Sister Concepta managed to scrape together two 12-year-old choir boys to see the new Harry Potter movie. What can I say? I've long been a fan of the books and the movies, which I think have got better and better. The movies in particular have become truly sumptious, visual feasts.
So, to the 5th instalment. In between Bible class I managed to re-read the book, which, in hindsight, was a big mistake... I realise that many things needed to be left out but I was a bit taken aback at the quite large changes they had made to the book. Unlike The Goblet of Fire where large chunks were left out without interfering with the narrative, the Order of the Phoenix actually changed many, many aspects of the story! Also, three critical scenes were left out. The first, when Harry first encounters Luna Lovegood, established the importance of her character to future events. This leads to the second - the story that Rita Skeeter was forced to write about Harry that appeared in the Quibbler - it was this, and not the Prophet, that was the catalyst for people believing Harry's story. The final part left out, to me, was the most poingent of any of the books - when they run into the Longbottoms at St Mungo's. That moment had an incredible emotional impact, and again, added depth to the other student characters.
However, the subtexts of Big Brother, arguments around the education system and the rather bleak scenes of London life were very clever overlays, and Helena Bonham-Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange was an inspired bit of casting. Imelda Staunton was also outstanding - girly and creepy at the same time.
But don't be guided just by what I say - from the words of one of the boys: It was good, pretty scary at the end, overall an eight out of ten and three and a half stars. I guess I'd give it a seven and I would definitely see it again.