Imelda Staunton

REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Dumbledore’s (Michael Gambon) warnings of Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) return are ignored as the Ministry of Magic sends Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) to Hogwarts to be the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. With her failing to teach them how to defend themselves, Harry and his friends’ band together to learn how to fight, as darkness grows

As I was rewatching this film, I realised that now I’m in the latter half of the series, these are the films I haven’t seen as many times and don’t necessarily remember everything about them. As I said previously, Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite and I’ve probably watched that film the most out of all of them, but I’ve also ended up seeing pits and pieces of the first four films on TV, as those are the films seem to be on TV the most. Anyway, onto the review.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the first film in the series that David Yates directed, and he goes on to direct the rest of the films in the series. It’s a film that’s a lot darker in tone. Harry is having nightmares after seeing a fellow student killed in front of him and he’s feeling isolated especially as Dumbledore appears to be avoiding him. The colour palette of the film is colder too, everything seems slightly blue which is especially noticeable in contrast to the previous films where scenes at Hogwarts seem so full of warmth.

The scenes where Harry is teaching his classmates is wonderful. He’s so encouraging and it’s fun to see these kids skills progress – when Neville (Matthew Lewis) masters a spell everyone is so happy for him. Together these young people have made a supportive environment, which so many of them need when there’s outside forces working against them – including Umbridge.

Umbridge is a brilliant character and one of the most evil villains in the series. She’s a bureaucrat on a power trip, convinced she’s right and is better than everyone. Seeing other teachers disapprove of her, even in small ways, is great as it shows that the teachers are human too.

The Order of the Phoenix is full of highs and lows. When there’s action set-pieces they are well-shot and exciting, but as there’s so much talking between characters, sitting around a table discussing what they should do next, the film can be slower and less interesting at times.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a lot darker and is full of new information that helps make the threat of Voldemort and his follows more real. The finale is a bit lacking as due to the script, and Goblet of Fire’s script as well really, characters aren’t utilised enough so when tragic things happen, it doesn’t have as much of an impact as it should. 3/5.

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I is for Imelda Staunton

MV5BMTQ0NzcwOTE0NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjAxOTI1._V1_SX640_SY720_To a certain generation (my generation) Imelda Staunton will always be first and foremost Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series. She was one of the best casting decisions in the franchise and was a perfectly evil Umbridge. Every time she was on screen it looked liked she was having so much being bad.

She’s done some great voice work in Chicken Run (2000), Arthur Christmas (2011) and in The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012) – I was obsessed with Chicken Run as a child and it went through a phase of always being on TV during the holidays whether that was Christmas or Easter.

Imelda Staunton played Hefina Headon in Pride (2014), a woman who organised community support during the Miner’s strike of the 1980’s, and she was brilliant. Pride was one of my favourite films of last year and Imelda was funny, strong and had some great softer moments in the film too.