The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring

Never underestimate a hobbit on a mission. Peter Jackson’s epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” arrives in the final weeks of the year, and may wrongly be dismissed by some audiences as a fantasy genre movie. However the sheer scope and star quotient of the film, accompanied by positive reviews, could place the film as a dark horse contender in several categories.

Featuring a cast that would be well suited to deliver Shakespeare’s most profound tragedies, “Ring” is also a heavyweight in the special effects, costume, photography and art direction categories.

New Zealand helmer Jackson already has had a dance with Oscar. In 1995, his screenplay for “Heavenly Creatures” received a nomination. Among the cast, Ian McKellen (“Gods and Monsters” (1999)), Cate Blanchett (“Elizabeth” (1999)) and Ian Holm (“Chariots of Fire” (1982)) have single Oscar noms. Veteran horror legend Christopher Lee also has a memorable presence in the film, and the Acad values longevity.

Throughout the history of the Academy Awards, few fantasy films have been able to score high with the voters. However, enough people rooted for classics such as “The Wizard of Oz” and “Star Wars” that they both received best pic nominations (as well as in several other nontech categories). Indications by early reviews that the film is accessible to non-Tolkienites increases the pic’s chances in major categories.

Howard Shore and New Age diva Enya’s music, Andrew Lesnie’s cinematography, Grant Major’s production design, Dan Hennah’s art direction and Ngila Dickson’s costume design should all score well if the film’s name appears in the big races. Odds are also in favor of the special effects and sound teams.

It could be a nerve-wracking season for Frodo, Gandalf and the rest of Middle-Earth.

Noms Watch

  • Picture: Producers Peter Jackson, Barrie M. Osborne, Tim Sanders

  • Director:Jackson

  • Actor: Sir Ian McKellen

  • Adapted screenplay: Frances Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Jackson

  • Cinematography: Andrew Lesnie

  • Music: Enya, Howard Shore

  • Art direction: Dan Hennah

  • Costume design: Ngila Dickson

  • Visual effects, sound