Peter Travers on the Oscars

By Jason Wojciechowski on March 19, 2003 at 6:30 AM

So Peter Travers in Rolling Stone Issue 919 claims that Gangs of New York "dares more than any other film in the lineup" for the Best Picture Oscar. I haven't seen The Two Towers yet, but I think I can argue this point without having seen the movies: is attempting a historical epic really more daring than doing a fantasy epic?

I guess I'm biased toward the latter, but it seems that making a film with general appeal that stays true to a book that is both beloved and rightly regarded as a masterpiece is a pretty tough task. Especially when that book involves elves and orc (is that the plural of orc? I think it is: wasn't one of the last lines of The Fellowship of the Ring "Let's hunt some orc," or something like that?) and talking trees, and Gandalf and ... you get the point.

And moreover, when that book is the middle book in a trilogy. That the middle of the Star Wars trilogy is often regarded as the best movie is usually cited as evidence that George Lucas doesn't know what he's doing (he wrote and directed the first movie, and co-wrote the last, while only receiving a "story" credit on the second), rather than a note that the middle movie should be the highlight.

Oh, look, Mark Hamill has my birthday. And he was born in Oakland. And, most amazing, he's in his early 50's now. He should still be like 25.

I think this entry has trailed off. The point was only to question Travers, anyway, not make any real assertions.