“Harry Potter” snubbed by Academy Awards

Steve Talbot, Sports Editor

Daniel Radcliffe, who starred as the titular character in the Harry Potter series, recently gave an interview to BBC’s Radio Times magazine. In the interview, Radcliffe expressed his disappointment about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 not being nominated for the Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

Personally, I believe Radcliffe wasn’t angry enough about the film being snubbed. There were several other categories that the film didn’t get a nod for.

Best Picture: The Academy Awards recently adopted a new system of nominating films for Best Picture. The system allows for anywhere between five and 10 pictures to be nominated for the award, often regarded as the most prestigious in cinema. This year, only nine films are nominated. Obviously, that leaves a spot for Harry Potter to have been nominated, and I wholeheartedly believed it would be. If the Academy was not willing to nominate this as a standalone film, they should at least have given it a nod as the conclusion to one of the most critically-acclaimed and highest-grossing film series in history. It’s one thing to not win the award, but to not even acknowledge a series that maintained audience interest for a decade is wrong. Not to mention the overall excellence of the film, which managed to blend a visual spectacle with a tremendous story and performances ranging from above-average to awe-inspiring. Which leads me to the next snub…

Actor in a Supporting Role (Alan Rickman): Throughout the duration of the Harry Potter series, Severus Snape has been one of the most unique, interesting, dynamic, and speculated-about characters in literary/cinematic history. Alan Rickman more than did the character justice over the last decade, but never more than in this film. Displaying incredible range, from bitter, to nervous, to concerned, to broken-hearted, Rickman shone brighter than the lights off the wizards’ wands. What’s truly incredible is that such a high-budget, high-intensity film with groundbreaking effects was overshadowed by one scene. The now-famous “Snape’s Memory” scene was immediately regarded by critics and viewers alike as one of the best in cinematic history. Telling a character- and performance-driven story in the midst of such an epic battle was an extremely impressive feat, and was carried solely by Rickman.

Directing (David Yates): Picture yourself as a director. Your assignment is the following: fit blockbuster effects into a character-driven film. Get your story across through the actors and dialogue, but never let the intensity or action die down. Oh, and by the way, people have been waiting a decade for this film, so don’t disappoint. Now picture Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 as your final product. You’d expect to be acknowledged and commented, wouldn’t you?

Music (Original Score): Perhaps not since Star Wars has a film series had such a recognizable and memorable theme song. But the magic of Harry Potter (no pun intended) is that every song in the score is just as well-written, well-performed, and fitting. This is another nomination that, if not given for this film alone, should have been made as a nod to the series. Few films and likely no series in history have had as many twists, turns, ups and downs as Harry Potter. And every step along the way, there has been a fitting score that hugely enhanced the films.

The most disappointing thing about the Academy Awards is that, once it passes, that year’s films will never get acknowledgment on such a grand stage. The disappointment I felt about The Wrestler, The Dark Knight, and The Social Network not receiving their due is amplified only by the fact that Harry Potter is nominated for even fewer awards, despite the time and effort put into the series.

If the Academy is sitting down and reviewing every film on its own, without acknowledging it’s predecessors, then frankly, that’s wrong. If a non-Potter fan were to watch this movie on its own, yes, they’d be lost. But even they could appreciate the blend of performance, effects, and music.

The members of the Academy, on the other hand, have seen all the Potter films, so they should realize the extra “magic” brought on by the years of anticipation for this film and dedication by this series’ fans.