Has the Harry Potter franchise been snubbed at the Oscars for years?

Yesterday I was talking to someone about the Oscars and she said she’d watched some of the beginning, but that she wasn’t that interested because the only nominated films she’s seen were Harry Potter and The Help. (She also agreed with me that the video entertainment segments Sunday night didn’t make sense.) The thing about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, indeed the thing about the entire Harry Potter film series, is that they’ve never been nominated for Best Picture by the Academy. They’ve only been nominated for technical awards, 12 in total, but they’ve never won anything and people have really noticed.

Despite saying last month that the lack of a Best Picture Oscar nod “didn’t faze” him or his co-workers, star Daniel Radcliffe has said that there’s some “snobbery” in the Academy, that they “don’t like commercial films,” and admitted he was “slightly miffed” that Hugo was nominated in the Best Picture category but that his movie wasn’t. Radcliffe’s comments are toward the end of this article, thanks to MTV:

The only thing “Harry Potter” got during the Oscars ceremony was a joke from host Billy Crystal saying that, despite how much money the series has made in the box office, it’s only had to pay 14 percent in income taxes. It certainly was a poor send-off for one of the most beloved and highest-grossing movie franchises in film history.

The series has never been honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Sunday night’s (February 26) three losses — for art direction, makeup and visual effects — brought the total number of losses to 12 for the eight films.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” lost twice to “Hugo” (a fellow children’s film) and once to “The Iron Lady.” “Harry Potter” leading man Daniel Radcliffe gave his take on the lack of respect for the big-screen adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s franchise in a recent interview.

“There’s a certain amount of snobbery [in the Academy],” Radcliffe said. “It’s kind of disheartening. I never thought I’d care. But it would’ve been nice to have some recognition, just for the hours put in.”

He added, “I don’t think the Oscars like commercial films, or kids’ films, unless they’re directed by Martin Scorsese. I was watching ‘Hugo’ the other day and going, ‘Why was this nominated and we’re not?’ I was slightly miffed.”

The Academy didn’t even offer “Harry Potter” a series achievement award like the BAFTAs did last year. Some “Potter” fans had expected the series to be rewarded by the Academy for its many years of financial and critical acclaim the same way Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy was. Unfortunately, that did not end up being the case.

[From MTV]

I don’t get the politics involved with not awarding Harry Potter with any Oscars. As the article mentions, the Lord of The Rings trilogy did clean up at the Academy Awards and won a total of 17 Oscars over the three films. Some may argue that Lord of The Rings was better than Harry Potter, but it could also be that it was aimed at an older audience. The Academy doesn’t pay a lot of attention to comedies or children’s films. (Although HP definitely got more mature over time.) Also when it comes to Harry Potter, the movies were around for 10 years. It may have just been the case that voters took them for granted. Still, it would have been nice to have seen the series acknowledged in some way. HP was a huge commercial success, but they were also solidly entertaining and incredibly unique films that were hits with critics too. Like LOTR, HP created a whole new world that transported us to another place. I’ll miss it.

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53 Responses to “Has the Harry Potter franchise been snubbed at the Oscars for years?”

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  1. Dibba says:

    Not a fan of HP movies, but I don’t understand either. I don’t know how they pick the nominees. There were a few films I saw this year that I thought should have been nominated and some that were that shouldn’t have been. Not sure how it all works, but I am sure there are alot of politics involved.

  2. Bite me says:

    According to the LA Times majority of academy voters are old white men… Make what u will of that and Hugo was a major flop

  3. Sam says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a Harry Potter fan. More so the books than the films because I honestly don’t see how the films would ever have won an oscar (except for art direction, makeup etc.) The narrative of the films is very poor with people who haven’t read the books struggling to make any sense of what’s happening. The acting isn’t GREAT. The older actors like Rickman etc. are obviously good but they have very little screen time compared to the trio and while they improved over time, there were so many awkward cringe-inducing moments from them in most films. I’ve never come out of a Potter film thinking ‘That will probably get an Oscar.’ The films have done great things for the British film industry, have been fun and I think that’s it. Maybe I’m being harsh but I just don’t think the films are THAT good.

    • hazeldazel says:

      ^Cosign. The films didn’t get Oscars because they just weren’t THAT good. Frankly, the books weren’t that great either. Very nice for children, but not great literature – too many plot holes, too much dependence on deus ex machina, etc.

    • Mourning the Death of Music says:

      I feel the same. There are moments where particular actors (the veteran ones, not one from the trio) deserved at least a nod. But in general, the movies were not Oscar caliber.

  4. Donnica says:

    ITA with Daniel. Although the films were uneven across the series, some were brilliant. I am still annoyed that my main man Alan Rickman didn’t score a Supporting Actor nod. And since the adult cast included several of the best British actors alive, I wonder if the voting actor members were po’d for being excluded from the casting process because they are American.

    • Rachel says:

      Agreed. Alan Rickman more than deserved a nod for his portrayal of Snape. I also feel Maggie Smith deserved a nod. Those two actors evoked more emotion with a single look than many actors manage to do in an entire movie. And yet. No love for HP.

    • taylor says:

      What I can’t get over, is that Alan Rickman has never received an Oscar nomination AT ALL! How does that happen? The man is an amazing actor in literally everything he does. Why does he not have a slew of nominations, let alone awards, from the Oscars?

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        What! Seriously, he’s never even been nominated! That in and of itself is damning evidence that the Academy doesn’t actually reward good acting.

  5. Lini says:

    I think the movies were incredibly snubbed, but there really isn’t one of them that’s worth it as a stand-alone movie. They should’ve gotten some kind of an honorary Oscar for the whole series, in my opinion.

  6. TruthTella says:

    They have been snubbed, Alan Rickman definately deserved a best supporting actor nomination at some point and the series as a whole deserved some recognition. Either way they don’t need an Oscar to be remembered, I’m just so happy that JK Rowling is writing a new adult book! I’ve been waiting too long for a new book from her! 😛

  7. Jill says:

    The films are enjoyable and great fun, but outside of special effects, I don’t see what they deserve an Oscar for.

  8. Kaboom says:

    Compared to LOTR3 which was rather slapdash in cutting costs with the battle for Minas Tirith by way of the ghost army, HP provided a much more consistent level of production value. The only good argument I could give for it not having received a best picture nomination is the split into two parts.

  9. missfit says:

    THANK YOU for this article! I have been thinking the same thing for years! It’s getting to the point that the Oscars are becoming a joke…

  10. Delta Juliet says:

    I have often disagreed with the Oscars over the years so I was not really surprised that they have been been snubbed. I (and my family) absolutely LOVE the HP films and would have been thrilled if they had won (or even been nominated more), but like many have said, the Academy is very out-of-touch with modern movie audiences, so….

  11. kay says:

    Well, I may be in the minority, but the films were terrible.
    The visual effects of the magic were good, but the acting, the over acting I mean, was terrible.
    LOTR was stunning- the acting was sound, the effects were fabulous. HP was ok, but just ok.

  12. birdie says:

    Yup, I agree with this article. They made great entertainment for freaking ten years. The movies were unique and everyone involved did such an amazing job to create the Harry Potter world. They DESERVED recognition from the academy! It is a shame, but millions of people around the world cherish the movies and see them as what they are: Masterpieces!

  13. Julie says:

    not a fan but this is a huge franchise with very liked movies.

    the acting isnt real oscar worthy but why no technical oscars at all?

    what i find so great is that the cast literally grew up not only with the movies but also IN the movies.

    i would have liked a special honorary oscar for HP.

  14. Sisi says:

    the films individually weren’t the best in their years, but now looking back it’s like the entire franchise never existed in the history of the Academy. That is wrong.

    Looking at the make-up, the costumes, the sets & cinematography for instance these films were huge and showed incredible quality and craftsmanship, some of the Potter movies and the hard workers behind the scenes certainly deserved recognition for that. From that p.o.v. the Harry Potter films weren’t lesser films than any other Oscar contenders.

    • Heather says:

      Right. The Iron Lady won best makeup…seriously? They just made Meryl Streep look like a slightly paler version of herself. HP turned men into trolls. I can’t believe HP didn’t win any of the awards as you mentioned.

  15. Mr. StinkyFishFace says:

    They very much have. Alan Rickman, especially in the past three HP films deserved a Supporting Actor nod. But its old white men who really don’t care what anyone things. I’m all about using The Oscars to expose myself to new things, but when a movie that had TWO spoken words wins Best Picture…eh I’ll pass.

    • LAK says:

      Movies are more than spoken words. To write off a film because it was silent is really showing YOUR limitations.

      example : BELLEVILLE RENDEZ VOUS or in english THE SISTERS OF BELLEVILLE which came out 2003 – a film about a grandmother looking for her kidnapped grandson.

      or many pixar shorts or disney cartoons like FANTASIA that have no words but manage to tell a story and convey emotion.

      or a wide variety of Korean/Japanese/Hong Kong films where there is barely any dialogue and am not talking about Karate films

      In this hollywood age, it shows the skill of THE ARTIST’s entire production that a story can be told without words, and for that story to be enjoyable.

      Think about all the ‘talkies’. If you stripped away the spoken word, does the film still hold up?

      • LAK says:

        EDIT: ACtually, since words are so important to you, may i recommend Derek Jarman’s BLUE [1993]. A film that is only words, but no visuals.

      • NM6804 says:

        Wall-E the robot who doesn’t speak but who has more emotion than the humans. I felt more for that character than the humans (which was the film’s message amongst many).

      • Nance says:

        I don’t care about the Harry movies, but The Artist sucks ass when you compare it to good silent movies like The Passion of Joan Arc, Sunrise, Metropolis or even newer film like Guy Maddin’s Dracula… The Artist is too cute, too clean for my taste.

    • LAK says:

      @NM6804, and @Nance – Thank you. Those are great silent films. However, for modern audiences including poster @Mr. StinkyFishFace, apparently they are duds because THEY DO NOT HAVE SPOKEN WORD and therefore not worth their time! *shakes head*

  16. HME says:

    Yup, they got totally snubbed. I mean they lost make-up to THE IRON LADY for the love of god.

    • Maria says:

      I made a comment about this too but it somehow did not get published.

      I completely agree. Say what you want about The Iron Lady but the make up in HP is far superior and more complex than what the Iron Lady has to deal with. One Oscar would have at least recognised the effort put into HP series.

  17. Malika says:

    I love the films and i find it very unfair. Not that the acting was superb but at least Ralph Fiennes deserved some recognition for his work! He was brilliant!

    I’m ashamed for the academy.

  18. msshuffleupagus says:

    Honestly, this whole award season I’ve just been repeating over and over “Really, Hugo was better than HP and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Really. Really. And War Horse. War Horse is better. Really.”

    The worst part to me was that they ONLY picked 9 instead of 10 for best picture. It was such a slap in the face! Those old bastards only like The last Lord of The Rings more because they could fall asleep in one of the 17 end sequences.

    Alan. Rickman. Deserved. A. Nod.

  19. Zozo says:

    Really? I am not surprised Hugo was nominated, I have yet to see the film but I have heard good things. Also its directed by one of the greatest living directors of our time….so….
    But I really do think HP should have received more recognition, especially the last one they really worked hard to make it academy worthy. Also Alan Rickman should have gotten a nod.

  20. Valerie says:

    I still think that Alan Rickman deserved a Best Supporting Actor nod for the last movie. For all of them, really. He was wonderful – much better than some of the other nominees, I thought.

    I always imagined that they’d be raking in the screenplay awards as well…

  21. Delta Juliet says:

    I stated my heartbreak above but I do want to add….even if you think the acting stunk, the make-up, costumes, sets, and special effects were a.m.a.z.i.n.g Even if no actors were nominated (although I agree, Alan Rickman desereved something) I would have thought there would have been more technical nods.
    Oh well, enough of my HP heartbreak 😉

  22. kiko says:

    i love the hp movies but an oscar nomination for best film?no i don’t think so..lets face it the acting from the young stars was mediocre so was the directing.unless you have read the books there was no way to get exactly what was going on.lord of the rings was far more superior and amazing.as for the snobbery pleaassseee!movies 10 times better from hp have been ignored from the academy for years.thats life get over it Dan.

  23. SFRowGuy says:

    Of course it has been. Because the series was popular before the critics told people they should like the movies or go see them.

  24. Molly says:

    Don’t get me wrong – Harry Potter is my favorite BOOK series ever, since I was seven. I love them, and can read them again and again and again. The movies, on the other hand, I cannot watch more than once. They’re simply pale imitations that lack life and that I only had to watch because I was obligated to. To me, they do not deserve the hype they’ve received and completely deserve the snub from the Oscars.

  25. I Choose Me says:

    Whaaaaat?! Alan Rickman has never been nominated? Wow, between that and this being Gary Oldman’s first nomination, I am more convinced than ever that the Academy’s one big popularity contest.

  26. Sarah says:

    Totally agree with him about the snobbery thing. It’s like when Fellowship of the Ring lost to A Beautiful Mind, the Academy loves pretentious films *cough*The Artist*cough*.

  27. kibbles says:

    I absolutely agree with Daniel. Many Oscar wins don’t make any sense and much of it is based on snobbery, connections, and campaigning. Sad to see so many undeserved winners throughout the years while many talented actors and good films are ignored. Even Bridesmaids was recognized for crying out loud. The Harry Potter franchise was much better than Bridesmaids. The child actors in HP weren’t good enough for an Oscar but I definitely think the older actors such as Alan Rickman deserved recognition by the Academy.

  28. Shoe_lover says:

    I thought it was ironic in that during the ceremony everyone was harping on about how important movies were and blah blah (subtext was obviously- stop downloading and get your butts in the cinema) that a franchise that has succeeded in getting people into the cinema and has made billions of dollars for the movie industry was snubbed. There should have been a special Oscar presented to them for the series as a whole.

    Oh and Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith should be nominated for everything

  29. benny says:

    The Harry Potter movies are like McDonalds – popular, but the quality is lacking. The acting, writing, special effects (considering the budget) SHOULD be better, but it’s not. It entertains people, that’s true. But it’s not any kind of outstanding achievement.

  30. Rachael says:

    I think this series has been completely snubbed. The last two movies in the series (Deathly Hallows 1 & 2) were awesome, and while I think there have been a couple stinkers in the bunch (or at least a couple not-as-good ones), there have been at least 3 or 4 of the movies in the HP series that should have been nominated for Oscars. This year especially, with the final film, to not nominate it ANY of the non-technical categories!?

    LOTR part 3 was NOT that good IMO (I liked the LOTR films but I liked part 3 the least out of all the films) and that sh*t won Best Picture didn’t it?? For HP to not even be NOMINATED makes no sense. Total snub.

  31. Jane says:

    It annoys me to no end that HP hasn’t ever won or been nominated for Best Picture or an Actor/Actress award. I cannot stand to spend too much time even thinking about it.

  32. Till date, the Academy’s biggest mistake was snobbing Scarface. That was the one movie Al Pacino shone. The Academy isn’t really my cup of tea anymore. They snob the actors comedies, action and fantasy then award those in mostly downright boring movies like Monster’s Ball. Half of the time in that movie all i kept seeing was Billy’s malnourished frame on top, behind and beside Halle’s naked body with her screaming ‘make me feel good’

  33. PS: even if the other Happy Porter movies weren’t their cup of tea, Goblet of Fire deserved awards for special effects. They pushed the limits with that film technologically-wise.

  34. EJV says:

    I completely agree with the Academy snubs as of late and in the past. The HP franchise should be recognized.

    Take a look at Alfred Hitchcock’s career…amazingly popular movies,brilliant films,they covered an array of topics and controversial subjects, his career spanned 60 years and UNDOUBTEDLY helped shape and influence modern cinema …he received ONE Oscar for Best Picture for Rebecca, which went to the producer, not Hitch, and In 1967, he was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for lifetime achievement.He never won an Oscar for Best Director.

    Another children’s film overlooked was The Adventures of Tin Tin. Great acting,story, animation, and music.

  35. sm255 says:

    Why SHOULD the movies get an Oscar nomination? They weren’t even all that good.

    Also, from what I recalled, the Oscars show was an AMERICAN ceremony, not a British one – so in a way, it makes sense.

    • Kate #2 says:

      They’re a Warner Bros franchise. They’re only made in this country. It’s like saying the Lord of the Rings is a New Zealand movie series.

      I think the special effects deserved a nod, though the movies themselves weren’t inspiring IMO, no. I don’t know why they didn’t get that recognition either.

      • Mourning the Death of Music says:

        I’m not sure which “this country” you’re referring to, but the Harry Potter movies were filmed in the UK.

  36. SFRowGuy says:

    Critics and the Oscar Committee aren’t infallible. Little Miss Sunshine. I rest my case.