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Harry Potter and the curse of the Oscars

July 31, 2008 | 11:09 am

OK, OK, it's great to go wild about Harry again with the release of the new trailer for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," but beware, kudos nuts. Harry Potter can shake his magic wand over and over, but it fails to enchant Oscar voters.

Turns out, in fact, that Harry Potter is the new Susan Lucci of the Oscars. Since 2001, his five films have netted six nominations and no wins.


"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002) and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007) weren't nominated for anything! The only Oscar bid cooked up by "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (2005) was for art direction (it lost to "Memoirs of a Geisha"). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2004) did slightly better, nabbing noms for music score and visual effects. It lost to, respectively, "Finding Neverland" and "Spider-Man 2."

It was the first wizard flick that did the best. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001) reaped three nominations: art direction, costumes and music score. It lost to, respectively, "Moulin Rouge!" "Moulin Rouge!" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."

However, Harry Potter has had the magic touch at the Grammys where two of Jim Dale's recordings won best children's spoken word album: "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (2000) and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" (2007).

By the way, when you view the new trailer for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," don't be upset that it doesn't include more of your fave characters.

"It’s only a teaser, just to get people excited," Rupert Grint told MTV News.

The MTV report continues: "Ron Weasley nearly dies after he drinks Professor Slughorn’s poisoned mead, a gift the professor was meant to pass on to Dumbledore, in an assassination attempt gone horribly wrong. Ron had already been poisoned in one sense — 'He gets poisoned quite a bit in this film,' Grint laughed — because he ate Romilda Vane's chocolate cauldrons (also meant for someone else, this time Harry) which were spiked with love potion. Harry rushes his friend off to the potions professor for a quick fix, only Ron goes from a bad predicament to a lethal one in mere moments. 'That was a really fun scene,' Grint said."

(Photos: Listening Library)

The comments to this entry are closed.


slughorn deserves an oscar nomination fot the half blood prince anything less is an out rage

OK. I just have to put my two cents worth in here. Yes, I am a huge Harry Potter fan and have read all the books, seen all the movies and have all the DVDs of said movies. And winning or being nominated for an Oscar is a big honor. I do agree with that. But it's not always a sign of the best performance or movie. I am, of course, recounting some past winners of Oscars. I don't mean to be disparaging, but did anyone really believe Marisa Tomei gave the best performance when she won a Supporting Actress Oscar for 'My Cousin Vinny'? Or how about 'Shakespeare in Love' winning Best Picture over 'Saving Private Ryan'? Although Shakespeare was a good movie, that year the winner should have been SPR but the Weinstein brothers know how to launch a campaign and they got the industry voters to pick their movie over a far more superior movie that year. And let's not forget (even though she is a very good actress) Nicole Kidman winning a Best Actress Oscar for a role that was more a supporting role than a leading role in 'The Hours.' I felt that she was given the award not because she necessarily gave the best performance that year but because a lot of people were upset she didn't win the year before for 'Moulin Rouge.' Sometimes I question the nominees and winners of the Oscars, especially when it seems the winner doesn't reallyl deserve it because even though they gave a good performance it wasn't necessarily the best one. I agree that with this sixth movie Alan Rickman should probably be recognized, as well as maybe Michael Gambon and definitely Ralph Fiennes. Ralph has taken Voldemort and truly embodied him and given us a scary villain. Incidently, Voldemort was recently named the Best Villain ever and a good part of that is due to his performance in the last two movies. And I have to agree with a possible nom to Daniel Radcliffe in the next couple of movies. If you watch through the years, he has really come into his own as an actor. His performance on stage in 'Equus' in London's West End had critics buzzing about his talent, which is beyond that of Harry Potter. He has improved his performance with each movie and I imagine with these next ones he will only get better. It would be nice to have some acting or even directing nods for the series but I agree that just because a film or actor or actress gets an Oscar nom or statue doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot. It would be nice but what's more important is that a good film is made and that the people agree with it by going to the movie. It does really come down to the box office. A large box office means the fans are happy and are seeing the movie again and again, despite the price of movie tickets today. If a movie is good enough that the fans pay the price to see it more than once than that shows how much of a winner the movie really is.

It doesn't matter about Oscars or this award or that award. Though these young actors deserve any they receive. What matters is that when you go to a movie it entertains you and leaves you wanting more. These movies are entertaining without the use of vulgar language, nudity etc.. And I am on "pins & needles" waiting for the other movies to come out. I only hope I live long enough to see them. As I am 60 years old!!!

I am afraid that this article seems to be insinuating quite a lot of negativity towards the films who have so far been one of the highest grossing franchises in recent times. Yes, the Oscars are a huge deal as they are an award which signifies true effort and in turn true talent - but who needs a tiny golden man to tell them that they're talented? The Harry Potter films have grossed even more money than the Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings and with growing interest in the books, gross revenues for the franchise can only grow and grow and grow. Let's face the facts - critics and judges alike are only just a few people of an entire population of viewers. It is the bigger section which decides whether a film is successful and every single Harry Potter film has been deemed successful due to the large figures they produce at the box office. I too have watched the new teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and have seen no mention of anyone saying that they have just wittnessed Oscar-worthy material. However, what I see is an entertaining, bright and spellbinding visual experience just waiting to unravel itself and become successful like its beloved predecessors.
Yes I agree to a certain extent the first two Harry Potter films were childish and needed a little maturity for a franchise which included such dark and such adult content. Columbus was the wrong choice - but nonetheless he put his best foot forward and created films which were enjoyable and noteworthy for the Harry Potter fans. True they were not Oscar-worthy material - but a film does not need an Oscar in order to be deemed good or watchable. The third affair, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban remains to be the strongest contender out of all five that have released so far. It was enjoyable, artistic, entertaining and funny - with every mood expertly captured by director Alfonso Cuaron. Mike Newell's Goblet of Fire was a fair entry - but a dissappointment in front of the hysteria Cuaron had created. It was just too much of a popcorn entertainer and seemed to focus more on the teenage dramas than the actual drama injected into the book. The Order of the Phoenix is underrated due to its weak story. Many literary critics today state that the Order of the Phoenix is the weakest book and I agree for what could've been told in 300 pages was told in 770 instead. Because of the feeble storyline, Yates was unable to put across his true potential as a director as he had very little to work with - but the very few action packed sequences within the film show that Yates is a fantasy director to watch, The fight in the ministry, the fireworks, the beautiful sight of the witches and wizards flying through the many sky scrapers of London are truly mesmerising. I have seen an improvement in Special Effects as the films go on and since director David Yates has a lot to play with this time around - one can see a true autumn blockbuster appearing just under the wraps. Seeing Ron's lifeless body flickering before the firelight and Harry darting frantically through the fields are two impeccably handled sequences. The point I am trying to put across is, whether a film wins an Oscar or not, what counts is its box office fate and whether people like it or not.

Tom O'Neil, you are a journalist, are you not? Then what is this article? I do not see a real assertion made in this little written-in-five-minutes ditty. Are you trying to say that because previous Harry Potter films never garnered Oscar nominations for anything besides special effects and other techie sort of categories, that nobody should be jumping the gun thinking it will get more nominations this time around for Half-Blood Prince? I certainly haven't seen any posts on the internet from people claiming, because of the new trailer, they see awards-worthy material. So where did this article come from? You seem to bring up some point about Harry Potter and the Oscars and finish off with comments from Rupert Grint? What are you getting at?

As a Harry Potter fan myself, I can say that the first two films were rubbish kiddie flicks from Columbus, the best director out there if you want watered down intensity. Prisoner of Azkaban from Alfonso Cuaron remains the best installment and the most worthy of any sort of recommendations of any kind. Goblet of Fire was a decent entry, as was Order of the Phoenix, but let's be honest - Newell turned Goblet of Fire into a popcorn entertainment flick and lessened its drama considerably. Order of the Phoenix was underrated by many, but also had its own little problems, including a fast-forward ending that should have been lengthened some to capitalize on the dramatic story. As for Half-Blood Prince, anyone knows this was Rowling's most tightly crafted and most surprising story. And, when translating the story to film, has the advantage of forefronting one of the best and most praised actors in the films: Alan Rickman. The ending is enough to warrant consideration, and it is guaranteed that if handled correctly, and David Yates seems to be doing some good things, then Deathly Hallows could quite possibly make its on push for award consideration ... beyond special effects. If The Dark Knight is about to open more doors for well-crafted genre pictures to get recognized, then a well-acted and well-crafted final few Harry Potter films should also be considered, if they are actually worthy. And one should not doubt the potential for a Harry Potter film to have that potential. It's that sort of doubt which holds back good actors and films from getting just rewards. Example: The current doubt that people would have as much critical interest in Heath Ledger's acting as Joker if he were alive now. People, of course the intense interest in his acting as Joker has solid foundation: Would one say he doesn't deserve a nomination when Mark Wahlberg received one for The Departed on the basis of being able to spit out good writing? Heath Ledger deserves - at least - a posthumous Oscar nomination because he is better than many that have been nominated before him, and nobody should have doubts that it's just overcooked media speculation. It's not. And that carries to Harry Potter - don't go thinking that just because it has the stigma of "child origins" that it can't actually be something really good. Remember, the Coens won Best Director last year. Should they have been punished for having done The Ladykillers? No. So no punishing these genre films any longer. Let them get recognition ... assuming it is deserved. The Dark Knight deserves a Best Pic nom, and we'll see in November what Half-Blood Prince deserves. At least Alan Rickman may have a nice campaign. We can expect that much.

if scriptwriters will write very good i'm sure alan rickman,fiennes and daniel radcliffe could be nom for final movies.but i don't think they write good script.

I don't watch the oscars. It's a bunch of BS.

Oscars arn't everything. Box office figures tell us how popular movies are. Who actually cares what wins oscars? I don't. The last I heard of the Oscars was a discussion of what the celebrities were wearing...sad really.



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