Up front, while I’m only a tepid Tolkien fan, I’ve liked both of Peter Jackson’s films so far, and “The Two Towers” is by far my favorite of the films up for Best Picture this year.
In addition, I have no special clairvoyance. I can’t possibly know how good ROTK will be, nor can I know how strong the competition will be next year. So, like evryone else, I’m only making educated guesses, based on what little I know of show biz trends.
That said, do I think “The Two Towers” has a prayer of winning an Oscar this year in anything but technical categories?
Do I think ROTK will be a strong contender for Best Picture NEXT year?
No. It may well get nominated, just as its predecessors were, but I can’t see it winning.
Why? Many reasons, but the big ones?
It doesn’t have major Hollywood power brokers touting it. ANY piece of crud that Harvey Weinstein distributes next year has a better shot at winning the Oscar than ROTK. Even when a Weinstein flick is NEITHER a big hit NOR critically acclaimed (“Chocolat” and “Cider House Rules” were neither), it’s an Oscar contender because Harvey SAYS it’s an Oscar contender.
Peter Jackson is an outsider, a foreigner, and he isn’t part of the Hollywood scene. Hollywood is extremely insular, and loath to reward someone who isn’t “one of their own.” The mere fact that he wasn’t nominated for Best Director (despite the fact that “The Two Towers” is more director-driven than any of the other contenders and EVERYTHING in the film flows from Jackson’s vision) speaks volumes: he doesn’t command respect in Hollywood.
The LOTR series just isn’t the KIND of movie the Hollywood establishment likes to embrace. The Hollywood establishment wants to vote for the kind of movie David Lean and Merchant/Ivory specialize in: lush, historical epics, period pieces, preferably with a politically correct, feel-good message. Fantasy films, no matter how good or how successful, just aren’t going to appeal to older Hollywood veterans.
I’d love to be wrong, mind you!