Zero Oscars for the Harry Potter Franchise: Are the Academy Awards Biased?
Since its debut in 2001, the Harry Potter franchise has raked in billions of dollars and launched its child stars to international superstardom. The eighth and final film in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, was one of the most universally lauded movies of the year. Despite all its success, there's one accolade Harry Potter never managed to conjure up: An Oscar.
The series was never nominated for any of the big awards, like acting, directing, or best film. Although it would be hard for even the most ardent fan to rationally argue that the series' earlier, lighter, and often flawed installments really deserved artistic nominations (though that never stopped anyone), the exclusion of Deathly Hallows (parts 1 and 2) can rightfully be called a snub. The expansion of the Best Picture category to include up to 10 films was intended to make the Oscars more inclusive, and, other than the Academy, who really thought that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close — both a critical and commercial flop — was more deserving of a nomination than Deathly Hallows: Part 2?
Even more notable after the 2012 Oscars, though, is that the series has never earned any of the technical awards, such as visual effects (Deathly Hallows: Part 2 lost to Hugo). These are usually the categories in which big-budget blockbusters find a home at the Academy Awards, but Harry Potter never had its day in the sun.
This has left some people wondering: Is the Academy biased against the Harry Potter series because it's so mainstream? Daniel Radcliff certainly thinks so, and it does seem a little ridiculous that Potter was never acknowledged (beyond a nomination) by the Academy, especially once the films started getting grittier. We understand that the Oscars aren't about rewarding the movies that make the most money — and they shouldn't be — but big-budget doesn't have to mean bad. Harry Potter managed to bridge that gap as the series went on. Couldn't the voters have spared one technical award as a nod to the series' cultural importance and technical beauty?
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