Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 is the talk of Hollywood right now. But will Oscar voters remember it in six months when they’re filling out their nomination ballots? The seven previous Potter films earned a total of only nine Oscar nods — four fewer than the first Lord of the Rings movie scored all on its own. My hunch is that’s because in the eyes of the Academy, Potter has mostly been seen as a kids’ franchise. But that could certainly change with the final film, which has earned fantastic reviews. It had its official Academy screening yesterday, and one voter who was in attendance tells me, “They loved it, as did I. Almost everyone stayed until the end of the credits. I do think it has a shot. How high on the ballot will depend on what else is out there, but it’s a really good movie.” How high are the operative words here — the Academy’s new rules dictate that a film must receive five percent of the overall No. 1 votes in order to qualify for a Best Picture nod. The cast does boast seven previous acting winners or nominees, and although Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes were impressive as always, I’m not sure either one has that undeniable “Oscar scene” here. While nominations for visual effects and art direction seem likely, in the Best Picture race, it may be tough for Deathly Hallows to compete with the onslaught of Oscar bait coming at the end of the year. But if there ever was a Potter film that could make the cut, it’s this one.
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