open her remarks with, “I’m glad Lord of the Rings wasn’t nominated in my category.”

For those who didn’t watch because they too consider the awards overblown, boring, and a waste of time, those eleven categories are: Makeup, Music (Score), Music (Song), Art Direction, Costume Design (yay Ngila!), Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Film Editing, Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Directing, and Best Picture. That’s a total of eleven, tied for the most awards ever won for a single picture with Ben Hur and Titanic. I don?t believe that this single picture deserved all these awards, not for a moment; I believe a lot of them were retroactive in a way, and signified an achievement for the entire trilogy.

Other awards I was happy with included Best Animated Feature going to Pixar (formerly of Disney, as Billy Crystal put it) for Finding Nemo. I wish Best Actress could have gone to Keisha Castle-Hughes for Whalerider, but it went to Charlize Theron for Monster. And since I hadn’t seen a single other film in which a nominated Best Actress had performed, I wasn’t in a position to argue.

Bits I was not happy with included one particular red carpet host, Chris Connolly, who is a perfect example of why they ought to test IQ before they let people on the air. Not only did he comment on the “epical performances” in Cold Mountain, he also later asked Jude Law what made the film “so Oscar-nominatable.”

Gods help me.

Overall, though, the production was much more tasteful than I had anticipated. The clothes were certainly better than I remember them being in past shows. The humour was there: it was a stroke of genius on the part of the producers to have Adrien Brody present the award for Best Actress, and Billy Crystal looked out over the sea of faces early in the evening to say, “Everyone in Hollywood is here tonight — it’s like the Canadian Oscars.”

For a complete listing of who won what, check out the official Oscar site.