One look at this shot from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Warner Bros., 7.13.07) and it’s obvious that Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have reached full biological maturity. They’re contractually obliged, of course, to portray “Harry” and “Hermione” in the movie, but given the formulaic rigidity and corporate salivation behind this franchise, any and all implications of what being in your mid-teens inevitably involves will almost certainly be ignored/repressed. Which means that the fanciful archness of the franchise is about to intensify a bit more.

Radcliffe and Watson in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Radcliffe, 17, is due to play the lead role in Equus (which requires full-frontal nudity) on the London stage next spring, and Watson, 16, posed last year for a couple of fashion mags and has almost certainly been galavanting about as girls her age always do. But if the Pheonix dialogue and/or plot in contains so much as a whiff of what’s stirring within these two in real life, I think we’ll all plotz en masse .
The Potter series is selling a lot of tickets and making a lot of people rich, but it’s a completely dead charade. The vitality has been leaking out for some time now. Alfonso Cuaron‘s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (’04) is the last one that half-mattered, and even with that one I was getting very tired of watching the same old shite. Mike Newell’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was another laborious slog, only more so. Now the series is down to hiring the likes of David Yates to direct.
On top of which Radcliffe has turned out to be Mickey Rooney, as this group portrait indicates.