TITLE: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
YEAR RELEASED: 2001
DIRECTOR: Chris Columbus
CAST: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Fiona Shaw, Richard Griffiths, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis
REVIEW BY SARAH BLAIR-DICKINSON
I’m a purist. When there’s a book that I particularly love and a film comes out of it, I want it spot-on, no alternate endings or lines misused.
Out of all of the Harry Potter films, this one stands out as being the most loyal to the book and I love it for that. The three kiddies cast in the title roles are fresh-faced and cute as buttons, which makes up for their poor acting skills (don’t worry, they get better) and each one of them look much as I imagined them to look.
In this film we see how rough Harry really has it with the Dursley’s, who hate all that magical crap and bring Harry up without telling him the truth about what happened to his parents or how he got his scar. They’re so nasty that it’s quite satisfying to see them get a taste of the magic they despise! You can’t help but get warm fuzzies when Harry finally opens his Hogwarts letter and discovers who (and what) he really is, and when Harry first sets foot into the magical world through the brick wall behind The Leaky Cauldron, it truly is, well…magic.
Harry’s first year is full of one amazing feat after another as he defeats a rogue mountain troll, sneaks around the school under an invisibility cloak and most importantly, makes friends for the first time in his life. Though Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was quite clearly made for children, there is enough adventure and intrigue to entertain an adult.