Many Potter fans had rightly hoped that this might be Harry Potter’s year to pull off some big award wins which have been missing in previous years. The finale of the series this summer, Deathly Hallows Part 2, was widely praised by critics (it was rated higher than nearly all the other nominees), was very well loved by fans and general movie-goers alike, and was one of the biggest box office hits ever.
Unfortunately, the film’s many merits don’t seem to have rubbed off on the Academy and couldn’t outweigh the many factors that were standing against it. You can read more about some of these factors in detail here.
Deathly Hallows Part 2 has had a complete lack of buzz in the weeks leading up to today, and this showed in the lack of recognition in the nominations. On top of the reasons outlined in the article linked above, this lack of love is partly due to it being a summer release, meaning it was not fresh in people’s minds and making Warner Brothers’ big campaign less effective.
The film became overshadowed by films more appealing to the tastes of those voters over in Hollywood (they rarely reward fantasy and sci-fi), many of which have purposely been released only in the last few weeks in order to grab the attention of voters and the media when it matters most.
The Artist, a silent, black-and-white film paying homage to the old days of Hollywood, making it a popular and obvious choice, was one of the biggest nomination winners. It was beaten only by Hugo, another stylish and charming period piece helmed by Oscar favourite Martin Scorsese. Rounding out the Best Picture nominees is The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life and War Horse.
Harry Potter wasn’t completely absent, however. It got much deserved nominations for Art Direction (Stuart Craig, Stephanie McMillan), Makeup (Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin), and Visual Effects (Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson). We hope it can win at least one of the awards, although it faces big competition.
Also of note to HP fans is the Best Actor category, where Sirius actor Gary Oldman has been nominated for his role in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. And in the Supporting Actor category (no, we didn’t get Alan Rickman ), Kenneth Branagh, who played Gilderoy Lockhart, got a nomination for his portrayal of Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn.
The final Oscar awards ceremony will take place on February 26th.