Sean Astin in Return of the King (2003)

The Lord of the Rings trilogy maintained stellar acting throughout its three films, managing to get Ian McKellen a supporting nod for the first installation. However, while Ian McKellen was a scene-stealer in Return of the King and Andy Serkis was astounding as Gollum, it was actually Sean Astin who was the heart of the third film. Astin was continually at the helm of the film’s most emotional moments, exhibiting the deepest range of acting throughout the film. Needless to say, Return of the King makes it clear in its plot that Frodo Baggins never would have succeeded in destroying the ring if it weren’t for Samwise Gamgee, who was Frodo’s growing strength as they got closer to Mount Doom. Astin’s acting was careful, concise, and remarkably authentic.

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