Picks and Pans Review: Sound Off

updated 02/23/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/23/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

Annie Lennox and Fran Walsh

Annie Lennox (left) and Lord of the Rings coscreenwriter Fran Walsh (director Peter Jackson's longtime love) are enjoying their Golden Globe win and Oscar nod for the saga's haunting song "Into the West." But for both, writing it was bittersweet.

ON THE INSPIRATION LENNOX [whose mother died of cancer last year]: It's about making sense of life and learning to rise above difficulties. It touches everyone because it shows that we're strong and frail. WALSH [whose friend Cameron Duncan lost a battle with bone cancer at age 17 in November]: It's about having to say goodbye to people who leave too soon. It's about loss and making peace with passing. The song to me was quite personal.

ON WORKING TOGETHER LENNOX: Fran is the invisible force behind Lord of the Rings. I was a gust of fresh air. I was the good objective voice, but I took a backseat on writing. WALSH: We needed someone who had fantastic range, who could bring maturity to it, who could speak to the themes that were unfolding at the end of the movie. She has all of those things.

ON WHY AUDIENCES CONNECT TO THE SAGA LENNOX: There is something about this trilogy that is of historical import. I came away as if I went on a journey. As an adult you rarely do that.

WALSH: The themes are universal. They're about courage, friendship and faith—things which engage everybody. And Orlando Bloom and Viggo Mortensen probably have something to do with it.

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