Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 2004
- Director: Alfonso Cuarón
- Based on the book by J.K. Rowling
- Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Gary Oldman, Robbie Coltrane, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Emma Thompson, Fiona Shaw, Richard Griffiths, Harry Melling, Mark Williams, Julie Walters, Matthew Lewis, Tom Felton, Devon Murray, Alfie Enoch, Luke Youngblood, Danielle Tabor, David Bradley, Bonnie Wright, Jamie Waylett, Josh Hirdman, Chris Rankin, James and Oliver Phelps, Lee Inglebee, Robert Hardy, Timothy Spall
- Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
- Daniel Radcliffe – The Woman in Black, December Boys, Extras, David Copperfield
- Emma Watson – My Week with Marilyn
- Rupert Grint – Driving Lessons
- Gary Oldman – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Prick Up Your Ears, Sid and Nancy, Friends, Léon, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Bok of Eli, The Dark Knight, The Scarlet Letter, Immortal Beloved, Romeo Is Bleeding, True Romance, Dracula, JFK, Nil by Mouth (director)
- Robbie Coltrane – From Hell, Henry V, Black Adder, Tutti Frutti, Absolute Beginners
- Maggie Smith - Hotel Marigold, A Room with a View, Gosford Park, Keeping Mum, David Copperfield, Tea with Mussolini, Richard III, Sister Act, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
- Alan Rickman – Alice in Wonderland, Snow Cake, Sweeney Todd, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Love Actually, Michael Collins, Sense and Sensibility, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. The January Man, Die Hard, Romeo and Juliet
- Michael Gambon – The King’s Speech, The Book of Eli, Brideshead Revisited, Cranford, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Being Julia, Angels in America, Gosford Park, Longitude, Sleepy Hollow, Mary Reilly
- Emma Thompson – The Boat that Rocked, Brideshead Revisited, Nanny McPhee, An Education, Last Chance Harvey, Stranger than Fiction, Angels in America, Love Actually, Wit, The Remains of the Day, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Peter’s Friends, Howards End, Dead Again, Fortunes of War, Impromptu, Tutti Frutti
- Fiona Shaw – The Butcher Boy, Jane Eyre, My Left Foot,
- Richard Griffiths - The Merry Wives of Windsor, Pirates of the Caribbean, Sleepy Hollow, Gandhi, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Comedy of Errors, Withnail and I
- Harry Melling – Merlin (Gilli)
- Mark Williams – Hustle, Merlin (Goblin’s voice), Stardust, Tristram Shandy, Shackleton, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith, Shakespeare in Love
- Julie Walters - Billy Elliot, Educating Rita, Mamma Mia, Driving Lessons, Calendar Girls, The Young Jane Austin, Wah-Wah, Titanic Town, Prick Up Your Ears
- David Bradley – Another Year, Nicholas Nickleby, Our Mutual Friend, Prick Up Your Ears, A Family at War
- David Thewlis – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Kingdom of Heaven, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith, The Big Lebowski, Naked, Life is Sweet,
- Timothy Spall – The King’s Speech, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd, All or Nothing, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Our Mutual Friend, Hamlet, Secrets and Lies, Life is Sweet, Gothic, Quadrophenia
- Robert Hardy – Shackleton, Sense and Sensibility, Frankenstein, Middlemarch, Twelfth Night, How I Won the War
- Lee Inglebee – Ever After
- Why? It’s Harry Potter!
- Seen: Four or five times. Now: February 21, 2014
Harry is angry and after blowing Aunt Marge up into a balloon for insulting his parents he rages off into the night. That wild bus ride to and in London in the middle of the night is one of the funniest episodes in the whole eight film series.
But the time is definitely darker now, even if it’s sometimes shown in lighter forms like the choir singing “Something wicked this way comes” and a Quidditch game in a storm.
The dementors stalk Hogwarts looking for the mass murderer and traitor Sirius Black who has escaped from the dreaded prison Azkaban. The dementors don’t kill you, they take your soul. Everyone feels chilled and dreadfully sad in their presence; it turns out that Harry is especially susceptible – he collapses completely.
The trio are now teenagers in jeans and hoodies and trainers. Ron and Hermione are starting to show small signs of romance while Hermione and Harry are establishing a firm sister-brother relationship. Hermione has more authority now while Harry is not only angry but also sadder, deeper and more in need of learning about his parents. Which he begins to do now for the first time through the new Defence against the Dark Arts professor Remus Lupin, sympathetically played by David Thewliss. He may be a werewolf but he’s a good man and finally Harry has an adult he can relate to. The emergence of his godfather Sirius Black (was the name chosen deliberately to match the new tone of seriousness?) as a hero who had tried to save Lily and James, not betray them as most people had believed, also adds depth to Harry’s developing sense of roots and identity and longing.
It’s an emotionally turbulent film, more so than the first two. The addition of the ditzy but spooky Emma Thompson as the prophesy professor, as well as Thewliss and Gary Oldman – all three of whom are at the very top of the acting elite and personal favourites of mine – only serves to broaden and deepen what promises – from the perspective of back in the time before the rest of the films had been made – to become a monumental cultural icon equal to the novels.
Something wicked – and even more brilliant – this way indeed comes.
7 * of 7