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Leaving Hogwarts and the Order of the Phoenix

Posted on the 28 April 2014 by Limette @Limette9
Leaving Hogwarts and the Order of the Phoenix
HARRY POTTER AND the order of the phoenixbook 2003    movie 2007   first read 2003    first watch 2007
A fourth-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.
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Leaving Hogwarts and the Order of the Phoenix

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.
Leaving Hogwarts and the Order of the Phoenix
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.
Leaving Hogwarts and the Order of the Phoenix
What once made Order of the Phoenix my least favorite movie of the eight may be the self-same reason why it's my favorite of the five I've re-watched so far: the way it adapts the story to the screen. The film gorgeously uses its visuals in just the right way to induce just the right emotions in the audience, thereby making many of the book's scenes seemingly unnecessary. For the first time in a Harry Potter film, each shot from this film is a picture I'd be willing to hang on my wall and all of the effects are believable. I am fascinated by Harry's inner demons in this film, the war between good and evil that is roaring inside him. I adore how the story is about keeping your friends close and trusting them and that it's okay to be wrong if it's because you care too much about someone. I love the small funny bits in between, like the scene where Hermione accuses Ron of having "the emotional range of a tea spoon". So does it really matter that we don't find out why Dumbledore assigned Umbridge or that Firenze doesn't appear or that we don't get to see the wizarding hospital? Okay, maybe except for that last thing, but otherwise this is a perfect adaptation to me. 
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Leaving Hogwarts and the Order of the Phoenix

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.
Previously...The Sorcerer's StoneThe Chamber of Secrets The Prisoner of Azkaban • The Goblet of Fire

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