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THE HARRY POTTER OSCARS

(Presented by Mugglenet.com)

So here’s what’s bringing me back to my WordPress blog after so long…

THE HARRY POTTER OSCARS, YA’LL!!

Mugglenet.com, the preeminent fan website for all things Harry Potter, has recently decided to conduct a fun Academy Award style award “show.” Now, of course there is no visual aspect to these awards, the results will merely be posted on Mugglenet on February 24th, 2013. But once I opened the ballot (no need to be a member of the Academy for this one!) I realized just how thoughtful it was, especially considering it’s a glorified fan poll. There are a SHTON (I just made up a new word ya’ll, holla!) of categories, some traditional and some specific to the fandom.

(Oh look, “fandom” isn’t a dictionary recognized word… get on it for 2014 Merriam Webster!)

Because there’s nothing better than picking apart every single category, Entertainment Weekly style, here are my picks for EVERY SINGLE category with what will hopefully not be completely over-complicated explanations.

LET’S DO THIS (my vote is denoted in BOLD)

Best Actor Over 30

  • Jason Issaacs
  • Alan Rickman
  • Gary Oldman
  • Ralph Fiennes
  • Richard Harris

Alan Rickman is probably the obvious choice as he’s navigated a delicate (and redemptive) character arc over 8 films (not to mention he is ACTUALLY a world class actor), but I’m going to go with Richard Harris because very few actors in these films managed to evoke exactly what was in my head reading the books, and in the best possible way at that.

Best Actress Over 30

  • Helena Bonham-Carter
  • Julie Walters
  • Emma Thompson
  • Imelda Staunton
  • Maggie Smith

I almost voted for Julie Walters for her portrayal as pretty much the best mother ever that anybody could ever want (no matter how over-bearing and shrill she can be). But I had to go with Maggie Smith because she not only worked on the films through cancer treatment (in her 70s), but she played Professor McGonagall with unflinching consistent BAMF-ness. Was anyone REALLY that surprised when she magically brought the Hogwarts suits of armor to life in Deathly Hallows Part 2?

Best Actor Under 30

  • Rupert Grint
  • Tom Felton
  • Oliver Phelps
  • James Phelps
  • Matthew Lewis
  • Daniel Radcliffe

This was a no-brainer. The competition was NOT fierce. Sorry Ron. And Tom. And Matt.

Best Actress Under 30

  • Evanna Lynch
  • Natalia Tena
  • Jessie Cave
  • Bonnie Wright
  • Emma Watson

Again, a no-brainer. Evanna Lynch might be Emma Watson’s toughest competitor in this category (lord knows Bonnie Wright was given a nomination out of pity), but there’s really no beating the member of the trio with the most X’s in her chromosomes (see what I did there? SCIENCE JOKE! …… ).

Best Hair

  • Jason Isaacs
  • Alan Rickman
  • Emma Thompson
  • Emma Watson
  • Helena Bonham-Carter

This was a slightly more difficult category because there are so many sub-categories to consider. Helena Bonham-Carter and Emma Thompson would fall under the “crazy hair people” category (or “crazy people hair” depending on your perspective), while Emma Watson and Alan Rickman would go in the “neater and cleaner than as described in the books” category. So I’ve got to go with Jason Isaacs for his luscious golden locks (No pun intended… who am I kidding. PUN ENTIRELY INTENDED).

Best Visual F/X (all films nominated)

  • Goblet of Fire

Mostly because of the variety of F/X that were created for all three tasks, especially the underwater sequence.

Best Adapted Screenplay (all films nominated)

  • Chamber of Secrets

This was a really difficult category because I’d say in general all the films were adapted just as closely to and far-ly from their respective books. Perhaps because it had the advantage of being the second shortest book of the series I had to go with Chamber of Secrets. It hit all the plot points I wanted it to whilst still feeling fluid and connected as a whole.

Best Composer

  • John Williams – Sorcerer’s Stone
  • John Williams – Chamber of Secrets
  • John Williams – Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Patrick Doyle – Goblet of Fire
  • Nicholas Hooper – Order of the Phoenix
  • Nicholas Hooper – The Half Blood Prince
  • Alexandre Desplat – Deathly Hallows Part 1
  • Alexandre Desplat – Deathly Hallows Part 2

Another EXTREMELY difficult category. My first thought was that I must go with John Williams because he created multiple recognizable themes that were used throughout the series (and he’s like super awesome and incredible at what he does). Then I thought about the Goblet of Fire soundtrack which, while it’s my least favorite movie, definitely has the most bombastic soundtrack of any of the films. It’s just plain fun. But at the end of the day I had to go with the score that really moved me, physically and emotionally, and that was Alexandre Desplat’s score for Deathly Hallows Part 1. The sequence in which Snape is… apparating on the wind? Is that what you’d call it? …toward Malfoy Manor just made me tremble in my seat and giddily dread the drama to come.

Best Director

  • Chris Colombus – Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Chris Colombus – Chamber of Secrets
  • Alfonso Cuaron – Prisoner of Azakaban
  • Mike Newell – Goblet of Fire
  • David Yates – Order of the Phoenix
  • David Yates – The Half Blood Prince
  • David Yates – Deathly Hallows Part 1
  • David Yates – Deathly Hallows Part 2

There are many potential qualifications for choosing the best Harry Potter director. If you’re going for someone with visionary flavor, go with Alfonso Cuaron. If you want more British authenticity, go with Mike Newell. But if you’re going for faithfulness to the spirit of the books, you can easily narrow it down to Chris Colombus and David Yates. The coup de gras is going to have to be that David got to make 4 films instead of 2, creating an equally faithful but ultimately longer lasting (and more mature) vision.

Best Film Overall (all films nominated)

  • Deathly Hallows Part 1

Many people will disagree with this choice, but please refer to the Best Director category for my explanation on why I chose this film as the best overall.

Best Pet In A Leading Role

  • Fang
  • Scabbers
  • Crookshanks
  • Errol
  • Hedwig

So many good options! Fang & Errol! The most loyal of them all, no matter their shortcomings. Scabbers was actually evil so that’s working against him. Crookshanks was a bit too independent to be really loveable. Besides, Hedwig sacrificed herself for Harry, and that is the only time in Deathly Hallows Parts 1 or 2 that I cried (ok, ok, I cried when Harry was saying goodbye to Ron & Hermione too).

Best Actor In A Hero Role

  • Alan Rickman
  • Emma Watson
  • Maggie Smith
  • Matthew Lewis
  • Daniel Radcliffe

Dan or Alan are the obvious choices here, but I can’t help but choose girl power and go with Hermione. As Hermione on The BAMF Girls Club on youtube says, “Try getting petrified by a f******  basilisk.” Slightly more rationally, she says, “Harry, Ron and I have a democracy. Mmhmm. It’s called ‘Hermione Always Saves The Day.’ And that she’s smart. Vote for me.” I can’t argue with that.

Best Actor In A Villain Role

  • Jason Isaacs
  • Ralph Fiennes
  • Helena Bonham-Carter
  • Imelda Staunton
  • Alan Rickman

Undoubtedly I have chosen the darkest of dark horses in this particular category, but Ralph Fiennes is predictable. Helena Bonham-Carter and Imelda Staunton are middle of the pack and Alan Rickman is also nominated for best hero, so I’m like, pick a side, dude. Jason Isaacs was always a bad guy, no matter what. Even when he was a spineless fool in Voldemort’s presence.

Best Actor In A Non-Human Role

  • Toby Jones – Voice of Dobby the House Elf
  • John Cleese – Nearly Headless Nick
  • Leslie Phillips – Voice of The Sorting Hat
  • Shirley Henderson – Moaning Myrtle
  • Warwick Davis – Griphook

When Dobby died, right? No comparison.

Best Supporting Student

  • Devon Murry – Seamus Finnigan
  • Sean Biggerstaff – Oliver Wood
  • Robert Pattinson – Cedric Diggory
  • Freddie Stroma – Cormac McLaggen
  • Jessie Cave – Lavender Brown

My vote in this category goes to the student who was in the most films, more specifically, all 8 films – Devon Murray. Though, why Katie Leung’s Cho Chang wasn’t nominated in this category, I’m not sure.

Best Guest Performer

  • Jim Broadbent – Horace Slughorn
  • Miranda Richardson – Rita Skeeter
  • Christan Coulson – Tom Riddle (Chamber of Secrets)
  • David Tennant – Barty Crouch Jr.
  • Kenneth Branagh – Gilderoy Lockhart

This is an interestingly worded category. “Guest” performer. Some of these actors appeared in more than one film (Jim Broadbent and Kenneth Branagh) which would suggest to me they were more than guests. Doctor Who fans might take over the poll and vote for David Tennant, but he’s the least deserving in my opinion. Christian Coulson was absolutely slick and scathing as Tom Riddle but his younger counterparts in The Half Blood Prince are more deserving (where are their nominations?) but I’m voting for Rita Skeeter, the scum of the journalistic world. It was as if she were pulled straight off the page.

Best Performance By A Squib or Muggle

  • David Bradley – Argus Filch
  • Richard Griffiths – Vernon Dursley
  • Harry Melling – Dudley Dursley
  • Pam Ferris – Marge Dursley
  • Fiona Shaw – Petunia Dursley

I’m disappointed Mrs. Figg didn’t make this category, but she was a better character in the books than in the movies. Because I just can’t bring myself to vote for a Dursley, I gotta go with David Bradley. When he was sweeping up the rubble from the battle of Hogwarts? I felt for him. He genuinely loves the school even though he’s a jerk most of the time.

Best Performance By A Weasley

  • James Phelps
  • Oliver Phelps
  • Julie Walters
  • Mark Williams
  • Rupert Grint

Poor Bonnie Wright… Again, Julie Walters, while playing a character who is overbearing and shrill 75% of the time, nonetheless exudes motherly love and comfort. It’s no wonder she is a mother figure to Harry.

Best Performance By A Hogwarts Professor

  • Maggie Smith
  • Robbie Coltrane
  • Richard Harris
  • Kenneth Branagh
  • Alan Rickman

Because I haven’t given Alan Rickman much love in these awards thus far, I will use this category to give him his due. He is the teacher we probably see the most. And actually teaching. Robbie Coltrane would be a close second, but he’s more of a friend to the trio than a teacher.

Best Performance By A Ministry of Magic Employee

  • Imelda Staunton – Dolores Umbridge
  • Robert Hardy – Cornelius Fudge
  • Mark Williams – Arthur Weasley
  • George Harris – Kingsley Shacklebolt
  • Bill Nighy – Rufus Scrimgeour

I was THIS close to voting for Umbridge because she’s just the type of character you love to hate (and she stole Moody’s magical eyeball!!), but Robert Hardy really did an incredible job with Cornelius Fudge. He didn’t have that many scenes or interactions with other characters, but I can hear his voice in my head very clearly and I loathe his ineptitude. That’s exactly what Cornelius Fudge should do to a person.

Best Wand Design

  • Sirius Black
  • Hermione Granger
  • Dumbledore/ The Elder Wand
  • Lord Voldemort
  • Lucius Malfoy

This was a tough choice between two excellent contenders. Hermione’s elegance or Dumbledore’s Elder Wand? While the Elder Wand is likely the most recognizable, Hermione’s is the most character-based. The Elder Wand belonged to many witches and wizards across history, but Hermione’s only ever belonged to her, and its design reflects that.

Best Wizard Location or Set

  • Diagon Alley
  • Chamber of Secrets
  • Ministry of Magic
  • The Burrow
  • The Great Hall

Again, I’ve likely chosen the dark horse of this category. Diagon Alley is a pure representation of the wonder of magic and the magical community. The Chamber of Secrets represents, well, Voldemort, and Evil. The Burrow represents family. The Great Hall represents home, as well as community. The Ministry of Magic? … the only rationale I have is that when I saw the Ministry of Magic on screen in Order of the Phoenix and again in Deathly Hallows Part 1, I was mesmerized. I wasn’t satisfied with the shots that they gave us in those films. I wanted to be standing on the sets, or even better, in the computer program where they were created and connected to one another. The Ministry of Magic, while perhaps the most sinister of location/sets among the nominees, left me the most curious.

Best Non-Human Digital Design

  • Fawkes
  • Buckbeak
  • Ukranian Ironbelly (dragon)
  • Basilisk
  • Dobby

The only reason I didn’t choose Dobby is because Dobby is human-like. Buckbeak, being half lion, half eagle, is the most complex and flashy of the nominees (not unlike his personality!)

Best New Scene (NOT in the books)

  • Neville & Luna Fall For Each Other (Deathly Hallows Part 2)
  • Wand Tribute to Albus Dumbledore (The Half Blood Prince)
  • Harry & Luna Feed Thestrals (Order of the Phoenix)
  • Neville vs. The Death Eaters (Deathly Hallows Part 2)
  • Harry & Hermione Dance In Tent (Deathly Hallows Part 1)

I don’t care so much about this category but it felt like a real nod to the fandom that the movie makers decided to pursue a Neville/Luna romance. Obviously this is not canon, but it has been a ship ever since Luna was introduced, so kudos to those shippers who had their fantasies realized in Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Best Horcrux Destruction

  • Harry Potter
  • Slytherin’s Locket
  • Nagini
  • Ravenclaw’s Diadem
  • Hufflepuff’s Cup
  • Tom Riddle’s Diary

SPOILER ALERT! Harry is a Horcrux. If you don’t know that, why are you reading this post? This was a tough choice between Slytherin’s Locket and Nagini, but in the end I’m going to stay away from naked smoke monster Harry & Hermione going at each other in favor of giving Neville/Matthew Lewis his moment of praise.

Best Visualization Of A Spell

  • Sectumsempra
  • Lumos
  • Morsmordre
  • Avada Kedavra
  • Expecto Patronum

This category depends on your preferred aesthetic for spell casting. Lumos and Morsmordre are very straight forward. Avada Kedavra is a flash of green light (completely accurate to the books, I’ll admit), and Sectumsempra wasn’t fully visualized due to the fact that a torso exploding with blood is not going to get a PG-13 rating. Expecto Patronum is probably the least consistent of the nominees in its multiple visualizations, but it ultimately inspired the most creativity, and therefore gets my vote.

Best Corny Line or Scene

  • “Don’t worry. I will be.” (Chamber of Secrets)
  • “…Something worth fighting for.” (Order of the Phoenix)
  • “Everything’s going to change now – isn’t it?” (Goblet of Fire)
  • “I love magic.” (Goblet of Fire)
  • “He was their FRIEND!” (Prisoner of Azkaban)

Isn’t that how we all felt, and still feel, after reading each chapter, heck, each sentence, of each book?

Best Harry & Voldemort Showdown

  • The Fight for Tom Riddle’s Diary (Chamber of Secrets)
  • Ministry of Magic Possession (Order of the Phoenix)
  • Seven Potters Chase Scene (Deathly Hallows Part 1)
  • The Flaw in the Plan (Deathly Hallows Part 2)
  • Graveyard Scene (Goblet of Fire)

What’s “The Flaw in the Plan” you ask? Well, it’s the very last showdown where Harry explains to Voldemort that it was HE, Harry, who was the master of the Elder Wand. Not only did this conversation never take place in the film (until the very end when Harry casually breaks the most powerful wand in the world in half… totally realistic, right?), but what a terrible description to have representing it in the category. For me it’s the Seven Potters chase that resulted in Lucius Malfoy’s wand breaking into a million little pieces and Voldemort flexing his magical muscle and destroying all the power lines. It gave me a real sense of Voldemort’s malice.

Best Opening

  • Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Goblet of Fire
  • The Half Blood Prince
  • Deathly Hallows Part 1
  • Deathly Hallows Part 2

The opening of Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the same as the ending of Deathly Hallows Part 1 so that automatically eliminates it from either this category or the next. What this category comes down to is faithfulness to the source material. Dumbledore appearing out of nowhere, putting out all the lights, meeting up with Professor McGonagall who transforms from a cat to a woman, Hagrid flying in by motorcycle and not wanting to leave Harry, and Dumbledore leaving Harry on the doorstep for the Dursley’s to find in the morning. It wasn’t just an opening for a film, but an opening for a series, and it cant be beat.

Best Ending

  • Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Chamber of Secrets
  • Order of the Phoenix
  • Deathly Hallows Part 1
  • Deathly Hallows Part 2

I’m sure a lot of people will vote for Deathly Hallows Part 2 because of the epilogue, but just as Sorcerer’s Stone was the perfect opening to the series, so too was its ending a perfect thesis statement for the rest of the films. “I’m not going home, not really.”

—————

So there you have it. My long-winded rationale for The Harry Potter Oscars! YAY!

I’m a little maxed out after that marathon of copying and pasting and explaining, so feel free to leave comments, all my dear readers and subscribers.

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