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Online critics hail 'King' with 10 nominations

'Lord of the Rings' finale earns nods for best film, director
/ Source: Hollywood Reporter

“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is a royal favorite of the Online Film Critics Society, which gave the final installment of Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy a leading 10 nominations for its annual awards.

New Line’s “King” picked up nods for best picture, director, supporting actor for Sean Astin, adapted screenplay for Jackson, Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh, and cinematography for Andrew Lesnie. Its other mentions came for original score for Howard Shore, visual effects, art direction, costume design and sound.

In the best picture category, “King” will compete against “City of God,” “Kill Bill-Vol. 1,” “Lost in Translation” and “Mystic River.” Jackson will battle it out in the director category with Sofia Coppola for “Lost in Translation,” Clint Eastwood for “Mystic River,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for “21 Grams” and Quentin Tarantino for “Kill Bill.”

Johnny Depp’s crowd-pleasing turn as a rogue pirate in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” landed him a best actor nomination alongside “American Splendor’s” Paul Giamatti, “House of Sand and Fog’s” Ben Kingsley, “Lost in Translation’s” Bill Murray and “Mystic River” star Sean Penn.

In the lead actress category, Scarlett Johannson of “Lost in Translation” is up against Charlize Theron for “Monster,” Uma Thurman for “Kill Bill,” Naomi Watts for “21 Grams” and Angela Bettis for “May.”

In the supporting actor category, Astin finds himself alongside Alec Baldwin for “The Cooler,” Tim Robbins for “Mystic River,” Peter Sarsgaard for “Shattered Glass” and Gollum’s human stand-in, Andy Serkis, for “King.” Baldwin’s “Cooler” co-star Maria Bello received a supporting actress nomination as did Shohreh Aghdashloo for “House of Sand and Fog,” Patricia Clarkson for “Pieces of April,” Holly Hunter for “thirteen” and Renee Zellweger for “Cold Mountain.”

The year’s highest-grossing film, “Finding Nemo” racked up a nomination for best animated film along with “Cowboy Bebop: The Movie,” “Looney Tunes: Back in Action,” “Millennium Actress” and “The Triplets of Belleville.”

The French-language “Triplets” also is up for a trophy in the best foreign-language film category along with “City of God,” “Irreversible,” “The Man Without a Past” and “The Barbarian Invasions.”

On the documentary side, the nominees are “Capturing the Friedmans,” “The Fog of War,” “Lost in La Mancha,” “Spellbound” and “Winged Migration.”

The OFCS also has two breakthrough categories, filmmaker and performance. The filmmaker nominees are Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini for “American Splendor,” Niki Caro for “Whale Rider,” Fernando Meirelles for “City of God,” Billy Ray for “Shattered Glass” and Peter Sollett for “Raising Victor Vargas.” On the actor side, the nominees are Keisha Castle-Hughes for “Whale Rider,” Peter Dinklage for “The Station Agent,” Chiwetel Ejiofor for “Dirty Pretty Things,” Keira Knightley for “Bend It Like Beckham” and Cillian Murphy for “28 Days Later.”

The Online Film Critics Society, founded in 1997, is a professional association for film journalists, scholars and historians whose work appears online. It will announce its award winners Monday.