Monday, July 30, 2007

Order of the Phoenix

On Sunday afternoon, the whole family went to see the newest Harry Potter movie: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. As usual, the special effects were excellent. This story is the first one that is not almost entirely set in either Privet Lane or Hogwarts. Many of the scenes of the book are missing from the movie. Of course, if they added event half of them, the movie would be six hours long.

Two new major characters were introduced: Luna Lovegood and Dolores Umbridge. A new minor character was also introduced: the mad witch, Bellatrix Lestrange. For both the evil characters, the director cast British actresses held in high esteem with impressive acting careers.

For Lestrange, he chose Oscar-nominated Helena Bonham Carter. Her outstanding career covers everything from science fiction (Planet of the Apes, for example) to historical drama (Henry VIII) to cartoon voice over (Tim Butron's The Corpse Bride) to contemporary drama (Magnificent 7). She is excellent as the out-of-control manic mad witch.

For Umbridge, the director cast the multi-award winning Imelda Staunton. Her career spans twenty-five years. Her portrayal of the pompous, self-important Umbridge was perfect. I have worked in many companies with pompous asses lake that in critical positions who had to be either placated or surreptitiously bypassed constantly just to get my job done. I simply love it when Umbridge implores Harry to tell the centaurs that she means no harm and Harry replies, "I must not tell a lie."

For Lovegood, the director cast a newcomer - Evanna Lynch. This 15-year old Irish actress does an fantastic job as the strangely detached, motherless waif. Her platinum blonde hair and round face remind me of an owl when she appears over the shoulders of other characters.

My family enjoyed the movie very much, and can hardly wait for the next one!

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