Wait a minute - did you just see me choosing the film series that won the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema in 2011, the film series that was nominated for a total of 12 Academy Awards - the film series that is loved, even worshipped by thousands of people all over the world - for the worst snub ever?
Yeah, I guess so.
Because, although Harry Potter collected many a metallic statue over the 10 years it "lasted", I don't think that it has been getting all the attention it really deserves. Yes, Harry Potter has an enormous fan base, yes, the critical response has been primarily positive over the years, and yes, it didn't get snubbed as in "ignored".
Not in The United Kingdom, that is.
What's always been a thorn in my side - or has been since I started keeping an eye on awards and generally got "involved" with movies - is the Academy Award snubbing. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I wish I could say that their actions and choices are despicable and that I'm not going to support or pay any attention to their little (or big) games anymore. But no, I agree with a lot of their choices, have been watching the ceremony three years in a row and have been trying to catch up on new and old nominees and winners. This research has proven that the Academy Awards might not be as big or as great as they think they are, but they're a great parameter for film history - historically and currently.
That being said, sometimes I really ask myself whether they actually watch the movies. 12 nominees for 8 films, mainly in the art department, could be approvable if one of the films had actually won an award one of these times. But no, Harry Potter is ignored, and ignored - and even with the final movie, no award for the overall achievement. Talk about disappointing.
If we take a look at the actual nominations, it's clear to see that the concurrence has been big. With contenders such as Moulin Rouge, Alice in Wonderland and Hugo, Harry Potter had no easy game in Art Direction. But Memoirs of a Geisha? The Aviator? Surely, realistic films should have a chance in the category, but then again why should they when comic films don't stand a chance in the best film category? Ok, I'm being unfair now. Perhaps the fact that some (beautiful) airplanes won over the Quidditch World Championship is confuzzling me.
Not to forget The Triwizard Tournament. The Burrow. Hogsmeade. The Ministry of Magic. Diagon Alley - Gringotts! The Forbidden Forrest. Knockturn Alley. Azkaban. The Chamber of Secrets.
Moving on to Costume Design - you'd think that the school uniforms and Dumbledore were a sure win but... Oh well, there they are again. Category prejudices. All of the winners between 2000 and 2012 have been historical films (and I consider The Lord of the Rings to be historical in this case). Surely, previous eras are a big inspiration with their exotic over-the-top-ness and they offer a lot of room for visual and pleasure. As a (previously dedicated) follower of fashion, or a follower of style, I love historical films for their costumes too. If the movie's bad, at least there are great costumes. But you know, just because you let Keira Knightley look stunning and dutchess-ish in an uncomfortable dress, that doesn't make you very original or innovative. I'm not mocking on costume designers, I respect their work in any movie, because I'm sure they've made an effort.
It's just that I don't understand how costumes that look like they're taken from a 1850's fashion magazine can win one of the most distinguished costume awards in the movie world again and again, when there are so many other films with a very different kind of costume design to choose from. What's wrong with contemporary fashion, huh? No, really, what's wrong with even something post-1900? What the hell is wrong with sci-fi? Or Bollywood? Or Harry Potter???
Do we even have to talk about Original Score? I mean, there's no way that the Harry Potter score didn't win a single fgkuuvkvlzohsalöewrohw-ing award! Brokeback Mountain, Babel - Finding Neverland?! Agreed, they all had a good and emotional soundtrack, but... I don't even have words for my feelings here.
At any rate, I do understand that the series didn't win an award for Best Visual Effects. Although there are a lot of fantastic beasts and a lot of magic in Harry Potter, the realization of these things isn't the biggest strength of the series. Thankfully, everything looks real and in contrary to a certain British tv show you don't have to turn a blind eye to any of the effects, but there's also nothing to brag about. It's just plain, good whatever-you-call-it. Visual Effects, I guess.
The same can be said about Cinematography. Personally, I think it's extremely well-made and the shots of Hogwarts are breathtaking every time, but there are many films that do a lot better in this category. Not that I understand how Avatar could win this.
Moving on to the last Oscar nomination Harry Potter actually received - Makeup. It seems to me that the Academy likes to give this to people that made other people look older, so I guess this already excludes Harry Potter. But wait - there's always Ralph Fiennes looking like, well, something we've never seen before. Anywhere. A mixture of snake and killer. And there's Hagrid. Mad-Eye Moody. But yeah, nothing really qualifies here, does it?
The real big question though, isn't why Harry Potter didn't win any of the - let's face it - insignificant small awards. What we should really be asking is Why the HELL wasn't it nominated for any of the big categories???
It didn't have to win, all right. All we wanted was a nomination.
Director (but no, too many of them).
Best Picture (you kidding, it's an uncategorizable dark-but-optimistic, childrens-teenagers-adults, fantasy-dramedy-adventure movie - you might as well nominate an Indian masala movie then).
Actor (yeah, like we nominate a child actor in a fantasy movie, that's like nominating Disney stars).
Actress (Hermione wasn't that important a character).
Supporting Actor (ahm... well, there are a lot of reasons against... such as... wait a minute...). Supporting Actress (I'm... it's on my tongue... the.... it's because...).
Film Editing (we only give this to modern movies with a lot of cuts).
Sound Editing (what's to edit, there are only real sound effects here I mean... come on).
Sound Mixing (yeah, we only use this category for movies that need some extra awards, like Lincoln).
Of course, Best Adapted Screenplay would be out of the question. Haha, how can I even be considering this? So ridiculous... haha... haha... best adapted screenplay... haha...
Two interesting articles about the Harry Potter Oscar snub: