Eight months ago, Brian made the stupid bold prediction that the final Harry Potter would get a Best Picture nod and be a favorite for the win. Now that Deathly Hallows Part 2 has racked up great reviews and is earning dough at an impressive rate (killing our summer box office predictions), its Best Picture chances is the top topic among the Oscar blogosphere. Lost in the analysis of the Lord of the Rings precedent, its mega box office returns, and the widespread affection for the epic series is an underreported factor that overrides all of that: the movie makes no goddamn sense.

First we dressed up as Helena Bonham Carter, then we haggled over a sword for some reason, then we collected some tears, then we talked to some ghosts, then we went to heaven, then we came back, then we ...

I’ve seen every film exactly once but haven’t read any of the books beyond the third. As the series progressed the plots got more and more unintelligible. I understand the largest audience for the films are those who read and loved the books and want to see how they get adapted for the screen. They are made for an audience that doesn’t leave the theater discussing Harry and Voldemort’s latest exploits but the choices the filmmakers made: which scenes to cut, what subplots to highlight, how to visualize a written description, etc…

I didn't know who this person was but according to the reaction of the girl next to me in the theater I was supposed to be upset he died

But take it from someone who just wants to watch these movies as only movies: they are impossible to follow. If Part 2 was an original story I’d say it smacked of being made up as they went along. It’s not a bad movie – it’s my favorite since number 5 – but I more or less had to stop thinking about who people were and why things were happening and enjoy the visuals and the natural thrill of the series’s big climax.

(On a side note, how disappointing is it that the series builds up all this mythology about the types of spells in the Harry Potter world yet wizard wars devolve into shooting at each other from wands like Star Wars blasters?)

So think about the hurdles that Harry Potter has to overcome to get a Best Picture nomination. As Academy members hear about the film’s buzz and pop in their screener, how many will have read the books? How many will have seen all the movies? If they haven’t, they aren’t going to have any idea what the hell is going on. And that’s not a good thing when you need to rack up a bunch of #1 votes.

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