Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – While the press salivates about the box office achievement of the last film in the Harry Potter series, it’s worth noting that, financial success aside, it also represents a victory for cinematic storytelling. We watched young actors Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson and Rupert Gint grow into their roles and adulthood. We became mesmerized by a series that, with the exception of Michael Gambon taking over the role of Dumbledore after Richard Harris’s death, established a continuity of cast, production design and storytelling quality that equals, if not surpasses outright, Peter Jackson’s accomplishments with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The only notably galling hiccup, production-wise, occurred when Alfonso Cuaron took over from Christopher Columbus in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and took a few jarring liberties with the Hogswarts geography. At least that’s the sort of nuisance that can be overlooked in the context of a series that fashioned from J.K. Rowling’s words a magical and believable universe filled with charming characters and an imaginative, emotional take on the perpetual good versus evil narrative.
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