For the upcoming Oscars, there has been one film that has been on everybody's lips--whether they're talking about the film will definitely be there or there's no way in Hell it'll be there. That film is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. And as quite a known HP enthusiast, I feel I should give my serious thoughts on the subject.
Now, the biggest argument that is pushing for the films winning is that it's the biggest (and most profitable) film series in history and should be acknowledged as such (such as Lord of the Rings was with Return of the King). Detractors, on the other hand, have said that LOTR was one film with one vision (and that also ROTK was deserving in and of itself), and HP is a series with multiple directors, multiple visions, etc. You could argue that David Yates' films have been the best of the series anyway (shut it, Cuaron fanboys!). Even if you don't agree with that, you could mix Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2 together and have a one film/one epic/one vision push as it was with LOTR. Yet detractors will come back and say LOTR were all picked up by the Oscars, whereas the Harry Potter films were not. So I want to take both sides into account.
Believe it or not, I'm not going to be a stringent pusher or detractor. I want to take a serious look at each possibility that Warner Bros. put up For Your Consideration and have a discussion. I'm not here to make Oscar predictions for other films (I refuse to mention any other possible contenders in this article). I would just like to spend a wee bit of time on whether or not what WB is pushing for is actually going to happen (or if I think it should happen). So let's get into it.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Alexandre Desplat gave an amazing, haunting score for both Parts 1 and 2. I think that, at the very least, it should be nominated. It's an amazing score. It's hard to say it should win based on the "Epic Series" argument. Like with the directors, the films have had many different composers. Granted, David Yates is known for taking the best of everything from the previous films and mixing it in with his own vision to help with the continuity. The score is one of those things. To top it off, all the films have, at the very least, used John Williams' "Hedwig's Theme," which is now an iconic bit of scoring in and of itself. You could argue that Hedwig's Theme is the one bit that an "Epic Series" win could definitely cover (but you could also argue how fair that would be to John Williams, who was actually nominated back in the day, but didn't win). Though at the very end when the theme swelled, got extremely loud and incredibly close to my heart, it did bring back memories and nearly brought tears.
So it just comes back to Desplat. I do feel his score is strong enough to be nominated. Will it win? We'll have to wait and see what else is nominated. But for right now, I do think it can be a contender.
Deathly Hallows (both films) are two of the most beautiful films in the entire series (shut it, Cuaron fanboys!). Eduardo Serra has an amazing eye. You can't argue that, no matter how you feel about the series, that these films don't look pretty damn good. Again, you can't use the "Epic Series" argument for this category, as there have been multiple cinematographers, and all of the films aren't necessarily worthy of it. In fact, I'd only say half are (Azkaban, Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows 1 and 2... and the only one of those actually nominated is Half-Blood Prince). So it would be up to the (2) film(s) itself.
Now, Deathly Hallows Part 1 wasn't nominated for Cinematography (which I feel was an upset), so what is the likelihood Part 2 will be? Part 2 gives us a lot of carnage, though that might not be enough visually. Maybe they were waiting for the second part to honor both at the same time through the latter half. Like the previous category, I think it deserves to at least be nominated... but will it win? There have been some strong contenders for this category this year, but I can see this getting a nomination easy.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Is any other category more worthy of a win than this one? First of all, it's based on one of the biggest young adult series' of all time. And despite how you feel about Steve Kloves' adaptation skills, he is one of the Top 3 that helped to bring these films to the screen (the other two being Stuart Craig (production designer, who is truly the artist of these films) and David Heyman (executive producer)). Only one other person came on as writer through the series (Michael Goldenberg - Order of the Phoenix); though some may argue that that one was one of the best. Regardless, if the Academy is going to give it a win for the "Epic Series" argument, it will be in this category. It maybe has 2 strong possible contenders.
Does it hold up as a film adaptation in and of itself? Taking out the "Epic Series" argument, this film might suffer. It's the second half of a 2-part film, and most have argued that not only does it have a strange opening because of this, but the epilogue ending (despite coming straight from the book... I mean, look at the descendants' names alone... Albus Severus, Scorpius, Teddy, Hugo, etc.) isn't strong, either. I honestly don't believe, however, that it will be nominated simply for itself.
There is absolutely no way this film will not get a nomination. There is perhaps a female with skin ink-related film that could upset it; however, I think that this, over any other category, will give the movie its win. But it will be close.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
There are two up for this category, and I can make it through this one pretty fast.
-Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange)
No. Ain't gonna happen. Despite the fact that HBC is a perfect choice for the role, it's not a Oscar-worthy performance. At all. Sorry. It's probably not even going to be considered for a nomination.
-Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall)
Had the film series included McGonagall to the degree the books do (she's a total iron lady with a heart of gold), there could be a possibility of nomination. Maggie Smith is great in the part (not to mention she's awesome in the final film), but her film inclusion is so miniscule that it's really not worth a nomination.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
This is going to be a tough one for me, personally. Again, there are two up for consideration. But are they worthy?
-Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort)
Fiennes is a fine actor (no pun intended), but Voldemort is a little too over-the-top and silly to be considered. I truly can't see this happening.
-Alan Rickman (Snape)
This is the tough one. Sure, people make fun of his long, slow speech with pauses. But Snape is one of the greatest literary characters in modern history, and Rickman portrays him brilliantly (again, despite not being given adequate screen time in comparison to the books). It's become famous that JK Rowling told Rickman about Snape's secret, which could have been a dangerous method of getting what she wanted out of him (due to trusting him in keeping it for a decade), but it led to a perfect performance. Though if we're looking at the films, Rickman is at the top of his game in Part 2, and he could be nominated for The Prince's Tale segment alone.
Should he win? Probably not. But I think Rickman should get a nomination for his role over the last 10 years, culminating into a fantastic set of flashbacks in the final film. Will the nomination actually happen? I doubt it. But I would love to see it.
Only one on this list, and it's pretty obvious who.
-Emma Watson (Hermione Granger)
No. Of the Trio, I think Watson is the weakest. I actually think she captured Hermione perfectly in the first two films, then became pretty rough in the middle films. She was better in Half-Blood Prince and actually pretty excellent in both Deathly Hallows. But while her performance is quite good in the last two films, it definitely isn't worth an Oscar nomination.
Again, the obvious two choices are here... and I'm going to have a similar opinion.
-Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)
If Radcliffe were to be nominated, it would be for the "Epic Series" argument. However, I doubt it will happen. There are too many other excellent performances this year. Sorry.
-Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley)
Grint is the best of the Trio, I feel, but if Radcliffe isn't getting a nom, there's no way Grint will, either. Again, sorry.
David Yates has directed half of the entire series. In this blogger's opinion, his films have been the best (shut it, Cuaron fanboys!). But there are seemingly thousands of other strong contenders this year that it would be miraculous for Yates to get a nomination. I mean, I suppose it could be possible. Everything's possible. But with a category of only 5 spots to fill, the only reason would be to fill the spot for the "Epic Series" argument.
Would it be fun to see? Yeah. But even if he got a nomination, there's no way he'd win. And I don't think he'll even get the nom. And this just leaves one more category.
This has been the most talked about category over the past year. Will it received a Best Picture nomination? On top of that, will it win? The sole argument for not only its nomination, but its win, is the "Epic Series" argument. I honestly have no clue. I would like it to be nominated. I doubt it would win, but I'd like to see recognition here. I'm just not sure, based on everything I've talked about, if the "Epic Series" argument is enough to drive the nomination.
But who knows? I guess I'm just with everybody else. There's a 50/50 chance.