‘Fantastic Beasts’ breaks ‘Harry Potter’ Oscars losing streak

While it was the fourth Oscar win for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” costume designer Colleen Atwood, it was the first for a film in the “Harry Potter” family. The eight films based on J.K. Rowling‘s “Harry Potter” book series reaped 12 Oscar nominations but lost them all. The costumes of the witches and wizards, the sets of Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic, the visual effects of the spells and creatures, the soaring music of John Williams all failed to win over the academy.

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Only two films of the original eight in the franchise were snubbed entirely at the Oscars — “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002) and “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007) — while the most successful films earned three noms apiece — “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” (2011). But all fell at the last hurdle.

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“Fantastic Beasts” takes us back to 70 years before Harry’s adventures, and it also takes us across the pond to New York, where writer Newt Scamander (Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne) encounters a secret community of witches and wizards. Scamander would end up writing the textbook that Harry and his peers study at Hogwarts. Indeed, J.K. Rowling published “Fantastic Beasts” under Scamander’s name in 2001.

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Atwood did not work on the “Harry Potter” films. She won Oscars for  “Chicago” (2002), “Memoirs of a Geisha” (2005), and “Alice in Wonderland” (2010). And she contended for “Little Women” (1994), “Beloved” (1998), “Sleepy Hollow” (1999), “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” (2004), “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (2007), “Nine” (2009), “Snow White and the Huntsman” (2012), and “Into the Woods” (2014).

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