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 ksrymy » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:46 pm

My picks

Best Picture
1. Capturing the Friedmans
2. Dogville
3. Finding Nemo
4. Mystic River
5. Kill Bill, Vol. 1

6. The Station Agent

Best Director
1. Lars von Trier, Dogville
2. Andrew Jarecki, Capturing the Friedmans
3. Clint Eastwood, Mystic River
4. Peter Weir, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
5. Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill, Vol. 1

6. Jim Sheridan, In America
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Best Picture and Director 2003

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:18 pm

I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in the 1960s but don't remember much about them. I saw the animated versions in the 1970s but don't remember much abut them. I saw Jackson's long, long trilogy of LOTR in the early 2000s and his long, long first installment of The Hobbit less than a year ago. Again, I don't remember much about them - a performance here, a spectacular effect there, but overall nothing to make me think any of them were the best films of their respective years.

2003 was not a great year overall, but there are two films that I consider among my all-time favorites and eight others that I liked well enough to create a ten-best list that doesn't include Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World or Seabiscuit.

It's not that I dislike LOTR, it's just that it doesn't resonate for me the way it does for many.

I liked Master and Commander which narrowly misses my ten best list but not Seabiscuit, a film that may have been interesting in, say 1949 when movies about horses seemed a lot more thrilling. It just seemed like a film out of time to me.

But, really, I'd much rather talk about the films that in my view should have been nominated.

The year's two most emotionally satisfying films were In America and The Station Agent.

Jim Sheridan's In America came up with three measly, albeit well-deserved, nominations for Samantha Morton and Djimon Hounsou's fine performances and the poignant heart-felt screenplay by Sheridan and his daughters based on their experiences as immigrants in the 1980s, but nothing for Paddy Considine's career best performance as Sheridan's stand-in or for Sarah and Emma Bolger who brought the young girls to life. The film failed to pick up three nominations that it received from the not always prescient Broadcast Critics for Best Picture and Director or, shockingly, for Bono's "Time Enough for Tears", easily the year's best movie song.

Thomas McCarthy's The Station Agent came up empty-handed despite having received SAG nominations for stars Peter Dinklage and Patricia Clarkson and for cast where In America was also a nominee along with LOTR; Mystic River and Seabiscuit.

Clint Eastwood's Mystic River placed third on my list despite what I felt were flaws in the writing. I thought the female characters were given short shrift, that Marcia Gay Harden and Laura Linney, as good as they were, were not well served by the screenplay, but I seem to be in the minority on that one. The male roles, however, were extremely well written and played by Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon.

I'm not crazy about Lost in Translation, which places fourth on my list, but there are some things I really like about the film - the performances of Bill Murray and Scarlet Johannson, Coppola's choice of music and the overall look of the film, but in retrospect I find it as much an empty bon-bon of a movie as the rest of her work. Just how empty, I didn't really appreciate until I sat through some f Coppola's subsequent work which proved she may have a fine eye for detail but no feel for coherent story-telling.

In fifth place I have Shari Berman Springer and Paul Pulcini's American Slelndor which vied for the slot with Tim Burton's Big Fish, which is still his best film; Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's 21 Grams, which is highly superior to his Oscar nominated Babel; Fernando Meirelles' splendid City of God; Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things featuring a breakout performance by Chiwitel Ejiofor; Peter Mullan's The Magdalene Sisters, which has echoes in this year's Philomena and Peter Webber's Girl With a Pearl Earring in which Scarlet Johnnson is arguably even better than in Lost in Translation

Among directors, I have nothing against Jackson or Weir, their work was competent, but not as memorable for me as that of Sheridan, McCarthy or Gonzales Inarritu, which leaves Eastwood and Meirelles, even though he was not among my personal nominees, vying for my vote.

As for Coppola, it was nice for a female director to be recognized for the first time since Lina Wertmuller in 1976, but that honor should gone to Penny Marshall for Awakenings or Agnieszka Holland for Europa Europa, if not to Lynne Littman for Testament or Randa Haines for Children of a Lesser God.

I almost feel like abstaining for the first time in these polls, but that will just put LOTR's win at a higher percentage than I think it ought to be so I very reluctantly vote for Mystic River for Best Picture. Fernando Meirelles get my vote for Best Director just because I don't want to over-reward Eastwood who will surely have more chances.
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