Oscars 2012: Why ‘Harry Potter’ Deserved A Best Picture Nod

Nine films are nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year, begging the question: who deserved a tenth spot on that list? “Oscars 2012: 10 Spot” answers that question, as the MTV Movies team highlights some of 2011’s greatest films and argues why they deserved a nod as the tenth Best Picture nominee.

My colleagues have made wonderful cases for several other qualified Best Picture nominees this year; 50/50,” “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and “Bridesmaids” are definitely deserving of recognition, but none of them top the cinematic achievements of the “Harry Potter” franchise, specifically “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.”

To be clear, I’m lamenting the lack of recognition for the nearly perfect eighth and final Potter film, but we Potter fans cannot deny the fact that the franchise as a whole deserved Best Picture consideration. With “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” having paved the way for fantasy films to resonate with Academy voters as well as the general public, and the fact that 10 films can be nominated, it seemed very likely that The Boy Who Lived had a chance at that nomination.

So why does “Deathly Hallows – Part 2″ deserve the 10 Spot? It is the best of the bunch, hitting all the notes that those rare four-quadrant films need to hit. There is action, romance, solid character development with emotional, sweeping arcs, a killer cast, game-changing visual effects… the list goes on.

Speaking of the killer cast, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that we will never see another franchise do what “Potter” did with its actors. Not only did the casting directors select the most perfect talent for the lengthy list of characters, they were able to keep the core cast members signed on for eight  films over the course of a decade of filming! That just does NOT happen in this day and age of studios and agents wanting to make a quick buck and flash-in-the-pan fame. We got to see Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton et al actually grow up onscreen and grow as actors. Time will tell with regard to their futures in Hollywood, but their performances in “Deathly Hallows – Part 2″ were their best work to date.

And then there’s Alan Rickman. Just thinking about J.K. Rowling’s heartbreakingly brilliant arc for Severus Snape – that flashback to Lily’s death! Woe is me re-living the heartbreak pains I suffered alongside Snape in that moving, defining moment! – almost has me tearing up at my keyboard. Rickman knew about Severus’ story long before any of us did, which makes his amazingly nuanced and controlled performance over the years (and in this film especially) that much more amazing. Severus Snape wasn’t voted the best Harry Potter character ever by our MTV readers for nothing, after all.

Finally, let’s take a moment to appreciate director David Yates, as well as all the other award-winning folks who took turns helming Potter films: Christopher Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, and Mike Newell. Rarely do book-to-film adaptations translate so well and so successfully and each and every director who tackled a “Potter” film added something special to the franchise under their direction.

Again, when will such amazing and dramatic achievements occur again in cinema? The “Harry Potter” franchise is a perfect storm of so many elements, the proverbial lightning in a bottle that can not be duplicated. A Best Picture nomination was more than a little bit deserved.

The MTV Movies team has the 2012 Oscars covered! Stick with us for everything you need to know leading up to the awards show, and on Sunday, February 25, tune into MTV.com at 5:30 p.m. ET for our three-hour red-carpet live stream and updates on the night’s big winners.