Half-Blood Prince Review Roundup: Radcliffe Has Never Been Better Than HereHBP Film
There are a whole host of new reviews for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince online today before the UK premiere of the film later today in London. Most are very positive about the film, notable are comments from the Telegraph that remark on performances from both the adult actors and the Trio, especially on Dan Radcliffe as Harry Potter: "Increasingly, they give the
films their backbone, a central truthfulness on which all the magic hangs.
Radcliffe in particular, has never been better than here, displaying new
maturity and subtlety." The review continues:
"But these young actors are surrounded by one of the finest groups of British acting talent ever assembled, and as the films get meatier, they shine ever more brightly. Here Gambon, moved from the periphery to centre stage, combines whimsy — “oh to be young and feel love’s keen sting” — and real authority. Helena Bonham Carter, as the shriekingly wicked Bellatrix Lestrange, enlivens proceedings considerably; Alan Rickman motors effortlessly from malice to pure malevolence as Snape; Maggie Smith brings emotion as well as humour to the part of Professor McGonagall. New characters are effortlessly absorbed into this Rolls Royce of an ensemble: Helen McCrory is both sinister and febrile in a tiny scene as Malfoy’s distraught mother; Jim Broadbent is a joy as the social-climbing Horace Slughorn, who makes his first appearance disguised as an armchair."
The Evening Standard is less enthusiastic, however still gives the film three stars out of five, saying: "Broadbent is affecting as a man thoroughly out of his depth, unaware of how his habit of picking teacher’s pets has been exploited. Gambon’s performance as Dumbledore is shot through with looming pathos.
Sound-Screen UK emailed us with their review, giving high marks to Tom Felton's performance as the conflicted Draco Malfoy:
"Set a mission of his own Draco Malfoy (Felton) is elevated from one dimensional school bully to a tortured and desperate, lonely teenager. Increasingly afraid and with little hope of achieving his goal Felton gives his Hitler Youth poster boy hitherto unseen layers and proves himself worthy to the task. Acting with emotion and more than a little class you may find yourself sympathising with the previously odious Malfoy. In many ways the Half-Blood Prince is as much Draco’s tale as it is Harry’s, his actions changing Hogwarts forever."
Finally CHUD is also quite positive on the movie, speculating that the terrific performance by Jim Broadbent as Horace Slughorn ("a thing of beauty') might be an Oscar worthy one:
"And it has Jim Broadbent. Could a Harry Potter film make a showing at the Oscars in a non-technical category? If Warner Bros plays their cards right I believe that they could easily wrangle a nod for Broadbent, who plays new Potions teacher Horace Slughorn. While Slughorn, a retired teacher who Dumbledore needs back at Hogwarts as he holds a vital clue to defeating the resurrected Voldemort, was never a favorite of mine in print, Broadbent takes the role and does unbelievable things with it. He plays a level of buffoonery that's hilarious - we're introduced to Slughorn when he's morphed himself into a recliner - but the actor also manages to bring a level of sadness that is palpable and affecting. Slughorn 'collects' students; his self-image comes from being the mentor to witches and wizards who went on to do great things. In a momentary lapse of judgment he helped young Tom Riddle, the boy who would grow up to be Voldemort, find the key to a kind of immortality. Broadbent keeps the sadness and shame and regret just under the surface, and when he fully brings it out he doesn't overdo things. The performance is a thing of beauty."