What do hobbits, clownfish and accused child molesters have in common? They've all been singled out for praise by the Florida Film Critics Circle. As 2003 dwindled to a close, a voting body of 16 Sunshine State reviewers (including Orlando Weekly's Steve Schneider) pronounced "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" the year's best picture, topping a list of honors that also included "Finding Nemo" as best animated feature and "Capturing the Friedmans" as best documentary. (In a further display of the FFCC's critical acumen, no one seems to have confused the three.) Here's a full list of winners in all 14 categories.
2003 FFCC AWARD WINNERS
Best picture: "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
Best actor: Sean Penn, "Mystic River" and "21 Grams"
Best actress: Naomi Watts, "21 Grams"
Best supporting actor: Tim Robbins, "Mystic River"
Best supporting actress: Patricia Clarkson, "Pieces of April" and "The Station Agent"
Best director: Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Best screenplay: Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation
Best cinematography: Andrew Lesnie, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Best foreign-language film: The Man on the Train (France)
Pauline Kael Breakout Award: Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini (writers-directors, American Splendor)
Best ensemble acting: A Mighty Wind
Best animated feature: Finding Nemo
Best documentary: Capturing the Friedmans
Golden Orange for Outstanding Contribution to Film: Cinematique of Daytona, "for inaugurating its film festival with an impressive program of new and classic films."