With the final installment of the Harry Potter movie franchise coming out, we thought it would be fun to revisit the phenomenon with a special edition series of Harry Potter Book v Movie columns.
By: J. K. Rowling
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Copyright Date: US Edition June 2003
Number of Pages: 870
Reason for Reading: It’s Harry Potter, do we need a reason?
Name of Movie: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Director: David Yates
Release Date: July 11, 2007 (USA)
Running Time: 138 minutes
IMDB Linkage: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373889/
The BOOK: I must confess that I find this the absolutely hardest book to read. Harry’s going through puberty big time, and is full of rage against Dumbledore (for refusing to even look at him), Voldemort (duh), Ron & Hermione (for keeping him out of the loop all summer), Professor Umbridge (because she’s a troll), Severus Snape (for constantly giving Harry low or no marks for potions and for other reasons), Marietta Edgecombe (for putting an end to the DA), for Cho Chang (for crying all the time and for defending Marietta Edgecombe’s putting an end to the DA), Draco Malfoy (because he’s a foul loathesome git), and, well, the list goes on.
Voldemort has not yet moved in the open, but he’s definitely working behind the scenes. The Order of the Phoenix, which was formed during Voldemort’s initial rise to power, has been reactivated, with a lot of younger blood working alongside the original members. In the meantime, the Ministry is steadfastly refusing to admit that Voldemort has returned, and it has crippled the students’ ability to defend themselves by installing the aforementioned Delores Umbridge (senior undersecretary to the Minister of Magic) as DADA professor, Hogwarts High Inquisitor, and for a brief but memorable span, Headmistress of Hogwarts. Umbridge definitely has it in for Harry, and she leaves a permanent impression on him.
THE MOVIE: The casting continues to be impeccable. Imelda Staunton joins the cast as the loathesome Professor Umbridge. What a difficult role to play! She’s as foul as Voldemort, but–as Sirius points out–the world isn’t divided between good people and Death Eaters. Her interactions with Emma Thompson’s Sibyll Trelawney are particularly good. If you’ve got the DVD, watch the deleted scenes–there’s a lovely one of Sibyll Trelawney eating at the head table while Umbridge is giving her speech to the school at the start of term feast.
Another new castmate is Evanna Lynch playing Luna Lovegood. She’s absolutely delicious in the role. I cannot imagine anyone else playing Luna.
Some scenes that I would have loved to have seen didn’t make it into the film. But Yates and the cast and crew still did an absolutely amazing job. The Weasley twins’s fireworks were spectacular. The battle scene at the end. to the school at the end is powerful.
THE VERDICT: The book by far exceeds the movie. However, I will echo Jehara’s comment in her previous review: “at the time that it was released, I thought it was the best movie HP movie adaptation. However, I always think that with each new HP release.”
I need to give a shout-out here to Jim Dale. His recordings of the audio books are wonderful. There are just a few voices that I don’t care for, his voice for Luna being one of them. But listening to Jim Dale reading the books has gotten me through many, many traffic jams without so much as a hint of road rage.
Also–stay tuned for my next review, which comes complete with a giveaway courtesy of Rosy Thornton!