23 February 2014

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 2007
  • Director: David Yates
  • Based on the book by J.K. Rowling
  • Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Gary Oldman, Robbie Coltrane, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Fiona Shaw, Richard Griffiths, Harry Melling, Mark Williams, Julie Walters, Matthew Lewis, Tom Felton, Devon Murray, Alfie Enoch, David Bradley, Bonnie Wright, Jamie Waylett, Josh Hirdman, Chris Rankin,  James and Oliver Phelps, Robert Hardy, David Thewliss, Emma Thompson, Timothy Spall, Ralph Fiennes, Brendan Gleeson, Natalia Tena, George Harris, Peter Cartwright, Imelda Staunton, Evanna Lynch, Helena Bonham-Carter
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Daniel Radcliffe  The Woman in Black, December Boys, Extras, David Copperfield
    • Emma Watson – My Week with Marilyn
    • Rupert Grint  Driving Lessons
    • Gary Oldman – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Prick Up Your Ears, Sid and Nancy, Friends, Léon, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Bok of Eli, The Dark Knight, The Scarlet Letter, Immortal Beloved, Romeo Is Bleeding, True Romance, Dracula, JFK, Nil by Mouth (director)
    • Robbie Coltrane – From Hell, Henry V, Black Adder, Tutti Frutti, Absolute Beginners
    • Maggie Smith -  Hotel Marigold, A Room with a View, Gosford Park, Keeping Mum, David Copperfield, Tea with Mussolini, Richard III, Sister Act, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
    • Alan Rickman – Alice in Wonderland, Snow Cake, Sweeney Todd, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Love Actually, Michael Collins, Sense and Sensibility, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. The January Man, Die Hard, Romeo and Juliet
    • Fiona Shaw – The Butcher Boy, Jane Eyre, My Left Foot,
    • Richard Griffiths - The Merry Wives of Windsor, Pirates of the Caribbean, Sleepy Hollow, Gandhi, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Comedy of Errors, Withnail and I
    • Harry Melling – Merlin (Gilli)
    • Michael Gambon – The King’s Speech, The Book of Eli, Brideshead Revisited, Cranford, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Being Julia, Angels in America, Gosford Park, Longitude, Sleepy Hollow, Mary Reilly
    • David Thewlis – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Kingdom of Heaven, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith, The Big Lebowski, Naked, Life is Sweet,
    • Emma Thompson – The Boat that Rocked, Brideshead Revisited, Nanny McPhee, An Education, Last Chance Harvey, Stranger than Fiction, Angels in America, Love Actually, Wit, The Remains of the Day, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Peter’s Friends, Howards End, Dead Again, Fortunes of War, Impromptu, Tutti Frutti
    • Mark Williams – Hustle, Merlin (Goblin’s voice), Stardust, Tristram Shandy, Shackleton, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith, Shakespeare in Love
    • Julie Walters - Billy Elliot, Educating Rita, Mamma Mia, Driving Lessons, Calendar Girls, The Young Jane Austin, Wah-Wah, Titanic Town, Prick Up Your Ears
    • David Bradley – Another Year, Nicholas Nickleby, Our Mutual Friend, Prick Up Your Ears, A Family at War
    • Timothy Spall – The King’s Speech, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd, All or Nothing, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Our Mutual Friend, Hamlet, Secrets and Lies, Life is Sweet, Gothic, Quadrophenia
    • Robert Hardy – Shackleton, Sense and Sensibility, Frankenstein, Middlemarch, Twelfth Night, How I Won the War
    • Brendan Gleeson -  In Bruges, Beowulf, Kingdom of Heaven, Troy, Cold Mountain, Gangs of New York, Twenty-Eight Days Later, My Life So Far, The Butcher Boy, Michael Collins, Braveheart
    • Natalia Tena – Mrs. Henderson Presents, About a Boy
    • Imelda Staunton – Another Year, Alice in Wonderland, Cranford. Taking Woodstock, Freedom Writers, A Midsummer Night’s Dream Retold, Nanny McPhee, Vera Drake, David Copperfield, Shakespeare in Love, Twelfth Night, Sense and Sensibility, Much Ado about Nothing, Peter’s Friends
    • Helena Bonham-Carter - Sweeney Todd, The King’s Speech, Alice in Wonderland, Frankenstein, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Howards End, Toast, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Les Misérables, Grat Expectations, Life’s Too Short, Enid, Terminator Salvation, Conversations with Other Women, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, Planet of the Apes, Fight Club, Howards End, A Room with a View
    • Ralph Fiennes – The Reader, In Bruges, The Constant Gardener, Maid in Manhattan, Sunshine, The English Patient,  Spider, Strange Days, The Quiz Show, Schindler’s List, Wuthering Heights
  • Why? It’s Harry Potter!
  • Seen: Four or five times. Now: February 22, 2014
       We don’t even get a few minutes of fun in like a Quidditch World Cup. This one starts with dementors attacking Harry and Dudley and Harry being expelled from Hogwarts for using magic in front of a Muggle.
       Battle lines are drawn.  The Ministry of Magic refuses to believe Harry and Dumbledore that Voldemort is back and calls them dangerous liars.  Harry is still in shock after Cedric’s death and he’s angry and afraid. 
       There is disagreement within the Order of the Phoenix. The adult resistance to Voldemort - Arthur Weasley, Molly Weasley *, Sirius, Mad-Eye Moody, Lupin , Snape (Snape!?) and newcomers Tonks and Shacklebolt  - argue about how much to tell Harry about the danger he’s in.
       There is excitement, courage, hope and great advances under Harry’s enthusiastic and skilful tutelage in Dumbledore’s Army – then crushing betrayal.
       Harry’s mind is invaded by Voldemort’s and he’s terrified that he’s turning into his dark enemy.
       Parallels to Nazi Germany are clear. In Fudge’s frantic speeches heard in the Common Room on an old-fashioned radio. In the oppressive and sadistic dictatorship of Dolores Umbridge, giggly and pink and frighteningly played by Imelda Staunton. In the system of informing on one’s classmates.
       In the midst of all this looming disaster Harry kisses a girl – is he in love?  He sees Neville grow in courage and confidence. And he gets a new friend in the fey and sweetly kind Loony Luna.
       But in the tragic climax he loses the one he values most and runs up against the demonic Bellatrix Lastrange played by Helena Bonham Carter as only she can.
       The evil forces of Voldemort and his many followers loom higher. The adults who remember mutter, “It’s changing out there, just like last time.”
       Harry tries to install courage into the hearts of his friends with the words, “We have something worth fighting for.”
       Whistling in the dark, I fear.

8 * of 8

* Happy birthday, Julie Walters, who turns sixty-four as we watch the film

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