Dear Academy Voters,

I’m writing this letter in hopes I can convince you, Oscar nominators, to name Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 as one of the Best Picture nominees.

Yes, it’s true the Harry Potter series started out as fantasy kid flicks, especially Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets. Under Chris Columbus’ direction, the films introduced all our favorite characters in a very Disney-eque way, full of wonder and surprise. It did the job well and they were entertaining films, but they did not necessarily have the gravitas one usually associates with a Best Picture candidate. So, not surprisingly, neither film received a nod (but Sorcerer’s Stone did get noms for Best Score, Art Direction and Costumes. Chamber of Secrets got zip).

As the books became darker and darker, so did the films. Prisoner of Azkaban was the first of the series to head in that direction, with director Alfonso Cuaron at the helm. The three lead actors – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – showed some real mettle, digging into their Potter alter egos. But the fact was the franchise was still considered a children’s film series, so you, the Academy, decided to pass.

At this point, I believe you felt the Harry Potter movies were primarily visual treats, had superb art direction and a fantastic musical score (due to the nominations in those categories – but no wins). Installments Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix stood no real chance of a Best Picture nod. I get that, particularly when there were only five nods to be handed out.

Then came your decision in 2009 to expand the Best Picture category to 10 nominations. OK, here was the time to maybe step up and finally recognize the series with Half-Blood Prince, an excellent sixth installment from director David Yates, who took over the franchise with Phoenix. Half-Blood Prince moves beyond the teen angst stuff and truly blooms as a more adult and serious film, even if still set in this fantastical world. I mean, it’s definitely better than The Blind Side, please. But, no, you didn’t go for it… again.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 came next and while it was a solid film, with plenty of reasons to be nominated for Best Picture, I understand how you might not give it the nod since it’s only half of the story. But come on, NOW is the time with Deathly Hallows, Part 2! All three of the kids are completely grown up and more than capable actors in their own right. Watson particularly stands out as Hermione. Just watch her scene in Deathly Hallows, Part I, in which she has to erase her Muggle parents’ memories of her so she can go off and try to bring down one of the most dangerous villains in cinematic history.

The end of Harry Potter needs to be recognized after captivating audiences since 2001. Granted, these movies are not on par with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but there has been enough greatness to them along the way, with A-list British talent infusing the films – especially Alan Rickman as Snape and Michael Gambon as Dumbledore – that you, Academy voters, need to finally give the franchise its just deserves. I’m not saying it has to win, but it really should be in the mix.

Thank you for your understanding and your support.


A Harry Potter fan