PADDINGTON 2 Was Robbed and I’m Still Mad About It

I think everyone can agree that it’s been a strange and awkward awards season, to say the very least. So many noteworthy films have been snubbed by the industry’s biggest televised award ceremonies: 50% of the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. There were so many films last year that deserved recognition, from Eighth Grade to Suspiria, but one stood out to me amongst the crowd: Paddington 2.

Now, yes, it was my favorite film of 2018, so maybe I’m approaching this with a slight tinge of bias. But there’s a reason that Paddington 2 broke the Rotten Tomatoes record for best-reviewed film, and the fact that it’s gotten basically zero recognition this award season is equivalent to that of a war crime.

Paddington 2 (2017) – source: StudioCanal

Paddington: A Good Boy, and A Good Movie Too

The first Paddington, released in 2014, was a wonderful story of a young Peruvian bear travelling to London and becoming part of a new family. But it barely scratched the surface of what this cast and crew were truly capable of – because the sequel enhances every single aspect of its predecessor. While it may not look like your traditional ‘Best Picture’ nominee, Paddington 2 is a surprisingly well-crafted piece of cinema. The screenplay, written by Paul King (who is also the director) and Simon Farnaby, is especially tight and intricate.

The story finds Paddington looking for a job, so that he can afford the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s birthday (a wonderful pop-up book of London). Without giving too much away, Paddington and his adopted family (The Browns) end up going through many trials and tribulations. Every single main character gets some sort of arc, and the script is packed with setups and payoffs left and right. Not to mention that there’s also an inclusive, anti-Brexit theme flowing throughout as we see Paddington’s London for the melting pot it truly is.

Paddington 2 (2017) – source: StudioCanal

Paul King returned to his director’s chair for the sequel and his direction is vibrant, fresh, and aesthetically pleasing. The impressive cinematography and cozy color palette help amplify the warmth given off by Paddington himself. Speaking of my son, the visual effects done to bring the lovable bear to life are incredible. And it’s not just with Paddington – there are several outstanding sequences throughout the film that were mainly created by Framestore, a British VFX company. Two standout scenes that come to mind involve a life-size pop-up book, and steam trains.

Ben Whishaw completes Paddington by lending his naïve yet loveable, youthful voice to the role. The rest of main cast returns from the first film as well, including Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters and Peter Capaldi. New cast members include Brendan Gleeson, Jessica Hynes, Noah Taylor, and many more. They all give excellent performances with great comedic timing. But oh my god, I haven’t even mentioned Hugh Grant yet.

Paddington 2 (2017) – source: StudioCanal

Grant plays Phoenix Buchanan, Paddington 2’s delightful antagonist. A narcissistic and washed-up actor best known for shooting dog food commercials, Buchanan clashes with Paddington when it turns out that they both want the same pop-up book. I’ve always been a fan of Hugh Grant, from Notting Hill to Music and Lyrics, but he’s an absolute scene-stealer here. As Buchanan, Grant gets to chew the scenery with a variety of personas. Also, he gets to do a song and dance number at one point, and that should be more than enough to sell you on this film, if nothing else has already.

Daylight Robbery

Upon release, Paddington 2 was understandably critically acclaimed. On Rotten Tomatoes, there are 222 reviews for the film, and none of them – not a single one – are negative. It holds the site’s record for best-reviewed movie, and that’s not going away any time soon. Paddington’s still the King, baby, now and forever.

Paddington 2 (2017) – source: StudioCanal

With all the critical praise, I went into this awards season filled with hope and optimism – which my cynical self probably got from watching Paddington 2 in the first place. When it came to Oscar nominations, I thought, okay, maybe Best Picture is a long shot even if it really deserves it. But surely, it would be a guaranteed lock for Best Visual Effects? And then the Oscars released their shortlist. Tragically, I was wrong.

But I still held hope. I began wishing a little harder for Best Picture, and I thought that there was no way Hugh Grant wouldn’t get a nod for Best Supporting Actor. I woke up bright and early for when they announced the nominees. But I never saw Paddington 2. All I could see was… Vice and Bohemian Rhapsody? I was heartbroken, trapped in what felt like a nightmare, but was very much a cold and cruel reality. A plot was surely afoot.

As I adjusted to the new, bleak world that I found myself in, Boots Riley posted a thread on twitter explaining why his own film, Sorry to Bother You, wasn’t nominated either. And it’s, at the very least, because they didn’t run an ad campaign. Simple as. I looked at Paddington 2 and realized that they hadn’t ran a campaign either, so maybe I was the fool for going in believing that they would get nominations. However, due to my bias, I still consider this an injustice and will continue to demand reparations from the Academy.

Paddington 2 (2017) – source: StudioCanal

If we’re kind and polite, the world will be right.”

Paddington

Paddington 2 isn’t just a well-made film for the whole family: It’s the ultimate feel good movie. Pure and good escapism. It’s an aesthetic for when I’m feeling down. And so, it can be disappointing to not see something you love be gratified like you know it deserves to be. But I think that Paddington himself probably wouldn’t mind and would just be happy to know that he made others feel good.

If you haven’t seen it already, I obviously recommend Paddington 2. There’s also a cartoon coming soon on Nickelodeon for children, which I will of course be watching. I should also note now, in advance, that I’ll be personally overseeing the show’s campaign for a Daytime Emmy. Be sure to RSVP.

HARRY POTTER and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Crown Jewel Of Its Series

The Harry Potter series has left an indelible mark on my life. A gilded, glowing fantasy world that swept me away when I picked up the first book in third grade, and has lingered with me ever since. This declaration of love is highly common, as the series itself quickly became a pop culture landmark and a household name, and remains one to this day.

Readers were captivated by J.K. Rowling’s beautifully illustrative writing, and dually enraptured when director Chris Columbus adapted the first Harry Potter book into film in 2001. It’s the books that were the highlight of my childhood, but as I grow older, I find my appreciation of the films almost on par with my appreciation of the books. But it’s only one of the 8 films in particular that has enchanted me throughout both my childhood and current adolescence, and that I consider to be my favorite film of all time: Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban.

Family Ties In Voldemort’s Absence

The third installment in the Harry Potter series sets itself apart with one major detail: it’s the only installment where the series’s overarching main antagonist, Voldemort, doesn’t appear. The core conflict, instead, is based around Sirius Black. An ‘antagonist’ shrouded in mythology revealed to be Harry’s kin by the end of the story turns out to be a compassionate man whose violence was spurred on by revenge.

It’s the only installment, apart from the final one, that doesn’t end on a heavily dubious note. It’s a full circle, and could even work loosely as a standalone film (in terms of conclusiveness). This time, we’re not dealing with some snake-like, slightly supernatural being. The ‘villain’ is an ordinary man who is directly connected to Harry, and by the end of the story, you end up deeply trusting him. 

Related image
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) – source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The familial bond between Harry and Sirius is translated to the general intimate atmosphere of the film adaptation itself, an atmosphere unique to the third film only. Director Alfonso Cuarón took some liberties when adapting the book to screen (i.e. Harry doing magic over the summer and not getting expelled, along with many more discrepancies), leaving some fans up in arms. However, as he trimmed away some of the more obscure aspects of the wizarding world, he magnified everything about it that has made the story feel so accessible to audiences across the globe.

Camerawork and Costuming: Unsung Heroes

Cinematography is the key to immersing audiences into a film, and cinematographer Michael Seresin’s work in this film is outstanding. It seems as if the camera is never still throughout the entirety of the film, whether slowly closing in on its subject, or darting quickly back and forth. It highlights the humor, heartbreak, and joy within each respective scene. It’s the supporting actor, as well as the star.

Where most of the Harry Potter films choose to use long shots to highlight the expansiveness of the magical world, the camera in this one doesn’t shy away from close-ups. These close-up shots intensify the emotion in each scene, and create some of the most memorable moments of the entire film series (the infamous Aunt Marge scene, Lupin’s transformation, the Boggart scene, etc.). This fantasy world feels so much more real, casual, and even plausible, thanks to the camerawork in this film.

Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) – source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Costume design is also a major, and highly underrated factor, contributing to the uniquely casual atmosphere of this film. For the first time, our core three protagonists are clad in clothes normal teens in the 2000s would wear, and not in starchy school uniforms 24/7 (a switch in costume conceptualized by costume designer Jany Temime). The outfits are so casual, yet memorable in their own right, and wonderfully reflect the personalities of the golden trio. It’s revolutionary in its own subtle little way.

This casual nature extends to their school uniforms too. We have unbuttoned collars, rumpled robes, loose ties, and genuine variation in clothing from every extra to every key character in the film. Something as seemingly insignificant as costume design plays a huge role in breathing life and personality into the characters we see.

Key Symbols

Motifs serve as a grounding factor among the highly turbulent emotions of the film, and the Womping Willow is a major one. There are 3-4 shots highlighting the vicious tree, each one signalling the coming of a new season, and a new shift in the trajectory of the story. There’s a shot of the willow gently shaking off dead leaves in the fall, another of it shaking the snow off itself so violently that it splatters the camera, and a tracking shot of a blue bird flitting through the tree’s branches before getting flicked away by one of its tendrils.

This motif also doubles as foreshadowing, considering how big of a role the willow plays later into the film. Harry and Hermione end up battling their way through the tree’s frenzied branches to reach the secret passage beneath the trunk, which leads them to Sirius Black.

Related image
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) – source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Possibly the most important motif, however, is the wooden bridge. It was a completely new addition for the series, absent from the books and from the preceding two films, and ended up carrying importance throughout all of the Harry Potter films after this third installment.

In this film, it serves as a safe and emotional confessional ground between Harry and Lupin, as well as a landmark in Harry and Hermione’s time-turner adventure. In the films following this one, there have been endless scenes featuring it (most notably, its significance in the Battle of Hogwarts). The charmingly crooked bridge remained a staple throughout all 8 Harry Potter films, and all thanks to the introduction of it in this third installment.

The Ultimate Coming-Of-Age Film

Almost everything in this film, from color grading to thematic elements, is significantly darker, and this is used to segue into Harry’s first year as a teenager. Harry has started to come into his own now, as we see in the beginning of the film when he storms down the gloomy street of Privet Drive after yelling at and accidentally blowing up his aunt (as any normal teen does). It’s classic teenage rebellion, but wizard-style. And still, within the storm of emotions clouding Harry’s thirteenth year, there is joy.

Giggling with his friends as the snow floats down around them, eating candy late at night with his dorm-mates in their room, sneaking out of the school to join his friends in Hogsmeade. There’s a classic, childish joy that everyone has known at some point in their life. This joy is integral in making the wizarding world feel real, and cutting away any cold boundaries between the audience and the film. Because no matter how far-fetched the story gets, at the end of the day – they’re just thirteen. They think and act and talk like any normal thirteen year old would.

Image result for harry potter 3 snow scene
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) – source: Warner Bros. Pictures

This is what has continually enthralled me in my many years of watching and loving this film, from elementary school to my current high school years. I see so much of myself in Harry, and I’m sure most young audiences do as well. In his jubilant scream when riding Buckbeak to the tender look in his eyes when speaking with his godfather. This film is the most reflective of him as a character, and does him the most justice out of all the other Harry Potter films (and not just because his hair looks the best in this one).

The full spectrum of emotion is captured here in the most beautiful way, in a fantasy world that should feel outlandish and distant, but never does. I will be forever grateful for the existence of this film and how deftly it toes the line between escapist fantasy and comforting reality. It enthralls and consoles. Excites me and puts me at ease. Its magic will never grow old, and I’m inexpressibly excited for all coming generations to experience this film and fall in love with it the same way I have.

My Top 5 Films of the 21st Century

I love films. Films are the ultimate art form. The result of thousands of years of cultural development encapsulated into two hours of heart-bursting joy, life-altering insight, overwhelming sadness or any one of the millions of feelings and emotions that are felt by human beings every day.

Films reflect our best and worst qualities. They touch something inside us in a way that no other medium can. Brilliant films translate literature into screenwriting, art into cinematography and music into soundtracks, resulting in a sum much greater than its individual parts.

Although I hold many films from the 20th century very close to my heart, films of the 21st century have a special significance for me as they are the films that have shaped my cinema going experiences, from seeing Finding Nemo as a young child right the way through to recently watching the Oscar-nominated crowd-pleaser Green Book. With this in mind, I have set to work compiling a list of what I believe to be the top five best films released since 2000, along with a short description of why I rate them so highly.

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel (d. Wes Anderson)

One of my favourite directors, The Grand Budapest Hotel finds Anderson at his most whimsical and colourful, telling the story of a concierge and his trainee who find themselves on the wrong side of the authorities in the fictional but realistic Republic of Zubrowka.

Against the backdrop of the rising tensions of interwar Europe, the film tenderly explores the developing relationship between M. Gustave and Zero Moustafa as they lurch from one escapade to another, whilst also painting a tragic image of a golden age of European culture and lifestyle destroyed by the brute force of warmongering fascists. In particular, the genius of The Grand Budapest Hotel stems from its achievement of being able to completely encapsulate this feeling of an age of sensitivity and civility that produced cultural wonders such as the (also fictional) Renaissance masterpiece Boy With Apple. Cinematographer Robert Yeoman fills the space around the perfectly centered shots with eye-popping colour, rendering the film’s whip pans and alternating aspect ratios a joy to behold. Wes Anderson at his very best.

4. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (d. Alejandro G. Iñárritu)

The standout film in a year of standout films, Birdman soars to the heights of brilliance both in its technical mastery (Birdman was famously shot as if it were one take) and in its absorbing subject matter concerning washed-up actor Riggan Thomson and his struggle to rediscover his past relevance.

The film makes use of extended takes often lasting more than ten minutes alongside subtle cuts hidden in whip pans and shots with overwhelming levels of light or dark imagery, all of which is spliced together into a seamless exploration of Riggan’s crumbling mental state as the stress of writing, directing and starring in his play meets visions of his earlier stardom as the eponymous superhero Birdman.

It is a film cloaked in ambiguity throughout its two-hour run-time, from its very first scene – Riggan floating in a meditative state in his dressing room – right through to its ending in Riggan’s hospital room following his attempted on-stage suicide; as his daughter, Sam, gazes blissfully into the New York sky, we can only speculate as to the ultimate fate of the man once known to the world as a superhero. Or perhaps that should be the superhero once known to the world as a man?

3. Wall·E (d. Andrew Stanton)

Pixar’s ninth feature film and the studio’s finest to date, the sublime Wall·E is simultaneously a considered critique of humankind’s penchant for consumerism, environmental impact and greed. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful exploration of love and human emotions told through the lens of non-human robots, and a highly entertaining adventure through space for both kids and adults.

Stanton’s film is a triumph of ‘show, don’t tell’ film making, relying on its stunning visuals and the body language of its two principle characters, the titular Wall·E and EVE, to allow the story to unfold. The on-screen action is backed up by a futuristic blend of orchestral and electronic harmonies in its Oscar-nominated score by Thomas Newman, creating an understated sci-fi ambiance which echoes the narrative as it journeys from earth into deep space. A masterpiece of animated story-telling.

2. Roma (d. Alfonso Cuarón)

Directed, written, produced and shot by Alfonso Cuarón and based on his childhood experiences in Mexico City, Roma is a masterwork of quiet intimacy told at the slow pace of domestic life, punctuated by the sporadic bursts of violence and upheaval typical of the volatile circumstances of 1970s Mexico.

The film meanders through the life of its main characters as if we were seeing it through Cuarón’s own eyes, each frame tinted with the reminiscence of experiences alien to us, yet still somehow nostalgic, with the monochrome imagery of the city and the family home intensifying these emotions.

The black and white cinematography is also emblematic of the societal partition between the predominantly indigenous maids (who count the film’s protagonist “Cleo” among their numbers), and the white middle-class family who employ them. Race and its relation to social class continue to play a significant role throughout the film, demonstrated most clearly in the climactic beach scene during which Cleo’s maternal instincts urge her into the churning waters of the Gulf of Mexico to rescue them despite her inability to swim; for her efforts, she is rewarded only with more chores once the family returns to the city. If there were any doubts at Cuarón’s command of cinematic technique before, this is surely the film to dispel them.

1. The Social Network (d. David Fincher)

A film I still believe was robbed of best picture at the 2011 Academy Awards, The Social Network is essentially a flawless film mapping the sordid development of one of the most popular websites in existence, as well as providing a character study of the cast of hyper-ambitious, Machiavellian personalities who played a role in its conception.

Fincher is unerring in his meticulous portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg and his motivations, painting a picture of a man driven by a cold desire to lead humanity into the digital age and characterized by a borderline-sociopathic disregard for those he deems incompetent. The film features Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield acting at the peak of their powers, with a razor-sharp script from Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, all set to one of the finest scores in recent film history – a chilling, distant collection of electronic melodies. A score (and indeed a film) in many ways eerily reminiscent of Zuckerberg’s creation itself.

The Marvelous World of Studio Ghibli

Hayao Miyazaki has the genius mind behind the insanely talented animated films such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro. Those are only just a few of the marvelous creations, but strap in as we are ready to explore many more!

Kiki’s Delivery Service

The Marvelous World of Studio Ghibli
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) source: iMDB

I’ve been a Studio Ghibli fan for as long as I can remember but for some strange, unknown reason I had never watched Kiki’s Delivery Service up until last year. I remember the viewing experience clearly as I had just found my favourite Ghibli film out of them all. I was in my usual film watching spot (my bed) with my usual film watching snacks (pop tarts, the Oreo ones to be precise). I pressed play around 1 AM as I hadn’t been able to sleep much that week. I don’t know about you, but when I watch a film in complete darkness, it enhances my viewing massively and is my favourite way to watch new films now.

I took a lot away from my first viewing, mainly I aspire to have the same aspirations and values as Kiki. The way she treats people with such kindness and how effortlessly selfless she becomes made me want to be her best friend instantly. I wanted to know how she could be so like-able to every person she meets and I truly wish there were more people like her character in this world. But not just more Kiki’s, I want more Gigi’s as well. Gigi is Kiki’s humorous sidekick but otherwise known as her cat. Kiki became the role model I never knew I needed, which leads me to my favourite quote of Hayao Miyazaki:

“Many of my movies have strong female leads – brave, self-sufficient girls that don’t think twice about fighting for what they believe in with all their heart. They’ll need a friend, or a supporter, but never a saviour. Any woman is just as capable of being a hero as any man.”

Hayao Miyazaki

Spirited Away

My first memory of this Academy Award winning film is very vague and blurry, but I would like to give a shout-out to my brother who introduced me to this magical masterpiece. I knew I didn’t quite understand the full meaning and concept of this film when I was first watching it because I was too young to understand. A few years later after a re-watch, boy did I catch all the feels I missed!

The Marvelous World of Studio Ghibli
Spirited Away (2001) source: iMDB

I am constantly blown away by the originality of the characters and set designs and I view this as a practically perfect film. I feel sucked into the bath house whenever I re-watch and that’s mainly because I am someone who views set designs such as houses and hotels as their own character that plays one of the main roles in a film. The plot is so thick and leaves you with many unsolved questions but those things are almost too hard to focus on when the cinematography is THAT good. I am the type of person to notice small delicate details involving animation and the cinematography. I remember always being captivated by Haku transfiguring into a Dragon and the way he would climb onto walls. The animation made it so lifelike even though we are supposed to be in a magical world.

Chihiro and Haku have an emotional and magical, but real relationship that has captured the hearts of many Studio Ghibli lovers. Not to sound too cheesy, but Chihiro was a character I also needed to take notes from to use in my daily life such as being more open with my emotions and learning to cope without my parents surrounding me all the time. Even though it’s known that Miyazaki wanted this film to be targeted towards a younger demographic, this film’s audience has a variety of ages.

Whisper Of The Heart

The Marvelous World of Studio Ghibli
Whisper of The Heart (1995) source: iMDB

Ever had that moment where every time you go to your local library to check out books, you see the same boy’s name who is checking them out also? Well that was the mystery that Shizuku Tsukishima was determined to find out. However when discovering who the signature on the books belonged to, she ended up finding him extremely irritating – can’t say I relate much. However like almost every romantic story, they end up growing closer and she later discovers he only read all them books to get to know more about Shizuku. Romantic right?

Princess Mononoke (1997) source: IMDB
Princess Mononoke (1997) source: iMDB

I feel as if Whisper of The Heart isn’t as appreciated as it should be in this day and age. It opens with a rendition of one of the most popular country songs, ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads‘, which won me over straight away. Shizuku ends up writing her first book about a statue of a cat she found alone in an antiques shop – this was a way of testing her writing abilities in which she lacked confidence in. Again, the concept of this story is original but also a very comfortable film to be able to watch as the plot isn’t too deep that you need to re-watch about four times just to be able to understand it.

I could honestly ramble on about my admiration and love for the Studio Ghibli universe, but I wouldn’t want to bore you all and keep you from doing the job you were meant to be focused on at this moment in time. If this hasn’t made you want to take a day off and treat yourself to a Studio Ghibli marathon then I haven’t done my job correctly.

The Recurring Acceptance of Abuse in HARRY POTTER

The Harry Potter series teaches its readers many beautiful lessons, such as the idea that you can choose your own family, doing what’s right is never wrong, and that the guy who stalked your mom and called her slurs deserves love, too.

Unfair Treatment

Severus Snape’s character is constantly described as “morally grey” and “redeemable” by readers and author, J.K. Rowling. Alike, characters such as the young and frightened Draco Malfoy is painted as a gay-coded villain who deserves the unhappy ending he gets. Not only is this mindset excusing abuse in the name of so-called love, but it also tells kids that your mistakes as a teenager define you for life.

Draco was raised by a racist, abusive father who lived to serve the series’ big bad, Lord Voldemort. When the audience is first introduced to Draco, he insults lovable loser Ron Weasley before offering to be Harry’s friend. Though this might be – excuse my language – a dick move, there are facts you have to remember. This is an 11-year-old kid who has been taught his whole young life that the Weasley family is disgusting because they’re poor, but Harry Potter is powerful and they need him to bring back Lord Voldemort.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) – source: Warner Bros. Pictures

When I was 11, I used words I wouldn’t use today and I wasn’t always nice to everyone I met – and my parents weren’t abusive, racist or ‘classist’. Additionally, throughout the series, Draco has tremendous growth. He chooses to throw Harry his wand so Harry can defeat Voldemort, he lies to the villains to their faces to protect Harry’s life, and he can’t kill Harry’s mentor… I don’t know about you all, but I’m sensing a trend here.

Draco Malfoy: The LGBT Hero We Deserve

It’s surely not a coincidence that thousands of young gay people see themselves in Draco. Lonely outsiders, pining for someone they can’t have… All while they are tropes for gay characters, can also be true for gay kids. Thousands of fan-fictions (non-canon stories written about characters, often romantic) have been written about Harry and Draco, all because gay audiences responded to who Draco was, and saw something that even J.K. Rowling didn’t seem to see – despite writing it. Rowling ultimately decided that Draco didn’t deserve a happy ending.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (200) – source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The last shot we see of Draco in the movies is him staring longingly at Harry as an adult – next to his wife and son, looking miserable. That scene shows that Rowling, at that point, was aware of what Draco was to her LGBT audience, but why give them hope?

Undeserved Vindication

Severus Snape got the redemption arc that Draco deserved. Though he works as a double agent among Dumbledore and Voldemort, he uses his dying moments to help Harry understand why he was so rude to him all these years. Sounds sweet, right? The only problem is that it still doesn’t explain why Snape was even more cruel to Harry’s classmate, Neville, even to the point that his biggest fear is Snape himself. Not, for example, the woman who murdered his parents right in front of him – Bellatrix Lestrange. That is the exact same abuse that Draco receives from his father – not always fearing for his life, but fear of slipping up, of not pleasing just by giving a wrong answer to a simple question.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) – source: Warner Bros. Pictures

So much harm is done by excusing the slurs Snape hurled at Harry’s mother, the strange possessiveness he thought he had over her, or the abuse Snape brought down onto the kids whom he thought deserved it. What does that show young kids in abusive homes? That their abusers might have a good reason? That abuse is love? Or better yet, what does Draco’s unhappy ending demonstrate, other than that abused kids deserve their abuse, and that they will grow up unhappy?

The Richest Woman in Britain is Fake Woke

J.K. Rowling continues to prove that she has no idea what she wrote. She so clearly doesn’t understand her audience or why they like these beloved novels. In an attempt to appear relatable, she tweets what she considers “canon”, like that Albus Dumbledore was gay the whole time (despite never putting that in the books or movies), or that yes, there was, in fact one Jewish kid at Hogwarts. Yes, I said one, and no, he was not mentioned in the series even once. Rowling shouldn’t get “woke points” for deciding to tweet that, oh yeah, Hermione Granger was black, Hagrid’s dog Fang was transgender, and Dobby reproduced asexually (yep, one of those is actually true). And I don’t mean it to sound like I wouldn’t want, for example, Hermione to be a black girl – in fact, that would be amazing. But, authors don’t deserve credit for representation when they don’t include it in the source material. It’s just tailing it on the end so that your story isn’t full of white cisgender straight men. That is not representation.

Draco Malfoy deserved better and Severus Snape deserved worse. Both characters were technically affiliated with Voldemort, yet one was a scared, impressionable kid who had no honest friends and was probably gay. The other was a grown man who thought abusing kids was validated because he did it for love. If Rowling is going to tweet any more nonsense about the series, at least let it be an apology to Draco Malfoy personally. Or, hey – just let the series die a peaceful death.

 

  

Welcome!

Hello everybody! Welcome to The Simple Cinephile. The creation of this website has come out of the pure inspiration and passion we all feel towards the film community. Starting something like this has been on my mind for a long time: a platform and outlet where young, aspiring writers can have a safe space to convey their thoughts and feelings towards the thing we all share a passion for without judgement or fear of rejection due to lack of experience.

Thanks for visiting for the first time, and I hope to hear from you.

SUBMISSIONS: If you’re interested in writing for The Simple Cinephile (serious inquiries only), please compose an e-mail including a little bit about yourself, why you’re interested and some samples of your writing to thesimplecinephile@gmail.com.

— Bethany

%d bloggers like this: