The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Best Picture

Studio: New Line

Producers: Barrie M. Osborne, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson

Nominations: Six

2003 wins: Golden Satellite Award, Online Film Critics

Box office: $321 million (as of 2/9)

Osborne on producing “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy: “It’s crushing. It’s an amazing task to do three films at once. Nothing I would recommend to any of my comrades. … No one who’s lived through this has any clue what it’s like. At times it feels more like running a studio than running a movie. Right now we have three major shooting units and four smaller units.”

What we said: “The middle section of director Peter Jackson’s prodigious adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic trilogy of good and evil is in some respects a more impressive film than its well-received predecessor. Marked by nonstop conflict and a gargantuan climactic battle that Akira Kurosawa would have envied, the new picture has a sharper narrative focus and a livelier sense of forward movement than did the more episodic ‘Fellowship.’ ”

— Todd McCarthy (Dec. 6)

What others said: “It works as story for the common narrative-starved fool, who needs heroic example and pulsating, vicariously energizing experiences of love and hate. You don’t have to be one of those Hobbit-like geeks who’ve lost themselves in this world so intensely there is no other. You can — and this is the cool part — enjoy dual citizenship in the world where trees launch assaults on castles and the one where bills come due. Whichever citizenship you claim, you walk out and you think, that was a hell of a story.”

— Stephen Hunter, Washington Post

This could be the night: Stories of good vs. evil can resonate heavily these days.

Then comes the rub: Many prognosticators believe the trilogy will get its due when the third installment is released.

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