Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Something wicked this way comes.
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Written by: J.K. Rowling (novel); Steven Kloves (screenplay)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe,
Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman,
Robbie Coltrane, Maggie Smith, Tom Felton, David Thewlis, Emma Thompson
2004 Cosmique Movie Awards
As the young wizard Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) returns to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his third year, he's warned that a murderer, Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has escaped from Azkaban Prison and may be seeking to kill him next.
Chris Columbus brought author J.K. Rowlings' world to life on the silver screen for the first two films in the Harry Potter franchise, but for the third film he stepped back and remained as executive producer while Alfonso Cuarón took over directing duties. It was an interesting choice, especially since Cuarón had just finished the wonderful but controversial Mexican film "Y Tu Mama Tambien" (which was nominated for two awards and took home one for Gael Garcia Bernal).
Cuarón had an interesting challenge to tackle. In following the progression set in the novels, he needed to make things darker and more somber than the first two films while still maintaining their wonder and charm. In this, he succeeded in both, though perhaps to a greater degree with the former than the latter. And he needed to deliver a film with a kid-friendly running time while keeping devotees of the book happy with his choices of what to cut and what to keep. In this, every critic who has also read the books probably has a different opinion, but overall I think he did a fine job.
The first movie in the franchise, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," received six Cosmo nominations but didn't take home a single award, overshadowed as it was by the first Lord of the Rings film, "The Fellowship of the Ring." The second film, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," received four nominations but was again overshadowed by Peter Jackson's "The Two Towers." It will be interesting to see if taking a year off will help this franchise come awards season now that it won't have to compete against hobbits.
Overall, I'd have to say that while the third film has lost a little of the charm from its predecessors, it has more than made up for it with greater depth and grittiness.
My Rating: 7
If you would like to submit a review to be posted on this page, please submit it in plain text format to the President of the Cosmique Movie Academy. Fans who are not members of the Academy are still welcome to submit their own reviews, but we reserve the right to decline to publish any review.