Ladies and Gentlemen: Hobbit lads and lasses,

We are met tonight at the crossroads of cinema history: where both Art and Commerce intersect in a magnificent collision, where critics and audiences both applaud the power of movies.

The wonders of Middle-earth have unfolded before our eyes, shining on the silver screen as never before. We have witnessed visions of such staggering beauty, created by a dedicated team of artists and craftsmen and musicians. In such cynical times as these, how miraculous it is to see unsullied hope carried on the shoulders of our favorite heroes.

For 50 years now, through Professor Tolkien’s exquisite words, we have learned that nothing moves the human heart as much as good storytelling. And now we embrace the power of such storytelling in another medium. Tonight we raise our glasses in toast to a gentle Kiwi filmmaker with a singular vision.

{Participants raise glasses.}

To Peter Jackson and his many, many supporting players who helped bring this story to a new generation of fans. We congratulate you all.

The road goes ever on…. Cheers!