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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

a little bit of David Tennant: ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’

This was my first exposure to David Tennant, at least that I can recall in hindsight. And I recall this because when I heard who had been cast to replace Christopher Eccleston in Doctor Who, the first thing I did was run screaming to my BFF and Doctor Who pal Bonnie and say, “Ohmygod, you’ll never guess who it is? That slithery guy who played Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter! Gross!”

Looking back now, of course, with the full knowledge of what an extraordinary actor Tennant is, I can see that the “problem” is that he’s so damn good that his Barty is so damn disgusting. I mean, eww:


It’s really too bad he appears in only three scenes (though, of course, Barty-in-disguise as Brendan Gleeson appears throughout the film). I remembered only two scenes before I rewatched the film the other day — the trial:

and the bit in which Mad Eye Moody is revealed as Barty under the influence of magic (the eww photo above is from that scene). I’d forgotten that it’s Barty who casts the Dark Mark in the sky above the campgrounds of the quidditch World Cup:

And what wicked fun he appears to be having at the job.

I’ve noticed recently, as Daniel Radcliffe has gotten older, a striking resemblance between him and Tennant, and it’s been suggested that Tennant would be perfect to play the grown-up Harry in the epilogue of the last film. I don’t see why Tennant couldn’t pull that off, even given that he’s already appeared in the series. He looks so different in every role that I bet only us crazy Tennant-philes would even realize it’s the same actor.

Not suitable for:

• no one; c’mon, who doesn’t like Harry Potter?

David Tennant checklist:

• Scottish accent: no
• big hair: no
• nudity: no
• sex: no
• lots of tongue: yes
• alcohol/drugs/polyjuice potion: yes
• evil twitching: yes
• manic grinning: yes
• villain-chic wardrobe: yes

[my review of the film] [buy at Amazon]

[part of my “summer of David Tennant and ‘Hamlet’” series]

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  • also, you should include “lots of physical movement/athletic stunts”: yes (the whole trying to get away thing — doesn’t he basically run over the top of the crowd trying to get away?) DT is a very physical actor.

  • Mimi

    Ah, the checklist! I *love* the checklist. Hilarious.

  • Weimlady

    Now you’re going to make me take this movie out of the library again, aren’t you? I did it once just to do a Tennant scan, and since I don’t have that setting on my DVD player (and don’t have a sonic screwdriver to tune it up to have one), I apparently missed the trial scene. Only saw the beginning when he casts the dark mark into the sky and sucks up to He Who Must Not Be Named, and then the transformation at the end.

    Give me a clue–where does the trial scene fall in the movie?

  • Paul Hayes

    I’m pretty sure your review of “He Knew He Was Right” on this very website would predate this, Tennant-wise.

  • Jan Willem

    DT was born in West Lothian, Scotland, and I recall one of the Hamlet reviewers blaming the perceived lack of intimacy during the monologues to him not using his native Scottish accent, so you may need to revise your checklist. Not that I’ve heard him use it, mind you.

  • Doa766

    there’re rumors about this guy playing the riddler on batman 3

  • the dude is definitely HOT..
    and such a good actor that until I saw ‘the girl in the fireplace’, I thought he was creepy, without recognizing him as having previously been crouch.
    and he does use the scottish accent in the episode with queen victoria and the werewolves.
    we don’t have cable so I don’t know if billie piper can make it back (until the library gets the next season), but the chemistry between them is so incredible. if he’s just clever enough (and I think he is), he should be able to bend time and space to go snag her back.

  • MaryAnn

    I’m pretty sure your review of “He Knew He Was Right” on this very website would predate this, Tennant-wise.

    Yeah, but I don’t remember him in that. I’m gonna watch it again, for him.

    so you may need to revise your checklist.

    Revise in what way?

  • Paul Hayes

    I think he’s very good in “He Knew He Was Right”, but I could never quite work out what he was doing there – as I remember it, his plot had absolutely nothing to do with the main story of the thing.

  • me either… i sat through the 6 hours or so, thinking there was going to be some convergence of characters … that the DT minister would be the one who reconcilled the married couple or something. it’s one of Trollope’s books i hadn’t read, so i had no idea of where things were going.

  • Weimlady

    I think Rev. Thomas Gibson’s story was purely the comic relief in He Knew He Was Right, counterposed to the tragic (albeit tedious) main story. Just watched it over the weekend. Had to fight the urge to fast-forward through the main story to get to his bits. Probably should have given in to the urge. His bits were the best parts.

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