Monday, August 6, 2007

Being nice to actors. (For a change.)

I finally got around to seeing the latest installment in the Harry Potter series on Sunday, Harry Potter and the Allegory of the Bush Administration. No, wait, that's not the title. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. That's it. Good adventure movie.

I have not kept up on the books, but friends who have say the movies have done a pretty good job of abridging the stories. Daniel Radcliffe has done a good job of growing up Harry, and one can only wish him the best in his post Potter career.

So much of the films centers as it should on Harry and the students, I'd like to give some props to the underutilized adult cast. Getting a chance to act in Harry Potter is like being called up to play football for England. Translation into American: It's the national all star team of actors.

Here's a brief list of the adults who show up in Order of the Phoenix. Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Gary Oldman, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, Julie Walters, Helena Bonham Carter, David Thewlis, Alan Rickman and the grown-up star of this movie, Imelda Staunton, who was so sympathetic in Vera Drake and so the opposite here as Professor Umbrage. When you include some of the actors who showed up in previous Potters like Kenneth Brannagh, John Cleese, Shirley Henderson, Timothy Spall (shows up in the background here) and the late Richard Harris, it's almost easier to name really good English actors who haven't been in a Harry Potter film than it is to get the full list of those who have.

Never been in a Harry Potter film... let's see, Jim Broadbent. Ummm... Derek Jacobi. Now I'm stumped. It's your turn. (Kidding about being stumped. But only a little.)

For those keeping score at home, Emma Thompson and Helena Bonham Carter had no scenes together. That wouldn't have been half awkward, now would it?

Matty Boy says check it out.


Matty Boy said...

Whoopsy! Forgot to mention. I did wear pants.

sfmike said...

Ian Mackellan isn't in any of them, but having just polished off Gandalf in "Lord of The Rings," I guess the filmmakers didn't want to confuse us all about which alternate universe we were in.

Matty Boy said...

Yes, no McKellan and no Patrick Stewart. Somewhat low on actors from the I, Claudius era in general, either going older or younger.

Karla said...

Why didn't they replace Richard Harris with Peter O'Toole?

Gambon just isn't Dumbledore to me.

Where are all the Redgrave gals?

Matty Boy said...

I think they decided not to use O'Toole because Dumbledore is given some dialog people actually need to understand to move the story along.

dguzman said...

How about Judi Dench? She could be in the next movie -- as any damned character she wants to be!