I realize we’re just starting with the 2010 Oscar season, with the ceremonies in February of 2011, but having just came out of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part I, I can say with near certainty that Part II will be nominated for Best Picture and will be the early favorite for the win.

Part I was pretty good, and was one of the best of the series — perhaps the 3rd movie was better. David Yates is the right director for the job, he did a bang-up job with a lightly plotted film. Part II will give him a lot to work with. Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Daniel Radcliffe have came into their own as actors and they too have a lot of scenery to chew through in the next film. The corollary to the Lord of the Rings series isn’t perfect, as those films were all very strong and it could be argued that Return of the King was deserving as the best of the series. But…I’m calling it now — there will be a lot of pressure to reward the series in next year’s Oscars.