Hot favourite for Oscars
2004. A fantasy film has never won the Academy Award for best picture, but this year looks likely to set a precedent. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King topped the list of Academy Award nominations following the film’s strong showing during award season in Hollywood.
Associated Press reports that British bookmakers Ladbrokes said The Return of the King is hot favourite to scoop the best picture Oscar giving the film 1/3 odds and the bookmaker is offering the same odds for New Zealand-born director Peter Jackson to win the best director award.
Two days before the nominations were announced the film scooped the Golden Globes Awards organised by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, traditionally seen as an indicator to who will go on to win Oscars. The film won Best Picture-drama, Best Director for Jackson, and best song and musical score awards.
Over the last two months, the movie has picked up critical recognition for Jackson and the ensemble cast and has been named the best film of the year on critic’s top ten lists. The British have also recognized the effort by nominating it in twelve categories at the BAFTA Awards going to be announced in February.
The first two films in the series, The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, won seven Oscars between them, but never the Best Picture or Director award. So far, those films have earned $US 2.6 billion at the box office worldwide. The Return of the King has almost reached $US 1 billion.
On the website Oscar.org it was reported that nominations for the 76th Annual Academy Awards were announced Tuesday, January 27, U.S. time, by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Frank Pierson and Oscar nominated actress Sigourney Weaver. Pierson and Weaver announced ten of twenty-four categories at a 5:30 a.m. news conference attended by over four hundred international media.
The Academy Awards are the U.S. film industry’s top honours and will be given out in a gala ceremony from Los Angeles on Feb. 29.
By Peter Veugelaers.
Published 2004, Challenge Weekly