Double Book & Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The Book

gr-orderofthephoenixSo I had heard a couple of people mention this isn’t exactly their favorite of the series, one stating there was something that actually made her upset enough that she didn’t read the last two books until years later. On the flip side, I knew someone else say this book was their favorite of the series. Needless to say, I wasn’t sure what to expect exactly, but I was a little nervous.

Most of the book felt pretty typical of Harry Potter, but not in quite the same blase way The Chamber of Secrets did. Harry has a terrible time at the Dursley’s and has no clue what’s going on in the wizard world. Harry nearly gets in trouble but Dumbledore saves him. We meet a new professor, Umbridge, who is awful and I hate her. We meet Luna Lovegood (finally, I’ve been oddly fascinated about meeting her), and we get some more of Cho and Ginny and Neville and Fred and George and others.

Then there’s the point before the climax where things aren’t looking good, our characters take a journey, are thrust into the climax which is pretty dramatic, but for some reason I didn’t quite feel it as much as I would have expected. I think I can blame this at least partially on the time I was reading these scenes, particularly that I didn’t get to read this part all at once, so that probably hurt more than any of the actual writing. And then, that thing that made me nervous even though I didn’t know what it would be until it happened HAPPENED and that kind of shocked me and then once it sunk in for me the way it did for Harry I was just so incredibly sad. Especially when Harry opens that package at the end and you realize so much could have been avoided and it sort of bothers me he doesn’t even acknowledge that himself, but then again maybe it’s for the better he doesn’t think of it? But it bothered me.

And then what is up with Dumbledore? I can’t decide if it’s a character flaw or an author flaw that he didn’t tell Harry ALL THE THINGS at the end of book 3. That really would have been the time. How much of this did Rowling have planned out in advance? I have no idea. I almost felt like Dumbledore was like, “Please excuse my dumbness, but two books ago I honestly had no idea the story was going to turn out this way.” But I don’t know, maybe she really wanted Dumbledore to mess up that badly. I mean, people do that. It just stinks, especially when you think they’re so wise.

Anyhow, I did enjoy it overall, but so far it is my second least favorite. Based on what I hear, that’s probably where it will stay. I’ve been trying to decide between a 4 and a 4.5… and I think I’ve finally settled on 4 stars.


The Movie

orderofthephoenixI didn’t enjoy this movie as much as The Goblet of Fire, but I did enjoy it more than the first three. The changes are still there, but I think I’ve become a bit more forgiving of them. And again, the direction in this one was mostly pretty good, though I didn’t love the beginning scene with Dudley and Harry. This one was also shorter than the others, so it almost felt too short, even though I don’t think it actually was.

The only specific thing I really wanted to mention about the movie was that I think the actress who played Luna did a great job. And I love that added scene of her and Harry in the forest.

4stars2What are your thoughts on Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix (book and/or movie)?

23 Responses to Double Book & Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

  1. My brief rant, that I think ties into you not completely feeling the finale … how are you going to spend the entire book separating a certain character from everyone else, and then expect me to care when they die? I guess it is the failed journey that is a gut punch, but still.

    I love Luna and I love to hate Umbridge.

    Book 6 and 7 are my faves.

  2. One thing I felt like Rowling totally nailed in this book was the impotent rage that so many teens feel – the powerlessness as things fall to bits around them. I felt that way when I read the book, and it’s the sign of a great author that they can evoke the same feelings in the reader that their character is experiencing.

    I really do think Dumbledore was acting in Harry’s best interests to not tell him everything when he was just thirteen. That’s a heavy burden to bear, and I wonder if he’d have fought so hard in the graveyard had he known it had to be him or Voldemort.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts on the sixth and seventh books. Umbridge is a pivotal character and indicative of human fallibility, in my opinion.

  3. I love all the Harry Potter books, but Order of the Phoenix is definitely my least favorite. I always feel it’s the least satisfying “end of book battle”, because the pages leading up to it just bore me. When I was younger, my main problem with the book was how annoying Harry was being. That doesn’t bother me anymore(because he’s fifteen now & just gone through a great trauma!), but I think it could have been at least 100 pages shorter. I tend to skim it on my re-reads.

    • Yeah, I think Harry being annoying is totally justifiable. He was kind of that way in Goblet of Fire too, though without the screaming at Dumbledore. I could understand wanting to skim this one during rereads, it really is long and probably didn’t need to be quite so much.

  4. I really don’t remember my feelings on this book which might be a good indication of how much I liked it because I feel like I have a better memory for the other books. But since this was also after Goblet of Fire (which is such an awesome book) then this was bound to disappoint me a little. It’s just two more books for you now Amy! It’s going to be interesting to get your reflections on the series as a whole! 🙂

  5. This was also one of my least favorite of the books for the same reasons you named. That mirror scene at the end really bothered me…in fact, why the hell didn’t they use the map and the cloak of invisibility more often. But I really did love the scene where Dumbledore takes out the Minister of Magic, Umbridge, and pretty much everyone else on the opposing side in his office.

    The movie felt shorter to me, too. I like the added scene with Luna in it, but I feel like the movie as a whole felt more like a summary of the book than it did as its own personal art form. The lady who played Umbridge did a fantastic job, but otherwise this is one of the movies that I feel could have been expanded even by about five minutes to keep some more of the fun and life in it. I really wanted to see more of the school feuding against Umbridge to get more satisfaction.

    • That was a great scene!

      I feel that way about all the movies, honestly, even when they clock in just under 3 hours. It’s like they really can’t capture the book. Goblet of Fire has come closest to me, so far, for being able to stand on its own.

  6. I felt the same way about this book after the first time I read it – it wasn’t until my (many) rereads that I fell in love with it! It’s now my third favorite, actually. On the subject of Dumbledore: I think he’s more screwed up than I originally wanted to admit. I mean, he was supposed to be THE ONE WITH THE WISDOM, but that’s not really what happens. But all that comes in the last two books 😛

  7. I can’t ever decide on a favorite for Harry Potter, and I don’t want to. I read it over my childhood, and each books holds such a special place in my heart. I’ve got fond memories of rereading the books up to my latest purchase; I took forever to buy the 7th. I have such a love for the series as a whole and I can’t choose a favorite.

  8. I don’t remember this book a ton but I remember not liking Harry much at all because he’s so angry the whole time. And not liking Dumbledore because he’s so circumspect. But I did like Snape a little bit with the whole occlumency thing.

    This is my least favorite movie, though. It is too short! And actually it is on purpose. This is the first time David Yates directed and he actually said it was his goal to make the shortest Harry Potter film. He didn’t understand that people watch these movies because they want to be immersed in the world – they like longer films! He directed the next three very well but I wasn’t thrilled with this one.

    Luna is great, though.

  9. I can’t remember how I felt about this book as a whole, despite me having reread it within the past year. I do remember this being kind of a pivotal book in which we get to see flaws and angst and a glimpse of the true terror that is about to come. The movie is actually what made me want to read the books. I remember going to see it and coming out of it feeling very confused like I had missed something. Still not my favorite of the movie series, but it makes a lot more sense now that I’ve read the book series!

  10. “Order of the Phoenix” was never my favorite book OR movie (it’s definitely my least favorite movie) but I’m actually listening to it on audiobook right now and I like it so much better. I haven’t read the book in a while, and I think I dislike the movie partly because I find Umbridge so despicable and annoying. I feel like she’s not quite as center-stage in the book version.

    I don’t normally like audiobooks, but the HP ones read by Jim Dale are fantastic! A co-worker (and fellow Potter lover) kept talking about them, so instead of doing a re-read of the series I decided to listen to the audiobooks and it was definitely the right decision! It’s almost like re-discovering the books — and listening to them (with all the amazing voices Jim Dale does) puts a whole new perspective on the stories.

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