Today! Because there never was much hope. Just a fool’s hope –
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Directed by Peter Jackson (x4)
Starring Elijah Wood (x5), Sean Astin (x3), Ian McKellen (x6), Viggo Mortensen (x2), Billy Boyd (x2), Dominic Monaghan (x2), Liv Tyler (x2), Andy Serkis (x5), John Rhys-Davies (x2), Orlando Bloom (x2), Miranda Otto (x2), Bernard Hill (x3), Cate Blanchett (x5), Hugo Weaving (x4), Karl Urban (x3), David Wenham (x2), Ian Holm (x4), Marton Csokas (x2), John Noble, Bret McKenzie (x2), Sarah McLeod
This movie won Best Film Editing at the Academy Awards. Let that sink in for a minute. This movie – all 201 minutes of it, with all of those endings crashing awkwardly into each other over the last fifteen minutes of the film – won an Oscar for the film with the best editing. Like, look, I love The Lord of the Rings – it probably is the best film trilogy of all-time, and by the time it came to the conclusion it was bound to win all the awards, considering the near-perfect first film lost to the thoroughly meh A Beautiful Mind and the solid second film lost to, like, the fortieth best musical ever made in Chicago – one of the weaker film stretches ever. Still, this movie – drunk on the success of the Extended Edition DVDs I guess and flush with all the cash raked down from the previous two Decembers – chose to just go on and on and on. Maybe the Academy needed a few years to come around to the idea of awarding a pure fantasy Best Picture – it had never happened before – and maybe awarding it every statue it was nominated for seemed like a fitting tribute – it was 11 for 11 – but my God, Best Film Editing? You’re telling me every one of those 201 minutes was essential? You’re telling me that interminable ending sat perfectly with you? Okay, so 2003 wasn’t the world’s best year for movies – fucking Seabiscuit was up for Best Picture – but hell, Best Film Editing also featured Master and Commander and City of God, two absolute triumphs of editing.