Could the film receive 12 (!) nominations without a mention in the best director category OR will Warner bend over backwards to secure David Yates a nod, as well ? Anyway, here is my ridiculously arguable take on how this might go down :
BEST PICTURE – 80%
I firmly believe – and have been for a while now – that the last chapter of THE most succesful franchise of all time WILL get a best picture nomination...without a hitch.
BEST DIRECTOR – 40%
David Yates did direct one of the best films of 2011 even if we still haven't seen a lot – that's why I dare to say „one of the best films of 2011” and not THE best – so that's definitely a plus, but Warner REALLY has to knock the campaign out of the park to secure him a nomination...good news that if the studio succeeds, the film will be (at least) a top5 player and not just a filler. Yates's biggest problem here, that a lot of A-listers are supposed to bring their A-games this year including Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Stephen Daldry, Clint Eastwood, Roman Polanski, Terrence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Jason Reitman, Alexander Payne, Cameron Crowe, George Clooney, David Cronenberg etc.. The Deathly Hallows Part II has to become THE one to beat if Yates wants to knock out any of these big shots.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – 60%
Steve Kloves adapted 7 of the 8 films, so I think we can say without any hesitation that he had a bigger part in making the franchise consistently acclaimed, than any of the 4 directors. Considering this is the last part and all his HP-screenplays were praised, he could/should get a nomination...my only concern is the ridiculously tough competition in the category : War Horse, Carnage, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Descendants, A Dangerous Method, Hugo Cabret, The Ides of March, The Help, Moneyball, One Day, We bought a Zoo, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Jane Eyre, The Skin I Live in, We need to talk about Kevin, On the Road, Albert Nobbs, The Adventures of Tintin.
BEST LEAD ACTOR - 10%
Daniel Radcliffe got some good ink for his performance and there is definitely that „sentimentality factor” considering he literally grew up in these films, but I still don't think he – or Watson or Grint – will be considered seriously for awards here. Maybe if the Academy REALLY goes for it...but that's a huge IF.
If the film will have an acting nomination (not that it needs it, or at least Slumdog Millionaire,and The Return of the King did just fine without it), it will be in this category. The good news that the film could pull double duty here easily, as well...Alan Rickman has a lot of love and buzz at the moment, meanwhile Ralph Fiennes has the „iconic villain” advantage and the previous nominee status. I think both could make it...at least one of them definitely should...
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 10%
Helena Bonham Carter or Maggie Smith could have the industry support to pull an 'Alan Alda', but they probably won't...needless to say that both of them delivered excellent turns even if their screentime was slightly cameoesque. Emma Watson might have a tiny shot here, as well, but she would need a huge campaign-push to register in the race and the studio might want to focus on bp-bd-bas instead of long shot-acting campaigns.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – 90%
Hopefully this excellent score by Alexandre Desplat will NOT be disqualified for using parts of the original John Williams-music, because Desplat delivered wonderful original material here and I think that should be at least nominated by the Academy.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - 80%
Eduardo Serra is probably getting her third nomination this year, the cinematography was epic, exactly the kind the Academy loves to nominate/award.
BEST EDITING – 60%
This one is tricky, because the films that receive nominations in this category are usually guaranteed a best picture nod, as well. Mark Day has been editing Harry Potter since the fifth film, so he might get his very first nomination for the final part. Even though the main categories are question marks , the technical ones should be an easy ride...
BEST ART DIRECTION – 100%
It might be foolish to give anything a 100% so early in the game, but I genuinely believe that there is NO way in hell, Stuart Craig – who worked on ALL HP-films and received Oscar nominations for three – could get snubbed here...actually, I think he will win.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN – 75%
Strangely enough, the Academy nominated only ONE film in this category, although arguably every single one had outstanding, definitely Oscar-worthy costumes.
BEST SOUND - 95%
BEST SOUND EDITING – 95%
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS - 95%
BEST MAKEUP – 75%
I think the (digitally enhanced) Voldemort-makeup alone will convince voters here.