Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I’m always a little surprised when I read things about this movie with “SPOILERS!!” in the title, because the book has been out for years and I’d be truly surprised if anyone watching the film hasn’t read the book.  In fact, the movie is such a cursory sketch of the novel (not surprising, given that it is both the longest novel and shortest movie to date) that it seems like you would almost have to have read to novel to truly appreciate the movie.  While the movie does a fair job of following the story, it is almost like viewing a ViewMaster of the novel: here’s a one pic *CLICK* here’s the next.

Also noteworthy is how little time is spent with the rather sizable cast outside of Harry himself.  Helena Bonham Carter, who gets fourth billing after the core trio, is in the movie a surprisingly short period of time (Lucious Malfoy gets more screentime by my reckoning).  Again that is a symptom of trying to pair it all down, and stick to the core theme of Harry’s isolation in the face of the increasingly fascist wizarding community, the one aspect of the movie that was nailed down quite well, even if a little overdone with the many newspaper headlines panning by in that cinematic canard.

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