Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Harry Potter: Looking Back

posted by Nell Minow

As we get ready for the new Harry Potter movie and look forward to the final two, it’s a good time to remember where it all started. Look at how young the stars were in the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone!



  • Jossie

    Oh my goodness, the kids were SO YOUNG!
    I can’t wait for the new film.

  • Toby Clark

    Honestly, I don’t think the films have done the books justice, except maybe the first two. The acting and direction are fine, but they just can’t do exposition properly. Prisoner of Azkaban never told us who the Marauders were, and it ignored the whole situation with the Fidelius charm, which was fairly important in the book. Goblet of Fire left out the Crouchs’ backstory and everything to do with Bertha Jorkins. And Order of the Phoenix didn’t tell us enough about the prophecy for it to make sense to viewers who hadn’t read the book. Even Philosopher’s Stone cut the scene where Harry rereads the Dumbledore trading card he got on the train and finds Nicholas Flamel’s name (thankfully, that one was on the DVD and in extended cuts on TV). It’s not that important because we still get Hermione finding the relevant book, but it is basically setting up a Chekhov’s Gun and not firing it.
    Looking back, I think they should have split books 4 and 5 into two movies the way they’re doing with Deathly Hallows.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    I hear you, Toby! A book and a movie are two very different things and that’s why great books generally don’t make great movies. These are long books and movie scripts are usually about 100-120 pages. So, in order to enjoy the films, you have to consider them as movies and not as filmed versions of the novels. I’m seeing this one tomorrow morning and can’t wait!

  • Alicia

    Normally, I don’t think the movie does justice to the book, but in this case, I think they are just different. I love the books, and the movies are equally wonderful to me. It’s like asking whether the book or movie of “Gone with the Wind” were better. Both great, but very different from each other.
    For one thing, in addition to the wonderful child actors who have grown into the leads (and all the terrific supporting child actors) and the incredible production values and special effects, the Harry Potter films feature just about every great living British actor. It is such a treat to see even small adult roles played by brilliant actors, and the way that they play off each other and the children is such a treat. My favorite (of course) is Alan Rickman as Severus Snape. (Snape has been one of my favorite characters since the first book.)

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    I agree, Alicia! Every one of those adult performances is a gem and it is a treat to see the way the kids have matured along with their characters.
    A book and a movie are two different things. Books focus on what people think; plays on what they say, movies on what they do. They address the same themes, but are very different kinds of story-telling. It is wonderful that this extraordinary series of books has inspired a series of movies that may not be true to every literal element of the written versions but are very true to the spirit.
    My review of the new one will be up in a few hours. Here’s a preview: I loved it!

  • Alicia

    I can’t wait to see your review, Nell. The movie is at almost 100% Fresh on Rottentomatoes, and the reviewers are over the moon about it.

  • http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/todd-diroberto.asp?cycle=08 Todd D.

    I love this movie!
    ToddDiroberto

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Me, too, Todd, thanks!

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