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since 1997 | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What’s your favorite single thing about ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’?

There’s been a lot of nitpicking at the details — and the missing details — of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which is to be expected when so much of the book inevitably has been omitted from the film, and so many fans are deeply involved in both the book and film series.

But let’s not focus on the negative here — let’s talk about the awesomely good aspects of the film. So: What’s your favorite single thing about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?

Mine: Jim Broadbent as Professor Slughorn, Hogwarts’ returning Potions teacher. He steals every scene he’s in with his sad, haunted face, and one scene in particular: the one in Hagrid’s cabin, when he’s explaining about the fish he once had. Oh, it’s a lovely moment.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)



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  • D

    I think the fish’s story is the single best thing the movie adaptions ever had that wasn’t on the books. And it didn’t even envolve special effects at all… it WAS magic.
    Other than that, the scenes between Lil’ Voldy and Slughorn. That kid is just so damm PERFECT in the role…
    I would also have loved to see a “normal” looking(i.e. with a nose) Ralph Fiennes auditioning for the job of Dark Arts Defense Teacher, but I understand why that had to be cut.

  • Lisa

    completely off topic but I was watching Superman 4 the other day and noticed Jim Broadbent in it

  • CoriAnn

    The girl who plays Luna. That, to me, is just probably the most genius bit of casting ever. Every time she was on screen I was just amazed at how perfect she is in that role!

  • Joanne

    The casting continues to be sublime. Especial props for Luna, Lavender, Jim Broadbent as Slughorn and Alan Rickman’s Snape.

  • Judy

    Ron under the spell of the love potion – over the top in a good way – very funny. Harry after he took the luck potion – a more understated but equally funny take on playing someone who has no idea what they are doing and why but has 100% confidence that he is on the right track.

  • Ken

    There really should be an Academy Award for casting

  • Alli

    I agree Ken.

    The Felix Felicis scene was by far my favorite scene. From Dan’s portrayal of Harry on Felix (which really was Dan playing himself) to Broadbent’s wonderfully performed scene in Hagrid’s hut. Even Steve Kloves nailed it with the Lilly/Fish story.

  • Bree

    Hurray for the return of Kloves after the disappointing (for me, anyway) ‘Order of the Phoenix’.

    The most surprising aspect of ‘HBP’ was the rather tortured turn of Felton as Draco Malfoy. I enjoyed his arc, with Draco struggling to fulfil his secret mission – and destiny – while Harry shadows him, trying to thwart his plan but always one step behind. This was one of the most effective aspects of the film, adding pathos and a sense of grim inevitability to the story.

  • Rob

    A toss-up between the owl podium, the girlie mag hidden in the kid’s spell book at the library, and the magician with the magic hat inside Fred and George’s shop.

  • bats :[

    Maybe a bit of a downer rather than a “best” or “favorite” moment, but Hermione’s heart breaking when Lavender throws herself all over Ron, Hermione retreating to a quiet place to cry and Harry finding her. Very emotional (in a good, well-acted way)…

  • Drave

    Slughorn’s first appearance.

  • There were a handful of moments:

    1) The sad realization of what Draco was doing with those birds near the Room of Requirement

    2) The goldfish scene: Rowling’s somewhere kicking herself for not thinking of it herself…

    3) Harry goofing off whilst under the spell of Felix Felicis (I still say he’s mimicking Broadbent’s acting to a tee)

    4) All the girls being drawn to the love potion Slughorn is showing off during class

    5) Seamus exploding (again)

    6) Katie Bell’s silent scream in the snow: horror movies nowadays are never that unsettling (well, maybe the first Ring movie).

    7) Recognizing Regulus Black: that’s him dragging Harry down into the water (in fact that whole scene with the Inferi coming out of the water was done well. Readers of the book KNOW it’s coming and yet you still jump out of your seat the millisecond one reaches out to grab Harry’s arm).

    That’s the thing about *good* movies: there’s not ONE single thing that stands out, but a multitude of them, bits that make you wanna go see the movie again…

  • MindsOfMongoose

    Probably the coolest thing in the whole movie was the Pensieve effect. When the first flashback begins, and the drops of memory-ink melt into buildings and cars and Albus Dumbledore with an umbrella? So beautiful.

    Other good things: Harry under the effect of Felix (him miming the Acromantula-fangs with his fingers was hilarious), Katie Bell’s really creepy scream, the Vanishing Cabinet (which, in the movie, reminded me a lot of real-life magician’s vanishing cabinets)…the chase through the corn field…

    It was a pretty good flick =)

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