Dumbledore's Army

It takes 10 or 15 minutes to catch up to the shorthand narrative style of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth film based on the J. K. Rowling novels (released at about the same time as the seventh and final book in the series). The screenwriter, Michael Goldenberg, and the director, David Yates, both new to the Potter movies, waste no time in setting up the story, and they don’t pause to make sure that we remember everyone in the large cast of characters.

It’s a smart approach. At 870 pages, The Order of the Phoenix is the longest book of the series, and though the plot is compelling, it’s mostly an interior one, focused on Harry’s turbulent psychological experience of adolescence. Eliminating much of Harry’s troubled navel-gazing streamlines the story and allows Daniel Radcliffe to give his finest performance as Harry thus far.


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