(Yeah, I’m sure that’s been used already; so sue me)
It comes as no surprise that the Lord of the Rings trilogy got its due from Oscar last night. Taking all the categories it was nominated in, no one can argue that it was not a huge night for the epic fantasy genre. However, let’s face reality; this is not likely to happen again. Lightning has struck and will not strike again.
Almost everyone has at least heard of Tolkien’s works, but can you think of any other fantasy epics that have the same name recognition as LotR does? I’m sure you can think of a number of works that are renowned among those that actively read the genre, but none have really penetrated the consciousness of the average movie goer the way LotR has.
What really surprises me is the fact that it won the best adaptation Oscar. While I have not watched the other films that were nominated, I wonder if they were more faithful adaptations of their original works. The radical deviations Peter Jackson, et. al. have made from the original text have been well-documented; I feel strongly that this is the one Oscar it really did not deserve.
I enjoyed the films immensely for what they were, a modern retelling of Tolkien’s work tailored for a broad audience. I enjoyed and will own all three extended versions of the films, but FotR will remain my favorite of them all. Why? Because it was the most faithful to the original text. It speak to just how well written and entertaining the original text is; the film versions of TT and RotK are entertaining, but I have to shut off the large part of my brain that screams "Stop pandering and stick to the text! It is fine the way it is!".
Overall, Peter Jackson definitely deserves the kudos and accolades from last night. Bringing a monumental work to the screen is no easy feat; I think he assembled the perfect cast and did a great job of directing. Rejoice fantasy fans while you can; it will be a long time before you see such a success again.