Thursday, July 14, 2011

casting harry

as i'm putting on my circular glasses in anticipation for the grand finale of the decade-long cultural phenomenon that is the harry potter movies, i've been thinking about how well the movies did.  over the past couple of months, i've rewatched the first seven movies (out of order, which has been a little weird) and have thought about the casting choices.  the movies, while actually pretty ok cinematic works yet still paling in comparison to the books, have given us unified visions of who these characters are.  so much that it's difficult to read the books now and not see alan rickman as severus snape.

my thoughts on the casting on a scale of 1-10.

  • harry: i think the illustrations of him on the book covers, especially 4-7, are the best at capturing what i see him as.  but in finding a real life boy, they did a pretty dang good job.  9
  • ron: under direction by chris columbus (movies 1-2): 3
    • under anyone else (movies 3-7.2): 8
  • hermione: yeah, pretty darn great. 9
  • dumbledore: played by richard harris (movies 1-2): nearly perfect: 9.5
    • played by michael gambon (since harris died): meh.  his emotions are too wild: 4.5
  • hagrid: no complaints here: 8
  • professor mcgonagall: never really had a strong image of her in the books, so this works: 7
  • snape: i don't think i saw snape quite this way on my own, but i really dig alan rickman's character: 8.5
  • voldemort: let's not talk about the voldemort on the back of quirrell's head and just focus on "goblet of fire" and after.  mostly nailed it, i think: 8.5
  • wormtail: no strong connections to the character, so mr. spall is doing fine by me.  7
  • ginny: feisty yet graceful.  as good as can be expected. 9
  • fred and george: some of their "we say the same things at the same time" gets a little old, but i generally like them, especially as they've gotten older.  8
  • bill and fleur: bill isn't as tough and cool as i imagined him (he looks more like a minstrel...)  and i still think fleur should have been played by natalie westanofolonowaky shirts. 6.5
  • molly and arthur: mmm, they're fine.  i guess molly's pretty close to how i imagined her, but she's just not as endearing as in the books for some reason.  a casualty of literary adaptation, i suppose: 7
  • draco malfoy: the look is pretty good, but his sneering comes across a little too much usually.  still, that's kind of how he's written in the books, so what can you expect?  6.5
  • neville: quite like him.  awkward and clumsy, he's almost unappealing yet there's that knowledge that he's going to become really awesome.  very excited to see him in tonight's movie: 7.5
  • sirius black: not quite what i imagined, although i can't think of a better actor at the moment.  he's more fun and cooler in the books, i think.  7-ish.
  • remus lupin: perfect.  absolutely how i always saw him.  9
  • tonks: yep, dig.  as well-cast as her husband.  9
  • mad-eye moody: kind of there, but something wasn't quite right.  i think i wanted him older, more crotchety, and a little crazier yet also wiser.  6.5
  • luna: pretty much love her.  great work.  9
  • xenophilius: should have been played by jim broadbent, who was miscast as slughorn: 4
  • slughorn: love the character in the book, was excited to see broadbent cast a him.  yet he totally didn't work.  still can't think of who should have been: maybe the walrus from disney's "alice in wonderland."  3
  • cedric diggory: despite joel's hypothesis on kimmy's reaction at the movie premiere, i actually liked his performance.  slap some pigment in that guy and he ain't too bad.  7
  • the dursleys: they're caricatures in the books, and that's about what they are in the movies, too. 6
  • lockheart: yes, maybe he should have been a little younger, but i generally liked him.  7.5
i'm sure i've forgotten a dozen more characters worth commenting on and i regret not having more time to better write this, but i'm doing this hurriedly on my lunch break because i forgot to write it last night.


Natalie said...

Westolanafafawakee, but you're close :) I'm not sure who Fleur is since I'm not quite a HP buff (and I haven't seen any of the movies since the Centennial days of midnight showings) but I'll take it as a compliment I suppose. :)

The Former 786 said...

A very interesting post. I don't know if I could be as detailed as you in my ratings, but I do remember being upset that Professor Snape didn't have facial hair (as he does in the books) and I was really, really disappointed with Umbridge - because I absolutely hated her in the books and in the movie she was only fairly annoying and not toad-like enough.

I also was disappointed with Slughorn, but I don't know where the hate is coming from for Ron in the first movies. Did his performances really differ that much after Columbus left?

Well done on the Dumbledore ratings! I lament the fact that Richard Harris died because he was exactly how I imagined Dumbledore - calm and quiet, yet authoritative and powerful. Michael Gambon just reminds me of a drugged-out hippie.

And while Lupin may have been pleasing to you, I was VERY disappointed by Lupin's werewolf, which looked more like a scrawny alley cat than a werewolf, in my opinion.

Great post. I can't wait to see your official review of the last movie and the series as a whole.