Everytime I watch a Harry Potter film, I fall more in love with the entire Weasley clan. It could be because half my family is Irish, including a few freckled redheads, or it could be that the actors who play the Weasleys with impeccable consistency are just that good, that cohesive--it makes one want to become a part of that large, well-meaning family.
No spoiler alerts this time around--I want everyone to read this review and not worry about knowing more than they should, but if you read the book series by Rowling, you already know what the story is all about...what you don't know is how the film portrays that storyline through the director's gaze...in this case, the gaze of David Yates.
Yates, a 47-year old British director who's work in the HP franchise includes Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince (my two favs), gives a rich texture to the film through spanning visuals that include a snow-covered forest and a great underwater scene with ancient magical underpinnings, like the deer that leads Harry into the forest a la 1400-year old Arthurian legend.
The cast plays their parts well--and well they should! Most have been in the franchise from the beginning...which traces back to 2000's production of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, released in 2001. You'll find all your favorites as familiar as friends--taking you on a magical flight toward the end of a hero's journey...but not just one hero, many. Not the least of whom is Emma Watson's Hermione Granger. Great character from Rowling and terrifically translated to screen by Watson.
If you're a fan of the franchise, it's a MUST-SEE. On the Housel-scale, I'd give it a 9.5/10. The reason for the 9.5 is because, if you're not a fan of the books or film franchise, you may find the detailed storyline more tedium than medium for Deathly Hallows II, which premieres in July 2011. As for me, I was totally engrossed, jumping with surprise when appropriate and feeling that sense of empowerment that's only possible through those really great films that give one's imagination the confidence to take flight.
Until next time, I'll see you at the movies!