Best Picture and Director 2003

1998 through 2007

What are your picks for Best Picture and Director of 2003?

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lost in Translation
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Mystic River
No votes
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
Total votes: 66

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby Sabin » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:08 pm

My favorite film of 2003 is Raising Victor Vargas, and enormously sweet coming of age story with richly drawn characters and an excellent ensemble. That Victor Rasuk, Melodie Diaz, and Judy Marte didn't vanish immediately is lovely. If one could consider Dogville a 2003 (and by its Cannes premiere, I suppose it is), then it stands heads and shoulders over anything else this year. 2003 was a rather unpleasant year for me, and perhaps that eroded my pleasure of these movies, but it's hard to get worked up over the bulk of these choices at all. Even Fernando Meirelles' left field nods for Directing, Writing, Cinematography, and Film Editing almost bug me. Could not this kind of gesture be granted to a significantly better movie? In this year or any? A Separation, perhaps?

Billy Crystal's return to the Academy awards made for one of the dullest nights of television I can remember. Aside from Mitch & Mickey (Eugene Levy & Catherine O'Hara, both lovely and Oscar-worthy) singing "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" and Bill Murray giving the sourest post-Oscar loss face of all time, it was a night to fast forward. And that's how I feel about much of The Return of the King. Did it need to win Best Picture? I would much have preferred they give it to The Two Towers, but you could make a case that if ever a movie had to win, this one had to win. Almost nothing one could enjoy from the first two films is present aside from the milieu, and then just a great big fight.

There's not much to say about Seabiscuit. I didn't enjoy it when it came out. I'll likely never return to it. Same with Mystic River, although "dislike" is a bit strong. There was a nagging suspicion in my head that what I was watchign was rather bullshitty. And now that we have Gone Baby Gone, it almost doesn't have a reason to exist. Ten years later, it's largely worthwhile only for Kevin Bacon's acting.

I'm a little torn between Lostin Translation and Master and Commander, both of which are polar opposite admirable achievements. The latter is the kind of film we never see. It would be blasphemy to suggest it to be reminiscent of David Lean, but perhaps saying it's reminiscent of Robert Bolt is more apt. I love it and I've loved it more and more every time I see it. I wish there was more to watch of it. Lost in Translation is a very hipster thing that probably warrants the hashtag #firstworldproblems, but I loved it in the same way I did Almost Famous and Sideways. It felt to me like a shared experience. It's funny to think that the two peaks of Scarlett Johansson's career involve being bounced marriage to an ersatz Spike Jonze in Lost in Translation to being directed by Spike Jonze in another vision of loneliness and longing. I'll give Lost in Translation my Best Picture vote and Peter Weir my Best Director.
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby FilmFan720 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:29 am

I really feel like the early 2000s had a fantastic streak of exciting filmmaking, that moment where the independent movement grew up a little bit and worked in some more mature veins (this could be the then-college student in me talking...), but 2003 is the lowpoint of that streak. My favorite film of the year, hands down, is Capturing the Friedmans. Looking at the rest of my Top 10 list, though, you see a list of films that the Academy never knew existed: Elephant, A Mighty Wind, The Station Agent, Shattered Glass, Divine Intervention (plus Bad Santa, The Company and Matchstick Men).

I should add here that I have never caught up with Master and Commander, which perhaps should null my vote. Knowing Peter Weir and the genre, though, I doubt it would get my vote.

I am a big fan of Gary Ross, but Seabiscuit has to be the lowpoint of his career, and a very dull nomination. The film doesn't do anything wrong, but it also doesn't do anything interesting and in the end the fact that a Best Picture nomination was wasted on it is a shame.

The returns on Lord of the Rings kept diminishing as they went along, and by the time we get to Return of the King the thing is just a mess. Even before the 20 endings come along, I had lost all interest in who was doing what.

I remember walking out of Mystic River a little discombobulated by it. Clint Eastwood has always been so good at making actors not look like they are acting, so working in a more melodramatic fashion does not work for him at all. Some of these actors push so hard that you keep expecting them to burst a blood vessel at any moment. The film has its high points, but as a whole it isn't Eastwood's best work of the decade.

City of God was a complete shock on nominations of those great moments where a nomination isn't even on your alphabet list. It is certainly a bold film, and so much of its success lands on the bold direction of Meirelles. Not only does he create a fascinating visual language, but his work with an amateur cast is expertly done. I won't give him my award (in a very close loss), but I love this nomination.

I'm giving both votes to Lost in Translation. Coppola's personal essay on celebrity and loneliness blew me away when I first saw it in December of 2003, and it remains a fascinating portrait. I have also been a bigger fan of Coppola's later output than most, but here I gladly give her two votes. Not my favorite film of the year, but one of them and the only one to show up here.
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby Jim20 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:35 pm

Went with Jackson and Rings.

Shouldabeens from that year:

Finding Nemo
In America
Kill Bill: Volume One
**The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King**
Mystic River

Kevin Costner, Open Range
Clint Eastwood, Mystic River
**Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King**
Thomas McCarthy, The Station Agent
Fernando Merielles, City of God

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:37 pm

After a couple of pretty interesting years, 2003 qualified as a big let-down. Even my favorite films of the year didn’t register on the scale of those in surrounding years.

Of the missing: I’ll back up Magilla and offer support for In America. It had its drawbacks (most everything to do with Djimon Hounsou), and obvious risked sentimentality, but I thought it walked that fine line of being emotionally overwhelming without tilting over into cloying. But maybe that’s just the Irish in me.

Normally, I don’t include documentaries– the form seems to me to exist apart from the films we generally deal with here. But Capturing the Friedmans makes me reconsider the separation – it was a probing study that offered a family portrait of O’Neillian dimension and complexity. One of my real favorites on the year.

I also like American Splendor, not so much for its narrative as for its skillful way of playing various forms of media off one another. And, though it was a minor piece, I loved the classical plotting or Dirty Pretty Things.

To join with everyone: having Seabiscuit on the best picture ballot was deeply irritating. It was dully old-fashioned filmmaking, and not even of the skilled variety. It attempted to chart the life-progression of three protagonists – owner, trainer, jockey – but their separate plot lines didn’t track chronologically, so it all felt like a jumble. This jumping around in time is something we can accept in a book, but on screen it felt a mess (at one point, it seemed one character had been around so long it should have been the 1950s, rather than the 30s of the movie’s setting). Bj is correct that it was weird to see voters so seemingly proud of themselves for blackballing Harvey’s Cold Mountain, but Cold Mountain, whatever its shortcomings, was way superior to Seabiscuit.

Master and Commander was the rare movie in which striving for realism was a drawback. God knows Peter Weir and company worked overtime to make things feel genuine; the atmosphere had an authentic grayness about it. The problem was, the story the film was telling didn’t require such rigor; it was the kind of potboiler where a key glimpse of a boat occurs just in the nick of time; where looking at an insect gives a character a brilliant solution to his problem. This is strictly movie-movie stuff, and would have done better with a zippy, early-Spielberg like treatment. Here, the dreary verisimilitude just drained the fun out of the narrative, and made the film pretty much a bore. I’ll echo BJ in wondering how this box-office flop managed to get double-digit nominations, bad year or no.

It felt like the nation’s critics, as well as the Academy, decided ahead of time that this final chapter of Lord of the Rings was to be honored in salute to the entire trilogy. I guess I sort of understand the sentiment, but the result was not only to make the Oscars fatally dull that year, but also to single out for prizes the least interesting, most bloated chapter of the story. Granted, I’m not the Tolkien audience, but I found this film way overlong and narratively thin (really, there were two plot lines: Frodo & Sam climbing a mountain, and everybody else fighting everybody else on the side of another mountain – not much for 200 minutes’ screentime). And by then I was tired of even the visuals that had dazzled me in the first film. No consideration from me.

Like everyone, I was much surprised by the City of God nominations, but, while I enjoyed the unexpectedness of the citations, I can’t say I’d have duplicated them. I found City of God something of a Good Fellas wannabe – there was undoubtedly a lot of cinematic flash on display, but I didn’t think it was in the service of an especially interesting or fresh story (the only really fresh thing about it for me was the country in which it took place). I suppose its nomination under director is preferable to many that might have taken its place. But it’s nothing I feel any need to vote for.

Lost in Translation is a pretty wee thing – guy/gal hang around a hotel for a few days and don’t become lovers – but it had a sweet quality to it and good performances. In the context of 2003, it was one of the better movies around. But I don’t feel like it would have made much splash in surrounding years.

I’d had some narrative problems with Mystic River on the page – I basically thought it was not a good enough novel to transcend the mystery genre, and not a good enough mystery with the genre. It’s possible I’d have had these problems with the film had I approached it cold. But, having already worked through those disappointments, I now concentrated on what Eastwood did with the material – which is to say, the atmosphere he caught, of the clannish Boston neighborhood, and the across-the-board sensational performances. These elements were so strong that, while I was watching the film, I felt like I was being held in the tightest grip imaginable (even while knowing more or less where the story was going). For this I have to give major credit to Eastwood – he’s my easy choice for best director. And, in the absence of anything else that moved me on this level, Mystic River also gets my best picture vote.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby HarryGoldfarb » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:56 pm

At the time, Fernando Meirelles's nomination looked way farfetched to me. City of God is not a bad film, but one that definitely I do not want to see anytime soon.

Of the nominees for Best Picture, I find Seabiscuit, like most people here, a movie that makes no sense as an Oscar nominee. It is essentially harmless, pace-lacking and absurdly "motivating" in the worst sense of the word. Perfectly forgettable performances and a very bland screenplay make the nomination even more unfortunate.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is quite the opposite, an incredibly entertaining film, visually flawless and with very high production values. I do not know if these elements are sufficient to raise the film to Best Picture Nominee level, but at least it is not a shame.

On the other hand, Mystic River is, for my taste, too dark and heavy. I saw the movie the summer before the start of awards season and of course I understood why there were so many early rumors about it getting Oscar nominations: great performances, solid script, a resolution well executed. But as the film progressed I felt that it was a movie that I did not want to be seeing: Enjoyable is not a term I would use while talking about this film as I remember leaving the cinema with a splitting headache, of course knowing that many awards nominations would comee (didn’t see Marcia Gay Harden nod coming, though) but without the slightest need to see the film again.

I read The Lord of the Rings at age 18. Immediately afterwards I devoured The Silmarillion and soon after, with greater reluctance , I finished reading The Hobbit , a book that I enjoyed far less than those mentioned above. When a preview of the films to come was shown at Cannes 2000, my emotion and anticipation were pretty high and almost unbearable. The Fellowship of the Ring survived my expectations and for me is the most accomplished of TLOTR trilogy. I saw The Two Towers after the Oscars because of the oil strike that hit Venezuela in its year, nonetheless I equally enjoyed it very much. However, after the tepid response from the Academy to the second film, I feared The Return of the King could pass quite unnoticed. Then I read the New York Critics surrendered to Jackson so I started to think the director, whom I considered overdue, could achieve (at last) an apparently deserving win. But by the time I catched TROTK I was almost disappointed: some bad visuals (the Dead Army for example), big errors in the editing department, and that LONG ending. It was a headscratcher to me. The rest is history: the Academy did surrendered in the most absurd way to the titanic work of Jackson. Ridiculously and annoyingly, Howard Shore score/fanfare rang again and again during the night and at some point I expected some sort of game changer just to not hear it for once! Having been the fan I was of course I was happy with it winning, but the overpraised annoyed me. The Directing Oscar for Jackson is not necessarily undeserved but as I said, his best and most important contribution was much more obvious in 2001. Is TROTK a great movie? In my opinion, yes it is, but not the best of the year in my book.

That title I leave to that little gem called Lost in Translation. I'm surprised to see so little love for the film here. For me it is head and shoulders above its competition. It is a proof that a good script and good performances are enough, if there is a smart director in the equation, to make a great movie. Its minimalism contrasts so much with the sumptuous scope of LOTR: TROTK, MAC: TFSOTW and even Seabiscuit. From the first images, the film is a feast for the senses: the choice of music, the portrait of desolation, loneliness and depression, the need to find empathy or emotional resonance of any kind with anyone... I believe the subject of this film is the more universal from those of the nominated films. And above that, it was handled with delicacy and simplicity. Coppola and Lost in Translation got my enthusiastic vote.
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby Uri » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:26 am

The Original BJ wrote:I never really bought Laura Linney's Lady Macbeth-style turn at the end

I haven't read Lehane's novel,

In the book there’s a casual conversation between the Laura Linney’s and Kevin Bacon’s characters which makes her monologue at the end of the film much more understandable. I wonder if this scene was left out of the shooting script or rather was shot and left on the cutting room floor. Had it been included it would have made her character and performance much more coherent (and would have clinched a nomination for Linney).

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:34 pm

As others have said, a pretty weak year overall. Even the better movies were far less inventive than the top crop of the past couple years.

I might be risking some brickbats here, but I'd pitch House of Sand and Fog as the best of the excluded crop. I thought it had a very unique set-up, treated both sides with impressive even-handedness, and contained a cultural relevance that felt very resonant in that immediate post-9/11 era. Like Mystic River, it dips too much into melodrama in the final reel, but the power of its seemingly inevitable tragedy worked nearly as well for me as in Eastwood's film. Another movie that was greeted with mostly a shrug, but which I enjoyed a lot, is Big Fish, a wondrous fantasy that builds to a really moving finale, and the most cohesive movie Tim Burton has made since Ed Wood.

I also liked 21 Grams more than many, and had a lot of fun at Finding Nemo.

Since it was such a big part of the conversation, I feel like it's at least worth bringing up Cold Mountain. I'm not bothered by its exclusion here, as I thought too many elements of the movie didn't entirely work -- the romance doesn't really make much sense, Nicole Kidman isn't effective as either a Southern belle or a romantic heroine, and I don't know what movie Renée Zellweger barged in from. had genuine ambition, and quite a number of vignettes with piercing emotional power, and given the far lesser movies Harvey Weinstein had pushed to a Best Picture nod, it struck me as odd that this would be the one to fail.

I didn't hang on to Cold Mountain in my Best Picture predictions -- I got the slate 5/5 -- though when Rings was announced as the first nominee, I had an almost simultaneous sense of relief (that Lost in Translation had made it) and horror, because it meant that Seabiscuit had survived. It's basically total place-filler for me, a blandly uplifting story directed with little in the way of invention or spark. Even if voters wanted to go for something more sentimental, the perfectly acceptable In America was sitting right there, so there was no reason for this bore-a-thon to be anywhere near the Oscars.

This year was my first semester at college, and I remember trying fruitlessly to find someone who would go see Master and Commander with me when the film opened. I was pretty much greeted with eye rolls and groans of "no way." I don't blame those people -- the movie was pretty much exactly what they all thought it would be, a LONG men-at-sea adventure epic that by its very nature held very little appeal to me or any of my film school friends. There were things I admired about the movie -- the attention to detail in the production design and sound mix really gave you a good feel for what life on board a ship in that era would have been like, and the battle and storm scenes were quite meticulously and seriously mounted by Peter Weir. But on the whole, it's just not my thing, and though it's not the blandest of Weir's nominated efforts, I still don't think he brings much excitement to the table here. I was surprised to see a movie that it seemed no one really much loved land double digit nominations.

As I said, I was quite pleased to see Lost in the Translation on the Picture list, because, honestly, I'd thought its small size could have made it vulnerable. I thought it was a lovely movie, with a good amount of laughs (most of them courtesy of Bill Murray's dry delivery), and a very human portrait of what it's like to be alone in a foreign country, and struggling to find personal connections at any stage in life. And Sofia Coppola films all of this with great affection for the city of Tokyo, its quiet meditative corners, its garish neon lights, its funky bars and arcades. That said, I was a bit surprised by the ecstatic reception the movie received from critics -- I left the theater feeling surprised that something so low-key had been touted as so world-changing. (In particular, I was actually disappointed by one of the movie's most praised scenes -- the whisper -- which felt to me like a moment where Coppola just couldn't come up with a compelling line for that beat, and which the writer herself actually confirmed was the case.) So, it's a bit too minor to get my votes, but its poignancy has lingered in my memory over the last decade.

The nominations for City of God have to count as the most out-of-nowhere recognition in any major category since I started watching the Oscars. I had the movie on my personal list since I saw it in the spring, but didn't even remotely think the movie was any part of the Oscar conversation. So I was thrilled by this nomination -- Fernando Meirelles's visuals were completely kinetic, photographed in a beautiful but raw style, and cut with exciting energy that propelled the story forward through its various flashbacks and character threads. I don't think the themes of the film were necessarily anything new -- subject-wise it covered ground that other films had -- but the director creates such a vivid portrait of a specific community, and weaves a story that is consistently powerful and gripping, that I found myself very taken by the film regardless. I'd love to know how close the movie came to a Best Picture nomination -- wouldn't THAT have been a jaw-dropper? -- but I am very pleased by the attention it did receive.

But my votes come down to Mystic River and The Return of the King, and, as in many cases like this, I've opted to split my votes to honor both films. Under director, I have to go with Peter Jackson, for a final installment that surpasses even his hugely ambitious previous films in terms of its epic scope, with visuals -- like the attack in Shelob's lair, or almost the entirety of the Pelennor Fields battle -- that have to rank as some of the most awe-inspiring images in any recent film, with visual effects that were total wows but also fully integrated into the story. And, as with the earlier films, the movie isn't just BIG. It's got small moments between characters that really land emotionally -- I thought "I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you!" was a total lump-in-the-throat moment, and the finale, when everyone bows to the hobbits at the end, was deeply affecting, after following these characters' journeys for so many hours. I will say that, by the end of the movie, I was getting a bit tired of it all, and the dragged-out conclusion only exacerbated this problem (and it's probably the reason The Hobbit felt for me like a guest that had just stayed WAY too long at my party). But, a decade ago, I was still pretty firmly in Jackson's corner, and thought he wrapped up his trilogy in a manner befitting of the epic story built up in the first two films. So Best Director to Jackson, for this film and as recognition for the series as a whole.

However, I thought Mystic River was overall a stronger piece. It wobbles a bit at the end, too -- I never really bought Laura Linney's Lady Macbeth-style turn at the end -- but on the whole, it's a deeply powerful tragedy. What makes the film work as so much more than a solid mystery is the way that the reveal of the killer is practically irrelevant -- whereas many crime films build simply to this moment, Mystic River is so much more concerned in the devastating effects of this crime (and past ones) on this small-knit group of people. Lives are irreparably altered, families are destroyed, and the tragedies of the past will continue to overwhelm the present. I give Clint Eastwood a lot of credit for bringing out these themes -- I haven't read Lehane's novel, but my understanding is that it's a lot pulpier than the film version. With Eastwood's studied pacing, his creation of a lived-in (and grief-stricken) community, and the sense of weight he brings to all of the characters' interactions, he makes something far closer to a modern Shakespearean tragedy than a standard crime drama. And the cast -- especially Penn, Robbins, and Harden -- is a total knockout, bringing all of the wrenching crises of these characters' struggles to life with blistering humanity. Mystic River is not as innovative a movie as some of my favorites the past couple years, but in 2003, I thought it was the year's best achievement. It gets my vote in Best Picture.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby Reza » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:02 pm

Cinemanolis wrote:
Reza wrote:Voted for LOTR and Jackson.

My picks for 2003:

Best Picture
2. Dogville

Best Director
2. Lars Von Trier, Dogville

I love Dogville as well, but don't you usually follow the US release dates Reza? If so then i think "Dogville" is a 2004 release.

You are right. Will change my list below.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby Eric » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:44 am

We're getting into years where there's going to be some discrepancy between Oscar-eligible year and world premiere year. As always, I favor the latter for organizational purposes -- hence, yes, Dogville is a 2003 film.

01. Dogville
02. Elephant
03. Crimson Gold
04. The Company
05. Father & Son
06. Goodbye, Dragon Inn
07. Stuck on You
08. Raja
09. The Best of Youth
10. Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman

This year's Oscar slate might be my least favorite of any from my lifetime aside from the utter buzzkill of 1999's. It's not that it boasts the worst movies ever nominated (bearing in mind I have not subjected myself to Seabiscuit, nothing here seems as bad as some the worst movies on either side -- Chocolat, A Beautiful Mind, The Hours, Finding Neverland, The Movie That Must Not Be Named). It's just the surfeit of elephantine bloat mixed in with 2 examples of multiplex artiness that both suffered steep diminishing returns for me -- especially in light of their respective directors' followups, both of which I thought left much more to chew on. Voted Master and Commander as an analog-esque last stand against Lord of the Rings.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:53 am

Urgh, Only two really outstanding selections from the Academy: Lost in Translation & City of God.

Here are my selections:

1. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
2. Capturing the Friedmans (Andrew Jarecki)
3. In the Cut (Jane Campion)
4. American Splendor (Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcin)
5. Father and Son (Alexander Sokurov)
6. Strayed (Andre Techine)
7. A Good Lawyers Wife (Im Sang-soo)
8. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring (Kim Ki-duk)
9. Oldboy (Park Chanwook)
10.In This World (Michael Winterbottom)
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby Cinemanolis » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:42 am

Reza wrote:Voted for LOTR and Jackson.

My picks for 2003:

Best Picture
2. Dogville

Best Director
2. Lars Von Trier, Dogville

I love Dogville as well, but don't you usually follow the US release dates Reza? If so then i think "Dogville" is a 2004 release.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby Reza » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:18 am

Voted for LOTR and Jackson.

My picks for 2003:

Best Picture
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2. 21 Grams
3. City of God
4. Mystic River
5. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

The 6th Spot: In America

Best Director

Clint Eastwood, Mystic River
1. Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, 21 Grams
3. Fernando Meirelles, City of God
4. Clint Eastwood, Mystic River
5. Peter Weir, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

The 6th Spot: Jim Sheridan, In America
Last edited by Reza on Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby dws1982 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:38 pm

I don't know that I could call this the worst movie-going year of my lifetime since I did, strictly speaking, live through the 80's. But I think it's pretty easy to say it's the worst since I've been an active movie-goer. Mystic River is far from Eastwood's best--of the nine movies he directed between 2000 and 2009, I'd only rank it above Changeling and Invictus--but it's the only film in this lineup that's worthy of being mentioned as a Best Picture contender. It easily gets my vote in both categories--one of a few Picture/Director combos I'll give Eastwood in the years to come.

1. The Son (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)
2. Bonhoeffer (Martin Doblmeier)
3. The Company (Robert Altman)
4. In This World (Michael Winterbottom)
5. I Capture the Castle (Tim Fywell)
6. Balseros (Carlos Bosche and Jose Maria Bomenech)
7. Decasia (Bill Morrison)
8. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle)
9. Cold Mountain (Anthony Minghella)
10. Mystic River (Clint Eastwood)

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby mlrg » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:47 pm

voted for Mystic River and Clint Eastwood

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby Heksagon » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:10 am

This year there's two very good films (Mystic River and The Return of the King), two entertaining but limited films (Lost in Translation and Master and Commander) and one film that should be nowhere near the Oscars.

Generally speaking, I seem to recall that this was not a very good year in terms of Oscar contenders. Best Director nomination for Fernando Meirelles was a fortunate reflection of this, and Seabiscuit the unfortunate one.

My votes go to Mystic River, which was then, and still remains, my favourite film of the year.

Lost in Translation is overall, a sympathetic film, but it also has a lot of weak scenes, and it could use a little more depth with its characters and better dialogue. Master and Commander has its strengths in the impressive portrayal of its milieu, and weaknesses in the bland plot.

Seabiscuit is a third-rate film, and it got nominated mainly, I suppose, as a nostalgic feelgood film, and because it was a weak year behind a few strong titles.

Edit. Writing without thinking, again.
Last edited by Heksagon on Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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