Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Potter Watch (16 of 77): "Deathly Hallows" Surprise Oscar Contender?

Currently, there is quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding this year's Oscar race. The Black Swan trailer came out yesterday, and there's already talk that this could catapult Natalie Portman into the top of the Best Actress race, but that it isn't quite Best Picture material. There's still a lot of people questioning whether or not Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life will be released this year or not, and I'm in strong belief that it won't. Same goes for Peter Weir's The Way Back, which hasn't had a lot of buzz going for it. So I have a strong belief that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 has a huge chance at one of those spots.

When the trailer for the two-part finale came out, people devoted two hours of their day to continuously watching it (or at least I did). There hasn't been an overtly bad film in this franchise to date, but there have been a few disappointing ones (Chamber of Secrets, Order of the Phoenix). Now that we know basic subject matter of the first part, it seems less like the first half of a film, and sounds like an entire adventure. The film is definitely going to be up for some technical credits, including Original Score (Alexandre Desplat), Visual Effects, and Cinematography (Eduardo Serra), but why not go further?

Last year, David Yates proved himself to be an accomplished director with Half-Blood Prince. We have roughly the same creative team as last time, but with a lot more events happening in this installment. Recently, Daniel Radcliffe has said that the first part is mostly a character study on our trio, and that's usually what the Academy goes for. A more personal piece with plenty of action in it does sound a lot like another recent big-budget Oscar contender, Inception. So I'd say this film has as much a chance as most of the other films being released in the latter part of the year at the big three races: Picture, Director, and Screenplay.

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