Is it true that the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 filmmakers want an Best Picture Oscar for their last film? Will they get one?
—Alice M., via the inbox
You want me to peer into minds of the Dementors at the Academy? I'll pass; I prefer that my brain remain in solid form. I can say this: Yes, someone behind the Potter franchise wants a little gold house elf for Deathly Hallows Part 2 and has withdrawn quite a stash from Gringott's to make it happen. But is the flick even worthy?
For the record, this was not the greatest Potter film by a long shot. It was clearly half a movie, and, with its inside-Quidditch references and nearly nonexistent effort to do much more than transcribe the novel, it was clearly aimed only at fans, not the casual moviegoer. Critics said they liked it. Critics were also terrified at pissing off most of America.
Still, making a silly film has never stopped the Academy from bestowing its highest honor.
And certain other factors definitely work DH2's favor:
1. The Academy now considers up to 10 Best Picture nominations. Last year, that list included a mix of nervy indie fare (Winter's Bone), family schmaltz (Toy Story 3) and British Matters of Importance (The King's Speech.) If Potter can't nail one of those spots, then my goodness, there are no wizards in heaven. "It would be a scandal if it didn't make it into the Best Picture nominations," confirms Paul Levinson a professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University.
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won Best Picture. Why does that matter? Because before 2003, industry snobs generally considere such pictures as mere "genre" fare—lightweight fantasy or sci-fi type stories that lacked the heft of English Affairs of Note. But now we're living in a post LOTR world; genre pictures can be Best Pictures.
3. The Oscars are, at the end of the day, a TV show. And all TV shows care about are ratings. If the Academy wants those ratings next year, it will put DH2 in the race when it announces its nominations in January.
Still, does all that add up to a win? Especially given a strong lineup of potential winners including The Artist and Midnight in Paris?
"I personally would like to see Harry Potter win an Oscar for Best Picture or Actors," says Rob Weiner, popular culture and film historian Texas Tech University. "I doubt it will happen, but it would be nice."
A whole Oscar for half a movie? This B!tch personally hopes not.