Harry Potter fans Lee and Amy Huscroft, at Winnipeg preview screening
The long awaited conclusion to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hits Winnipeg's screens tonight (July 14). It brings a close to the saga of young witches and wizards that has captured imaginations and amassed a fortune over the past fourteen years.
SCENE has not one, but two reviews to offer you. Film critic Alison Gillmor and her daughter Sophie Hershfield both give their perspective on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2.
Here's Alison Gillmor:
The Winnipeg preview screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, on Wednesday night offered real movie magic, in more ways than one.
More than an hour before the start time, seats were hard to come by and the excited crowd included a few Quidditch players and several people wearing their Gryffindor school uniforms. I was attending with Bellatrix Lestrange, a.k.a. my 13-year-old daughter Sophie.
Clearly, fans of J.K. Rowling's gazillion-selling saga have high expectations. Not to worry: Taking up from the cliffhanging ending of Part 1, this is a fitting farewell to a much-loved film series.
After the jolly first movies and the brooding middle ones, this last one manages to combine loads of eye-popping action (also available in 3D and IMAX) with a moving culmination of Rowling's serious themes of loyalty, love and sacrifice. (And there's snogging: Ron and Hermione's long-awaited lip-lock actually received a round of relieved applause.) Special effects, which have become increasingly refined in the last films, are spectacular and seamlessly integrated.
It's the story that really matters, though, and while a few of the details from the doorstopper-sized novel are left out, the emotional journey of Harry and his pals is affecting and real. Helped along by some of the best British and Irish character actors around, the young leads (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint) have really grown into their parts.
Some of the violence may be too intense for small children, but older kids and grownups will probably see the big showdown between good and evil as a triumphant finale to a 10-year saga - and a bit of a bittersweet goodbye.
The movie opens wide with Thursday midnight screenings. Silver City Polo Park started out with three screens and has added a couple more to meet fan demand. And there's bonus swag: Attendees for the midnight run should get special Harry Potter-style 3D glasses.
13 year-old Sophie Hershfield offered up her review to Marcy Markusa, Information Radio, on July 14.