Variety Review of Half-Blood Prince: Indispensable Rickman Delivers


Jul 06, 2009

Posted by SueTLC

Variety has now posted their review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and it contains much praise for the sixth installment in the Harry Potter film series. Noting that director David Yates “displays noticeably increased confidence here, injecting more
real-world grit into what began eight years ago as purest child’s fantas,” and has made a film that is “film is clear-headed and clean-lined.”

The long review notes the physical changes of the cast, but does hand praise to the efforts of the adult cast members in particular making mention of the actor who plays Professor Slughorn, saying “Jim Broadbent, who makes a terrific disguised entrance and is then simply grand as the eccentric old prof.” Of note however are remarks about the performance of a critical character in the film.

“It’s this chapter in the Potter saga that obliges the always nasty but
ambiguously motivated Severus Snape to show his true colors, and the
indispensable Rickman delivers, as always, with line readings that are
delicacies of the infinitely mordant kind. He is periodically egged on
by the insidious Bellatrix Lestrange, a role Helena Bonham Carter plays
with such mesmerizing abandon that one hopes the role fully pays off in
the final chapter.

Among the always outstanding production values and top-drawer visual
effects, special note should be made of series newcomer Bruno
Delbonnel’s exceptionally atmospheric cinematography and Nicholas
Hooper’s emotionally churning score, which contains only the slightest
trace of John Williams’ original themes.

Thanks Taylor!

81 Responses to Variety Review of Half-Blood Prince: Indispensable Rickman Delivers

Avatar ImageFonty says: Positive reviews are nice to read. I can´t believe I will see THE MOVIE in 10 days. :)Avatar Imagewisemar says: Rickman is so good sometimes when I'm reading the books I actual picture him in my head. He absolutely embodies Snape. I can't wait for the Spinner's End scene. I hope they leave it in! Avatar Imagehermiones says: cant wait for the movie only 8 days left for me yay!Avatar Imagehermiones says: i have already got my tickets to see it in cinemas i bought them a week ago yay!Avatar Imagehermiones says: is it me or is everyone going to watch this movie at least twice in cinemas if its good??Avatar Imagegryffindor1991 says: I think Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham Carter are perfect as Snape and Bellatrix.Avatar Imagehermiones says: alan rickman is a superb actor he just keeps delivering and the movies in which i have seen him in are always so diverse and different and he plays such prominent and different characters in each of them and seems so convincing...he is someone to inspire of being like....a great actor :)Avatar ImageFresca says: The movie and the cast are going to be great! Rickman and Bonham carter make great adversaries.Avatar Imagehermiones says: yes i agree with some of you alan and helena and maggie smith are some of the great actors in harry potter, that film its like a complete mixture oof great actors...i wish i could be apart of itAvatar Imagecheeserpleaser says: I cannot wait to see the performance that Alan Rickman delivers in this movie, as the Half-Blood Prince is the installment in which he plays the most indispensible role.Avatar Imagebeewell says: The excitment is building up for this movie! Can't wait to see it. The reviews are great! Ten more days!Avatar ImageFereverto says: Another good review! YEA!Avatar Imagebiiigbob says: Rickman has such finesse with Snape. Though the ending is now known, Rickman can still deliver the doubt with Snape's loyalties. Avatar ImageHermione Elizabeth says: AWESOME!! I'm so excited to see Rickman again playing Snape... he is my all-time favorite character for the books and movies! :)Avatar Imagesachem says: No one could do Snape the way Alan Rickman does. He is perfect for that kind of part and I truly adore his portrayal. I don't mean to extenuate the man in any way, but I really do think the likes of Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, David Thewlis, Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall and Helena Bonham Carter are probably all slightly "better" actors if you regard their entire respective body of work throughout the years. Regarding the youngsters I have always been of the opinion that Tom Felton is more promising than all the rest put together, and that has absolutely nothing to do with Dan Radcliffe's height.Avatar Imagebella vita says: I'm having a hard time understanding how Dan being shorter than the rest of the cast has anything to do with his performance or the quality of this film what so ever. This is at least the third review/article for HBP that the writer has made a comment regarding Dan's height. Still I'm happy about the praise for Alan and Helena. They certainly more than deserve it. I'm so excited for HBP especially after watching the HBO First Look at it yesterday which looked amazing.Avatar ImageEeyore says: Alan Rickman is good (well, great) in everything he does. So it's not surprising that he's excellent as Snape in this one. My only fear was that they hadn't shown enough of him to bring out how important his character is in this movie. Ten more days! I have my tickets and I'm SOOOOOOO ready.Avatar Imagesnapes_half-blood_princess says: I am so pleased that Alan Rickman received rave reviews, they are very much deserved. He is the only actor who could ever play Snape imo. I have a been a huge fan of his since Die Hard, but even if I wasn't, his portrayal of Snape would have made me a fan. Someone mentioned Spinner's End and I just saw photos of Snape in his home and it looks perfect and Rickman looks wonderful. I am so excited.....Avatar Imagebookishgal says: Pretty glowing review.Avatar Imagegranger_malfoy says: its amazing that we have been able to get all these amzing actors to be in one film series it really shows people how good our birtish actors are!Avatar Imagegirlatty1 says: Rickman has made Snape into a truly believable bad guy - a detestable Snape.Avatar ImageRhiannon7 says: One of the true strengths of the HP saga in the movies is the skill of these seasoned actors and actresses. The ever lovely Alan Rickman is the embodiment of Snape. I am glad that Variety thinks Jim Broadbent has done a fine job as well. I have seen him in several different roles and if he can bring to Slughorn what he did at Bridget Jone's dad, he should be excellent. I still have my doubts about Michael Gambon, but the kick a-- DD we see in the cave previews might just prove me wrong. And sorry that Dan isn't tall enough for the reviewer. His strength is not in his stature, but his ability to get inside Harry's head. : P Avatar Imagecallicott3 says: Wonderful review! And so on the money! this is gonna be one spectacular movie...and I'm already ticketed for two showings! WOO HOO!Avatar Imagemollywobble says: Though I'm happy Variety enjoyed the movie, I expected more from the review on the younger actors besides "Tom Felton is tall," "Emma Watson is Hot!" and "Dang, Dan Radcliffe is short!" I really would have liked to hear more about their performances. What is nice is that McCarthy also wrote the review for OotP in 2007, so it's interesting to compare and contrast what he had to say about that film. He really seemed to enjoy HBP more than OotP, which has me excited, because it took me several viewings before I really appreciated that film. So Yay!Avatar ImageOldZeke says: Rickman always seems to give a very good performance, remember him from Die Hard. He plays a villian so good. He would have made a great he who must not be named also. I just hope that HBP is a much better movie than OOTP which I thought was terrible. T for Trool.Avatar ImageOldZeke says: Rickman always seems to give a very good performance, remember him from Die Hard. He plays a villian so good. He would have made a great he who must not be named also. I just hope that HBP is a much better movie than OOTP which I thought was terrible. T for Trool.Avatar ImageWolfyWizard says: I'm so happy to hear a good review, it makes me even more excited for the movie!!Avatar ImageLuce_depp says: Alan Rickman will always get good reviews, coz he's amazing. I think Maggie smith will do well in this if they keep her in the right scenes. Helena Bonham Carter seems like the perfect BellatrixAvatar Imageweasleyheir says: Alan Rickman is the reason i bought advanced tickets, hahaha:]Avatar ImageOldZeke says: Rickman always seems to give a very good performance, remember him from Die Hard. He plays a villian so well. He would have made a great he who must not be named also. I just hope that HBP is a much better movie than OOTP which I thought was terrible. T for Trool.Avatar ImageJadeDanielle says: Awesome! I don't know what the whole review is like, but at least the parts you quoted are great! Especially since they point out Alan in particular...well, how could they not :)Avatar ImageTamyris says: Michael Gambon might be a good actor be he totally sucks as Dumbledore. Rupert is the most talented among the youngsters. Rickman is an awesome Snape indeed. Avatar Imagemadbrad says: I had to laugh at the critic's corroboration of the crazy canon, viz "the brilliant Hermione unaccountably loves the comparatively slow-witted Ron". I guess anyone who walks out of the movie holding to the view that Hermione's attraction to Ron is unfathomable will be instructed to "go back and watch it again". :-) Bonnie Wright's "plain Jane Ginny" appears to be the complete opposite of her canon counterpart ... so yes, a much better chance for the character to 'grow on us' this time around!Avatar ImageCandyCane2304 says: I think everyone fits their character's. I think he was giving Bonnie a hard time. In the movies they make her look drab sometimes in her clothing, but in real life she is not plain jane to me. Also nothing Dan can do about his height. Even he has made it known that he will like to grow more. At least he isn't the shortest, that goes to Devon Murray. If anything Matthew Lewis and Alfie Enoches left everyone in the dust when it comes to height. Avatar Imagetreacletartftw says: Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham Carter are perfect as Snape and Bellatrix! I'm definitely looking forward to seeing them in the sixth film, especially Spinner's End!Avatar Imageravensmith says: Again, this only increases the excitement!Avatar ImageLovelySlytherinWitch19 says: Alan Rickman and Helena Bonham Carter are TERRIFIC! I just love the cast the way it is, and I'm glad they made the right choices and didn't make any huge mistakes like Summit Entertainment did with "Twilight"Avatar ImageErinM says: He embodies Snape better than any other could have.Avatar Imagetheyoungwizard says: God! I love Alan Rickman, I mean, as a actor, haha!Avatar Imagebettb says: This certainly should be Rickman's film in which to shine; Snape is, after all, "The Half-Blood Prince" of the title. Looking forward to a much fuller role for him in this one, and the last (two).Avatar ImageLoSushi says: snape is the best!!Avatar Imagemaimiaa says: yayyy! so awesome. so excited for the movie!!Avatar ImageBwaySaint says: EXCELLENT review! I already have my tickets for the midnight showing - so. can't. wait!!!!!Avatar ImageWeenyOwl says: I agree that Alan Rickman totally owns the part of Snape, & I sincerely hope that they give him way more screen time in the last 3 movies than he's gotten in the first 5. For my money Snape is the most interesting character in the whole series simply because of the brilliant way in which JKR walked the knife-edge of ambiguity with his development. (Not that she totally fooled us all - I take great pride in the fact that I correctly figured out his ulterior motive even before the SWM scene! "Always...") But I disagree about Helena Bonham-Carter being properly cast. I can't get past the fact that she is WAY too young for the role. If Bellatrix met her husband while a Hogwarts student, she would be close in age to Voldemort himself - mid-60s at the time of our story. So the punk makeup & hair & sexy tattered bondage garb just don't work for me, somehow. Avatar Imagedianis0813 says: OMG im just cant wait!!! i wanna see the moviee!Avatar Imageoldenoughtoknowbetter says: great review can't wait to finally do one of my own on the 15th!!!Avatar Imagemoglet says: Don't worry everyone, Spinners End is there and it is very well done. Michael Gambon really portrays Dumbledore as I have always imagined him in this book, Tom Felton is excellent and Rupert is too. Daniel has grown with each film and I think he is very good in this. Overall I still find Emma is the least accomplished, you can see her acting most of the time, if you know what I mean. There are times though when she is better in this, such as a lovely scene with Dan after Lavender and Ron get together, and some fun stuff with Cormac McLaggan. The potions book is used to good effect, the Half-Blood Prince is quite clearly referenced, I know some people were worried about it not being included enough, don't worry, it is. I'm glad to see good reviews as it is a very good film. Any negative reviews that appear? Well I imagine that the reviewers must just have an axe to grind. Avatar Imagesevpatronus_93 says: every good review makes me so much more excited to see the movie. i'm so happy! :DDDDAvatar Imagehewy says: Snape is so central to this franchise, it is great to see him get some well deserved high praise. Only one more week and two days!!!!!Avatar Imagemarypao says: I was happy about the well-deserved praise for Alan Rickman butI was a bit disappointed that the old thing that the reviewer could say about Dan Radcliffe was that he was the shortest of the cast. Avatar Imagegoodenough says: All hail Alan Rickmann! I can't wait to see him in this move.. he's fantastic.. <3Avatar ImageHPNAIV says: This review makes me so excited. Only nine more days...Avatar ImageGiant Squid says: This is great! Im just a little upset that they don't introduce Scrimgeour until the last movie (or second last).Avatar Image-MischiefManaged- says: Alan Rickman is a superb actor, there's no way around that. He is definitely among the very best actors in the entire HP cast, possibly even *the* best (along with Helena Bonham-Carter). He has certain mannerisms that were already there when I saw him in Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves way back when, but those mannerisms make his portrayal of Severus Snape even more perfect. As for Helena Bonham-Carter, she's definitely a superb actor as well, and very, very good at playing characters who are, well, not entirely "there", so to speak. Characters that are a few Sickles short of a Galleon, or, in Muggle terms, a few bricks short of a load.Avatar ImageMy_Balloon says: YES! I'm so happy Rickman got it! That is cruicial.Avatar Imagecghambright says: Awesome! I can't wait to see this movie ONly 9 days left! Is Ginny supposed to be a plain jane though?...that's kind of harsh. Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: Just a lil' over a week to go!Avatar ImageRosalie says: I love all these positive reviews!Avatar ImageDiamondWings says: wow! cool!!!Avatar ImageClariceCuri says: Alan Rickman is the perfect Snape. I adore him.Avatar Imagemoglet says: I thought the reviewer's comments about the young actors was very unprofessional, Daniel's height is just life, how does that have any bearing on his ability? Calling Ginny a plain Jane was especially uncalled for, Bonny is a lovely looking young lady. Ginny is described as very attractive, but I've always thought that her character, the brave, honest, feisty and funny girl is what Harry is most attracted to. The reviewer makes it sound as if looks are the most important thing, these sort of comments always make me cross.Avatar Imageshellybasson says: Eek. Eek. Shriek!!!Avatar ImageiLoveDolores says: OMG i cant wait =D 15th july is going to be the most amazing day =DAvatar ImageDemarest says: Besides Rickman, I'm so glad to hear that the score is so awesome! Nicholas Hooper is awesome! He'll probably get so many more film gigs after he's finished with Potter. As I understand it, he'd been doing a lot of television scoring prior to.Avatar ImageLillylove says: Just love it when actors I really appreciate get the credit they deserve! Nice review.Avatar Imageele0206 says: Very positive review!! That's wonderful. "line readings that are delicacies of the infinitely mordant kind." wowwwwAvatar Imageele0206 says: Very positive review!! That's wonderful. "line readings that are delicacies of the infinitely mordant kind." wowwwwAvatar ImageMoose_Starr says: Okay ... getting real excited for this movie now. It is so cool to read a review where they give such praise to the *indispensable Rickman* ... he truly is an awesome actor and portrays Snape perfectly (in my opinion). It will be interesting to finally see the scenes I've imagined for so long but, there are some scenes I'm just dreading because, I know it's going to be so tough to watch :(Avatar Imagejenge says: Good to see Alan Rickman getting some highly deserved praiseAvatar ImageNymphadoraMae says: Woooo go Alan! He is awesome and just IS Snape. Love Helena Bonham Carter too. Wicked reviews! :)Avatar Imagedanaskeeter says: Alan Rickman has been excellent from the beginning, and Helena Bonham Carter is absolutely perfect as Bellatrix! Avatar Imageforgetmenot_007 says: Yeah,I can't think of anyone else as Snape.Avatar ImageLivelaughlovepotter says: Love the positive reviews! Snape is gonna be soooo severrmazing!Avatar Imagepotterrock says: ilovee alann rickmann (LLLLL....iss perfect snape....icannot wait the scense of spinner's end :)Avatar Imagebudgie says: Harry was supposed to be short for his age, a function of the treatment by the Durseleys.Avatar Imagewoodersongal says: I love Alan Rickman. No one could play Snape better.Avatar Imagesnunkiebrian says: Thats always good to read, can't wait for it to come out!! Avatar Imagehermyone08 says: Yay, positive HBP reviews! :)Avatar ImageGTHunter says: rotten tomatoes gave the movie a 100%!!!Avatar ImageKC Nox says: I love Alan! and I love Alan as Snape!!Avatar ImagecrazyforSeverus says: I love Alan Rickman and he stole the show in the half-blood prince with his facial expressions. He is the perfect Snape and I love him!

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