The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
WINNER: 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'
WON FOR: Best Picture, Best Director and nine other awards
SHOULD HAVE WON FOR: Technically, this wasn't so much a make-up win as a cumulative win - since Peter Jackson shot his adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic trilogy as one production over a year and a half, the quality of the entire series was apparent when 'The Fellowship of the Ring' opened in December of 2001. But the films grew more technically complex (Gollum doesn't even turn up until Part Two) and emotionally resonant (Sam and Frodo's relationship becomes the fulcrum of Part Three), so it makes an odd kind of sense that the Academy should hold off on the prizes until the whole thing was wrapped up. It made things much sweeter on Oscar night, certainly.