I haven't had much to do with the Harry Potter series; maybe one of these days I'll get around to reading the books, but to date, I've seen the films nominated for Oscars during the Death Races, and that's about it. …Wait, I saw the first film on a plane and liked it fine.
But the pacing overall picked up a good deal from Deathly Hallows Part 1, and the effects looked great too -- they seem to have matured along with the hero. The ride on the dragon and subsequent crash into the water, and the paintings on the walls of Hogwards scrambling to get the hell out of Dodge, looked like legends, one scary, one funny.
I make jokes about Harry Potter and the Compleat Roster of British Actors, but 1) it's not really a joke, and 2) Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Ciaran Hinds, and the rest make the HP tales seem important, but not self-important. A well-turned final chapter in a cultural moment.
No real idea about the movie's chances in the effects categories, although it could win Makeup.
Sarah D. Bunting co-founded Television Without Pity.com, and has written for Seventeen, New York Magazine, MSNBC.com, Salon, Yahoo!, and others. She's the chief cook and bottle-washer at TomatoNation.com. For more on how the Oscars Death Race began, click here.