Annal: 2004 Academy Award® for Best Motion Picture

Results of the Academy Award® in the year 2004.

Film:The Lord of the Rings: Part 3. The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings: Part 3. The Return of the King

Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, triumphantly completed by the 11-Oscar-winning The Return of the King, sets out to show that Tolkien’s epic work, once derided as mere adolescent escapism, is not just fodder for the best mass entertainment spectacle ever seen on the big screen, but is also replete with emotionally satisfying meditations on the human condition. What is the nature of true friendship? What constitutes real courage? Why is it important for us to care about people living beyond our borders? What does it mean to live in harmony…

Film:Lost In Translation

Lost In Translation

Sofia Coppola

Like a good dream, Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation envelops you with an aura of fantastic light, moody sound, head-turning love, and a feeling of déjà vu, even though you’ve probably never been to this neon-fused version of Tokyo. Certainly Bob Harris has not. The 50-ish actor has signed on for big money shooting whiskey ads instead of doing something good for his career or his long-distance family. Jetlagged, helplessly lost with his Japanese-speaking director, and out of sync with the metropolis, Harris (Bill Murray, never better) befriends the…

Film:Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Peter Weir

In the capable hands of director Peter Weir, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a seafaring adventure like no other, impeccably authentic, dynamically cast, and thrilling enough to give any classic swashbuckler a run for its money. In adapting two of Patrick O’Brian’s enormously popular novels about British naval hero Capt. Jack Aubrey, Weir and cowriter John Collee have changed the timeframe from the British/American war of 1812 to the British/French opposition of 1805, where the HMS Surprise, under Aubrey’s confident command, is…

Film:Mystic River

Mystic River

Clint Eastwood

Superior acting, writing, and direction are on impressive display in the critically acclaimed Mystic River, Clint Eastwood’s 24th directorial outing and one of the finest films of 2003. Sharply adapted by L.A. Confidential Oscar-winner Brian Helgeland from the novel by Dennis Lehane, this chilling mystery revolves around three boyhood friends in working-class Boston—played as adults by Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, and Kevin Bacon—drawn together by a crime from the past and a murder (of the Penn character’s 19-year-old daughter) in the present. These dual…

Film:Seabiscuit (2003)

Seabiscuit

Gary Ross

Proving that truth is often greater than fiction, the handsome production of Seabiscuit offers a healthy alternative to Hollywood’s staple diet of mayhem. With superior production values at his disposal, writer-director Gary Ross (Pleasantville) is a bit too reverent toward Laura Hillenbrand’s captivating bestseller, unnecessarily using archival material—and David McCullough’s familiar PBS-styled narration—to pay Ken Burns-like tribute to Hillenbrand’s acclaimed history of Seabiscuit, the knobby-kneed thoroughbred who “came from behind” in the late…

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