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Harry's Hotter; Cinema.

Byline: ANN EVANS (and JAKE GAUNT, aged eight)


Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman. Director: David Yates.

WHILE there's all the usual stunning imagery, wizardry and spectacular atmospheric scenes that we've come to expect in Harry Potter films, the Order of the Phoenix doesn't, for once, rely on special effects.

There's a strong storyline which characters remain true to, and director David Yates has cleverly created an intense dark mood that hangs over Hogwarts and all associated with it, reflecting the sense of impending doom in the shape of the evil Lord Voldemort.

The introduction of Professor Delores Umbridge is a touch of genius. Imelda Staunton brilliantly portrays this fluffy, kitten-loving tutor who rules with a rod of iron, and no doubt awards will be heading her way later in the year.

Whether you're a fan of JKR or not, there's no denying that she and her film makers have not only developed the characters over the years, but also the depth, mood and atmosphere.

The suspense of this film comes from the darker storyline and the abilities of the actors and actresses who carry the plot through. Daniel Radcliffe in particular, who I've always found to be slightly emotionless in the role of Harry Potter, allows the personality of the young wizard with all his fears and failings to come to the fore, making the whole thing more intense and enjoyable

VERDICT: *****

REMEMBERING that Harry Potter films are for children, Jake Gaunt, aged eight, of Alderman's Green, Coventry, came along to the preview.

Jake, who is a pupil at St John Fisher School, had this to say: "I would give this 10 out of 10. I thought it was better than the other Harry Potter films because you get to see what Voldemort looks like. In the other films you only get to see a bit of dust. He wasn't what I expected though and I didn't think he was very scary.

"I loved the special effects, especially the pictures on the wall in Hogwarts, but I did think some scenes were a bit silly and weird. And the battle near the end between Voldemort and Harry and his friends was a bit confusing.

"My favourite character is Harry Potter because he really has to struggle to stop Voldemort getting into his brain. I liked the giant too, he was pretty good, but I thought Professor Umbridge was a big meany.

"I would definitely advise everyone to go and see the film, it's brilliant."

VERDICT: *****


GROWING UP... Daniel Radcliffe returns as the eponymous hero in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (12A), and (inset below) young reviewer Jake Gaunt.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 13, 2007
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