Like so many of you out there, I love, love, love Lord of the the Rings. Its an ensemble story rich with sidekicks–all of which have a critical role to play in the story. And its in LOTR, we see the essential qualities of sidekicks–they ground the hero or heroine, hold their hand as they walk a perilous journey, no matter how hard that journey or how dark the road. My favorite, the one who sets the gold standard, is Samwise Gamgee.
Although set up as the sidekick to Frodo, Sam to me is the hero of the story. Frodo carries the ring, Aragorn sexily swings his swords and grows into the mantle of a king, Gandalf ascends to the White Wizard, Legolas is steady on his bow and beautiful to behold–heroes all. But its on Sam’s shoulders they all stand. He’s loyalty and love, faith and fidelity, hard work and dogged dedication. Sam is the ever present reminder of what they all fight for–home and hearth, good food, a loving partner, a family, the taste of strawberries, the scent of grass, the touch of a rose.
But the line and scene that encapsulate this, is when Sam picks up Frodo and carries him to the top of Mt. Doom.
Mr. Frodo, I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.
That scene epitomizes love and the foundational role of the sidekick. The grandeur of love and friendship is not in its opulence, but on the ground, when things look impossible, when the moment is darkest, it is the hand that helps you up.
“Play it again, Sam.”
Who’s your favorite LOTR sidekick?
Even though I love movies, I have not seen a single film nominated for the Oscars. Not one. No time. ~Lesigh~ The only movies I manage to sneak in are with my kid as a family activity and half of those, I pay for on demand, months after they’ve been in the movie theater. No complaints really. My life is full. So I’ll talk about my all-time favorite Oscar films with a focus on love.
While there are truly many great Oscar-winning films (list here), if I only had two of them, my film library would be complete. The first is quite simply one of best films about love ever made—Casablanca (3 Oscars including best picture in 1943). No HEA here. In the world of Casablanca, where the world hangs in a balance with World War II in full blaze, we see and feel the sacrifices that people, flawed and beaten up, are willing to make for love. It’s love at its most unselfish and its most painful. Sometimes the price of love is the ability to say good bye, to let go for a greater good. Or because it is what’s best for the one you love.
Because life is not always such a downer, my other favorite must-have Oscar winner is Lord of the Rings: Return of the King which ran away with 11 Oscars including best picture in 2003. Actually I love and own all three of the trilogy, but this one took best picture so I’m going with it.
While LOTR has an HEA—the world is saved, Aragorn and Arwen get their happy ending, Eowyn finds love in Faramir, and Sam discovers the courage to win his Rosie—the real love this story celebrates is friendship. The relationship between Sam and Frodo grounds the movie and enables all the others to get to their happy ending. Sam, who never wanted to be a hero or leave the Shire, stays with Frodo to the bitter end. Even if Frodo cannot himself throw the ring, Sam’s dogged loyalty and reliability got him all the way to that precipice in Mt. Doom and home again. Love should always bring you home.
So how have award winning movies captured love at its best? Which of them are must owns and why?