book 2003 movie 2007 first read 2003 first watch 2007
A fifth-in-a-row return to the school of wizardry and witchcraft, where I realize the upside of growing up and that Professor Umbridge is really Goebbels.
Something strange happened last night: I fell in love with an old enemy. Not Professor Umbridge, if that's what you're thinking. Maybe I didn't make myself clear enough there: Order of the Phoenix has never been an enemy but it's always been my least favorite of the series. I remember when it came out, two years after the previous movie, and the raving reviews started getting published. "The best Harry Potter film so far", "The first Harry Potter film adults love" and similar irritated me before the movie had come out - hadn't the other Harry Potter films been good enough for adults? How good could this movie be, compared to Prisoner of Azkaban? When I watched the movie, my suspicions were confirmed - Order of the Phoenix was a solid yet not overly exciting adaptation and by no means better than the previous two movies. Everything in the movie felt rushed, since so much was left out and so it was just like listening to a friend recounting the book - nothing hurtful, still something I enjoyed, yet nothing very extraordinary at all. Somehow, I managed to re-live this feelings even during later re-watches.
Seven years later, here I am: loving the movie to bits. Loving it perhaps even more than the book which already intrigued me so much more this time over. The similarities to the situation in Germany just before World War II that stroke me while reading - in a good way - were perfectly echoed in the movie. Professor Umbridge outshone even Voldemort in this installment, Imelda Staunton being 100% perfectly cast in the role. I know that she has talked about the irony of people telling her she was perfect for the role of a horrible, ugly, sadistic woman - but in my opinion it's her outer sweetness that makes her a wonderful villain. From the pink costumes to the kitten decorations in her office to her awfully sweet smile, Professor Umbridge is the Devil in Disguise. Her speeches remind me of Goebbels if anything.
Make sure to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS THOROUGHLY before next month to read about the SIXTH entry in the Harry Potter franchise; The Half-Blood Prince.