As a movie enthusiast and an Oscar Party hostess for the last 20 years, it is my humble opinion that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” should get an Oscar nod. My fingers are crossed for it.
While I usually prefer book to film, the cinematic experience of seeing this novel come to life was phenomenal. Viewing “Harry Potter” in the theatre last summer—first, not in 3D, and then a second time in 3D—was an absolute thrill. The way Hogwarts came to life, the dueling between Harry and Voldemort, the burning and destruction of the school, Snape’s murder, and Harry having a conversation with Dumbledore in Heaven (or not Heaven, but someplace “white”), riveted audiences. I came home and called my mother, a film buff and connoisseur.
“That was one of the best movie-going experiences I’ve had,” I told her.
And I meant it.
From the second I sat in my seat, I was on the edge of it. It was nail-biting, heart-racing good fun. The blend of humor and catastrophe, darkness and light, good and evil, and love and hate made for excellent entertainment.
Hollywood prefers the “artistic” film as compared to one that grossed more than $2 billion in the United States. Artistic films are important and I like a good artistic film just as much as the next person. I thoroughly enjoyed “Midnight in Paris,” and although I found it charming and creative, it’s tough to compare a sweet film like that to “Harry Potter.” Nevertheless, there is something quite remarkable not only about the final installment of “Harry Potter,” but all the films that make up the “Harry Potter” series. His character’s story is one that will live on in the hearts of many for numerous years to come.
The Academy doesn’t like to reward fantasy-fiction, but it made an exception a few years ago when “Lord of the Rings” took home a statue for Best Picture for “The Return of the King.” And yet I fear that our main man, Potter, will be ignored.
Let’s hope not. Let’s hope instead that the Academy remembers why we go to the movies and shell out money to see a film in the first place. We go because it’s escapism; we want to get away; we want to be entertained. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” takes us to a world that film engineers, craftsman, and special effects folks worked hard to create for our pleasure. I was swept into it and almost forgot I was a regular person with bills to pay and papers to grade during the 130 minutes I sat there, barely swallowing.
George Clooney is the apparent Hollywood darling right now, but in the minds of small kids and big kids alike, Harry Potter will endure, and the Academy should be prepared to acknowledge just how much we treasure Mr. Potter, his friends, and his undeniable, long-term appeal.