Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Harry Potter and Movie Moments

Earlier this summer I put out a request for guest bloggers, and three kind souls answered the call. If you haven't read the two previous guest posts from David and Munk, they are definitely worth a look. Today's guest is known on the blog as Squilla's Aunt. She doesn't have her own blog, so she is really putting herself out there with this post. Let's give her some love in the comments.

I went to see Harry Potter 7, Part 2 opening weekend. I read all the books, saw all the movies, and was really anticipating this one. So much so, in fact, that I brought a pack of Kleenexes. The book gets me every time, in two specific places (and these shouldn’t be spoilers to anyone, should they? Consider yourself duly warned, if you haven’t finished reading Book 7: SPOILERS AHEAD, for the book and the movie.): first, when Harry is walking to meet Voldemort in the forest, and his parents and Sirius appear to him. Second, when Book 7 ends, with Harry as an adult, waving at his kids on the Hogwarts train.

The forest scene was so unexpected for me and was so touching – the parents coming to support their son, to give him courage when he needed it most. Isn’t that what we all want at the end? The knowledge that we are loved and not alone?

And then there’s the train station scene. It was the end of all of it, the final goodbye, and a wave of grief just rose up in me reading through it. When the last words were read, it couldn’t be undone. All those of you who have loved a book, loved a character, loved the world that was created within the book – you know what I’m talking about.

So back to the Kleenexes. I was prepared for those two scenes – prepared for them to move me to tears, to see and feel them in all their visual glory on the big screen. But one of the things I love most about books and movies is when out of nowhere, there’s a moment, and it just ambushes you.

For me, watching the movie, the moment was when the professors began to use all their experience, knowledge and strength to cast a protective web around Hogwarts. There was something so powerful about it – when those who had bided their time under evil began to step out and fight. And then the students joined in, taking up their own wands and standing side-by-side with their elders, as full partners in the fight.

Doesn’t sound like much, I know. I’m not going to be able to describe what it did in me or do it justice. I don’t even expect that it will be “the moment” for anyone else. But for me, that was when the Kleenexes came out, that’s when it all came alive for me, that’s what will stick.

What was one of your ‘moments’? What book, what film, had a moment that ambushed you, that sticks with you even now?


  1. First of all Squilla, great post!

    I have a lot of these moments. One that comes to mind right now is a great scene from the movie Cinderella Man. Russell Crowe's character, a boxer fighting during the Depression, begs his old boxing buddies for money. A man reduced, it's powerful stuff.

    Another one: Toward the end of Little Miss Sunshine, when the family has to do one last running start of their dysfunctional VW. The music, the metaphor, it's perfect. I've seen LMS many times, and that scene always gets me.

  2. Hmmm...a moment in film that ambushed me? Maybe it is in The Color Purple when sisters that have been apart their entire lives once again find each other and play together in a field. I thought that was an incredible moment.

  3. I missed your call for guest bloggers. Do I have the chops to guest blog for you?

  4. watcha Tim - posted a link to your blog on Facebook.

  5. Schindler's list: the girl's red coat.

  6. Great post, Squilla!

    I have to agree with Munk and the girl's red coat in Schindler's List. It touches me even now just to think about it.

  7. It is interesting how movie moments can be different from book moments. In Deathly Hallows 2, I teared up when Harry told Hermione and Ron that he knew he was one of the horcruxes and he knew Hermione had suspected it for a while. Hermione couldn't deny it and all she could do was to hug him. So much passes between the friends in that moment as they feel the inevitability of it all.

    I also love the moment when Luna sits down nonchalantly next to Neville and swings her feet. Neville's facial expression when he just kinda looks away and grins is priceless.

  8. Oh and Tim, LMS gets me every time too. Love that movie.

    Here's another one that I still remember from Ordinary People, when Timothy Hutton's character finally has sorted out his own feelings and misgivings and gives his mom a hug, and she just tenses up. Mary Tyler Moore's best moment. Chilling.

  9. Squilla,
    That was my favourite thing in the last HP movie too and I read all the books too.
    Rent "The Cure." There are so many moments in that film that totally unzipped my heart.

  10. Squilla's AuntJuly 26, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    Thanks to all for the comments! Reading each one is like getting a new little present. :) And fascinating - what is fun is how diverse many of your moments are: different types of movies, different emotions raised, different scenes that caught your attention.

    Tim: I love the phrase "a man reduced". Can't believe that I never saw Little Miss Sunshine - I always meant to and never got around to it. I think I'd like it, though.
    Michael: Watching The Color Purple puts you through the ringer. The moment you mention is worth waiting for.
    Munk and Julie: Schindler's List - sometimes I think filmmakers use surprise gratuitiously; that particular surprise was utterly profound.
    Yat-Yee: loved those moments in HP, too. Small gems! And the Ordinary People moment...chilling is a great word. I remember being so grateful my mom wasn't like her.
    dbs: Thanks for the suggestion - I will rent The Cure! Love the phrase "unzipped my heart".