Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


The bloom of whimsy is off the Hogwarts rose as things get all dark and serious. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) has several problems to contend with. Dementors are chasing him. The Ministry of Wizards wants him expelled. Hogwarts has been taken over by Delores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), a perky Torquemada in lavender. Hermione (Emma Watson) is now taller than him and Lord Valdemort is raising an army again.

Probably by design, this Potter movie lacks some of the charm of the previous films, as its themes and situation are considerably darker and more threatening. Harry seems to spend most of the story out of step with the rest of the cast and Radcliffe is up to the task of making us feel his vulnerability and isolation.

This chapter hasn’t been as well reviewed by others as the previous ones, although it is definitely superior to the first two. I think the lukewarm reception comes from those unfamiliar with the Potter mythos and not expecting the darker turns in the story, as well as those who have memorized the books and take umbrage with the filmmakers daring to condense the story down to a manageable cinematic length. Given the number of balls that author J. K. Rowling has given director David Yates to keep in the air, he’s done about as good a job as anyone could have in bringing the story to the screen.

1 thought on “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

  1. Dawn McElligott

    Hello Paul,
    As you can see we share a last name. If you google my name, you’ll see that we also have an interest in movies, as I’m a screenwriter, still struggling to sell my work. A couple of years ago, I moved to Anaheim to be as close to Los Angeles as I could get.
    Since I was hoping to use high school teaching as a backup to writing, I was also pursuing a Masters degree in French at CSU Fullerton. Goodness gracious, we have a lot in common! I wonder if we’re related? If you google “Dawn McElligott screenwriting,” you’ll get a good rundown of my placings in screenwriting contests. One has a Harry Potter feel to it.
    I’d love to hear from you,
    Dawn McElligott


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