Why doesn’t Harry Potter have the magic touch at the Oscars?

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The ‘Harry Potter’ film franchise is the most successful in history, netting more than $2 billion in the U.S., but, strangely, it hasn’t hit the jackpot at the Oscars. The first seven installments reaped a total of just nine nominations. All of them were in the less glamorous technical categories like art direction, costume design, visual effects, cinematography and original score. None won.

Why do voters continue to shun these movies? Just a few years ago the most successful film franchise in Hollywood history was a string of fantasy films, based upon beloved books, that were packed with wizards and monsters too: ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ The first two installments were nominated for best picture and the last one, ‘Return of the King,’ won the top prize -– plus 10 more, thus tying the record for most Academy Awards in one year set by ‘Titanic’ and ‘Ben-Hur.’


‘Deathly Hallows, Part 2’ is the final installment of the ‘Harry Potter’ series and it’s reaping fantastic reviews from critics (97% at Rotten Tomatoes). Does it have a prayer of winning best picture?

Nope. And it probably won’t be nominated. The reason: ‘Harry Potter’ is perceived as kids’ stuff and Oscar voters are old pretentious snobs. At best, it’ll receive nominations in those tech races again.

At the very least, the Academy Board of Governors might consider presenting its honorary Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to David Heyman as one of the top producers in the prime of a career. Not really seen as a lifetime achievement award, it has previously been given to such crowd-pleasing past recipients as George Lucas, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli and Alfred Hitchcock.


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-- Tom O’Neil