Wednesday, July 11, 2007


i'm in ravenclaw!

be sorted @

That's right, bitches. Ravenclaw REPRESENT! My kids faked their answers to get into Gryffindor, but I'm cool with the Ravenclaw. If I went to Hogwarts, I'd be in that library all day, yo. All day.

Saw the new Harry Potter movie. It delivered most of the fan service I expect from these movies, so I'm happy. The last third of the movie is a little uninspiring for grownups--the standard tropes come out in force. The following line is just about word-for-word. "I've been thinking about something Dumbledore said to me. No matter what Voldemort throws at us, we'll still have something he doesn't have--something worth fighting for."

Dolores Umbridge is brilliantly performed by Imelda Staunton. Now, this film plays to my biases--stupid freaking Ministry of Magic, "prohibit what must be prohibited"--they don't actually use the line "We're from the government and we're here to help you good and hard," but they could have.

That said, watch this film in the theater and see if you're not fighting the urge to get up and slap that officious little JBT (Jack-Booted Toad) upside her prim little head yourself. I dare you. She's just . . . SO . . . she plays Umbridge as a combination of Goebbels, big brother, and that one nosy old bitch neighbor you hated when you were a kid. Words fail me. Staunton usually plays brusque but lovable "mum" characters, but this time you'll just straight-up hate her.
The kittens alone are enough to send shivers down my spine. Oh, God, not the kittens.

Consider this, a thought I've never considered before: Harry and Dumbledore actually feel some tiny point of empathy for Voldemort, particularly as Harry learns his history in The Half-Blood Prince. Snape . . . well, we all know how Harry's father treated Snape when they were young. Besides, Snape was emo. Cornelius Fudge is never really presented as a bad man so much as a scared politician desperate to do anything at all.

Dolores Umbridge is one of the very few characters in this series for whom we are never asked to feel a single drop of empathy. The only people I can think of who come close besides minor throwaways like that reporter What's-Her-Name are Draco Malfoy's father, Lucius (debatable) and maybe the house-elf Kreacher.

Anyway, Staunton makes you feel downright good about hating Dolores Umbridge.


Tom said...

"We're from the government and we're here to help you good and hard,"

LO (f'ing) L !!

You kill me.

I guess I should break down and actually read the books now. I was waiting for my seven year old to be ready for them so we could read them together.

Don Gwinn said...

I didn't make that one up, unfortunately, but I have no idea who to credit.

The faceless sea of nerds that is the internet, I guess.

david said...

Oh so that was the actress who played Umbrage...I was thinking Sarah Brady went to Hollywood!

Don Gwinn said...

Oooooh . . . that's a Photoshop challenge if I ever heard one!