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February 26, 2021
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Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix
(2007-07-13)
(wgvu) - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a near perfect adaptation of novel into film. Director David Yates has taken the most bloated, cumbersome entry into J.K. Rowlings seven book series on the young wizard and his battle against the evil Lord Voldemort and streamlined it into a swift, two and half hour movie that mirrors the shadows and darkness of the novel. The movie hits the ground quickly with a chilling opening sequence in which the soul sucking Dementors attack Harry and his bullying nephew Dudley. This causes Harry to break the wizard law of using magic in front of Muggles, or non-magic persons. As a result, the Ministry of Magic puts Harry on trial, with school master Dumbledoor as his Defense Attorney. (clip) The Minister and his Gov't are in colossal denial over the return of the Dark Lord, and also paranoid about Dumbledoor and his students. The Ministry install Dolores Umbridge as teacher of the Dark Arts, and also to spy upon Hogwarts Academy. She also dumbs down Defense of the Dark Arts in the classroom. (clip) The signs of the return of the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters are rampant though. The creatures of the magical forest are constantly restless, the skies blacken with storm clouds, and wizards are being attacked by unknown forces. Hermione Granger convinces her friend Harry to hold secret classes to learn the Defenses from the Dark Arts. (clip) The Harry Potter movies keep getting better. The first two in the series were a bit clunky, it was almost as if too much attention was paid to replicating each chapter of the books, regardless of movie conventions. But the last two have been both faithful to the source material, and also true to their own cinematic values. The actors have grown up around this material. Daniel Radcliffe as Potter, Emily Watson as Hermione, and Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley have all evolved into very good actors. And the star studded supporting cast reads as a who's who of great British thespians: Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, Brendan Gleason, David Thewlis, Maggie Smith, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, and Michael Gambon all seem to revel in their performances. Harry Potter is a phenomenon in both film and literature that rises above the mere flavor of the day, and is a true classic in the making. © Copyright 2021, wgvu