Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 2003

dtgirbp-2003Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lost in Translation
Master and Commander
Mystic River

Biggest Snub:

Finding Nemo

My Overall Thoughts:

This was a great year for movie fans because it heralded in the change in the popular thinking of the Academy.  The first two parts of the LOTR trilogy also garnered BP noms in the two previous years, but despite the films being amazing both on a technical and narrative level, neither had much of a chance because they were left without clear endings.

The win this year was proof that even a film in the fantasy genre could be a powerhouse and take home just about every award because it was done amazingly.

Both Seabisuit and Mystic River were also amazing films, but neither had the momentum of 3 years behind them to propel them to the top slot.

MR is one of Eastwood’s best films and the characters are superbly written and in a different year (perhaps 2002 or 2004, it might have been ale to take home the award for BP.

My Rankings:


  • 5. – Master and Commander – A pretty boring tale of the high seas with Crowe doing his best at making this succeed despite the challenges of the story
  • 4. – Lost in Translation – Murray once again shows how versatile an actor he can be in this low key drama that sometimes feels like a comedy
  • 3. – Mystic River – Eastwood gives us a gripping tale with an amazing cast.  One of his best films, but couldn’t overcome the juggernaut of the year that had too much momentum three years running
  • 2. – Seabiscuit – Amazingly emotional story that can affect us on so many different levels.  A story filled with hope and the yearning for something greater and if you have heart you can accomplish almost anything as long as you try. Excellent cast led by Maguire, Bridges, Banks, Cooper and Stevens.  I never thought that a story about a horse could be so captivating and emotional and it really is.  This film deserved to get it’s Oscar nomination for Best Picture that year but there was chance of it beating the only film to ever get a perfect score of 11 for 11 wins that year.
  • 1. – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – The finale of this series shows why it was so amazing from both a storytelling and technical viewpoint.  A bit long for most people but for others it was long enough in Middle Earth.  Great way to break the taboo of fantasy not being able to take home the top prize.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – YES!!  There is no doubt in most people’s minds at how amazing a cinematic achievement this film series was. The other two parts were also equally powerful and had they had proper endings, they might have been able to also win.  The win here tho is for the series overall and for the fantasy genre in particular because the Academy members proved that if the film is done so well like this one was, it doesn’t matter the genre, it is possible to sweep and also take home the top award.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

5 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 2003

  1. Absolutely agree! It’s a shame that change in thinking hasn’t affected BP decisions since, but if any genre film deserved a win, it’s Return of the King. Best movie ever (IMHO) and definitely the best of the year.


  2. For me, this was an especially weak year at the Oscars. I’m not a fan of the LOTR films or the Harry Potters. I would have to go with Mystic River… cuz Sean Penn’s performance. For 2003, my pick for best film is KILL BILL: VOL.1 followed by OLDBOY from Korea. I’ll be tackling this year in my REWIND & RANK TOP 10 series soon enough. Thanks for the inspiration. I love ranking these Oscar noms alongside your picks here. This is a fantastic series!


Let me Know what you think!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.