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

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation)
Clint Eastwood (Mystic River)
Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) 
Fernando Meirelles (City of God)
Peter Weir (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World)

Biggest Snub:

Gary Ross – Seabiscuit

My Overall Thoughts:

This was a year where everyone knew what film would dominate every category including this one. It made Oscar history but there  was very little suspense.

My Rankings:


5. Sofia Coppola 
4. Peter Weir 
3. Clint Eastwood 
2. Fernando Meirelles 
1. Peter Jackson


5. Lost in TranslationExtremely boring film about two strangers spending a few days together in Japan trying to find themselves. Murray and Johansson have a strange kind of chemistry that works only part of the time. There are lots of better films about strangers meeting and forming a bond while in a foreign land. How did this film win an Oscar and have three other nominations including Picture and Director?
4. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the WorldPretty boring film IMHO. I didn’t find any of the characters or their situations sympathetic at all. The only good thing were the conversations between Crowe and Bettany discussing science vs. Military Orders. Battle scenes were rightfully chaotic but ultimately it just felt like a Moby Dick-like obsession story.
3. City of GodGreat story that is told very well. Gives a clear picture of what supposedly really happens in the slums of Rio.
2. Mystic River Amazingly done by Eastwood, who is one of the best directors around. Excellent performances and storyline.
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingAmazing conclusion to this epic trilogy that keeps clobbering us with more and more amazing scenes as it moves along. The battles are breathtaking to watch largely due to the enormity of it all. The characters all continue their personal arcs as the story heads for the ultimate climax here. The Hobbits are stioll the best characters and the choice to split them up even more in this film was a wise choice because it shows how each of their destinies are unique. The special effects are superbly created for this film. My favorite scene is the bonfire warning system with is so emotional to watch unfold. This film deservingly became the first Best Picture film to have a clean sweep at the Oscars and win its 11 nominations which in turn is more of a win for the entire trilogy along with a win for genre that no one believed could ever happen. Amazing film all around.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely!  Jackson’s finale to his epic adaptation was a very deserving choice and none of the others come anywhere close to standing even in its shadow.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 2003

  1. Lets see… you were “bored” by BOTH Master and Commander AND Lost in Translation. Sofia Coppola won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. I am NOT a big fan of Ms. Coppola – but she deserved it. It was a character study to be sure, and thin lot-wise – but extremely well done. Set in a world (Tokyo) I don’t know – with 2 fascinating characters – Murray and Johannson – and to this day – I STILL want to know what he whispered to her at the end. And you’re all in on Jackson winning for the THIRD go round of his Ring trilogy epic (and I don’t necessarily disagree) but a year later – you didn’t think Scorsese deserved a win for Gangs. As for Eastwood – he’s a helluva director – Mystic River was excellent – the tension he invoked and the stunning performances he got from his entire cast were quite impressive. But I guess it was Jackson’s year.


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