THE YEAR: 2003
THE OTHER NOMINEES:
- The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
- Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
- Mystic River
THE WINNER: Lord of the Rings – the final film in Peter Jackson’s J.R.R. Tolkin-inspired fantasy series.
WHY IT (PROBABLY) DIDN’T WIN: After losing the last two Best Picture trophies to A Beautiful Mind and Chicago, Jackson and his hobbits entered the Oscar race for the last time, dead set to rule them all. Voters probably felt back for not recognizing the previous films, and thought this would serve as the sweetest, shiniest consolation prize. (Well, next to the ring.)
WHY IT SHOULD HAVE: Whereas LOTR: Return of the King was chockful of impressive effects and larger than life storylines, Sofia Coppola’s follow-up to The Virgin Suicides was and is as real as you can get. Featuring equally award-worthy performances from Bill Murray and a young, pleasantly undone Scarlett Johannson, one of the best soundtracks of the last ten years, wonderfully wistful Tokyo-set cinematography, and a emotionally and comically biting script (penned by Coppola), Lost in Translation is a one-of-a-kind find that speaks to being disconnected in our overly connected times.