Hogwarts School of the Dramatic Arts

Does anyone else ever worry about the sustainability of small businesses that are highly specialized? Probably this is the exact opposite of how one should feel, and specialization is actually a savvy move, but the fact is I know nothing about business and when I see a store that sells nothing but baby clothes on a not-very-well-traveled corner, I become concerned about whether the owner of said store can pay their bills or not.

The reason I mention this is because it’s similar to another concern I contemplate a lot: the careers of the Harry Potter kids after the seventh movie is done. I mean, talk about specialization! Seven movies playing the same character within the space of 10 years? I may know nothing about business but I do know a lot about movies, and when you’re one of the leads in one of the most lucrative franchises (if not the most lucrative franchise) in history, you’re gonna need to work not to get stereotyped (see: Fisher, Carrie and Hamill, Mark).

red.jpgFortunately, our Three Heroes seem to be working on this. Everybody and their mother with an inappropriate crush knows that Daniel Radcliffe did the play Equus, where he bared all and proved he could do an adult role (coming to Broadway in 2008, PS…). He’s also starring in December Boys, which is currently in limited release, though sadly not in Seattle yet, since I’ve been looking forward to it ever since I caught the charming trailer months ago. Emma Watson has a part in a television adaptation of Ballet Shoes, a classic novel I read as a kid, and, according to imdb, is also in the upcoming animated adaptation of The Tale of Despereaux, a book I’ve been meaning to read as part of my goal to read all of the Newbery Medal winners. Note to Emma: these sound like great projects, but tell your agent to start reading things that aren’t based on children’s novels, okay?

And what about everyone’s favorite redhead, Rupert Grint? Well, to tell the truth, the whole reason I’m really writing this entry is to recommend a movie I just saw that stars that adorable Brit. It’s called Driving Lessons, and it is all the proof I need to be sure that Rupert need not worry about a career after Ron Weasley. Because, damn, that guy can act. The movie’s about a teenager who’s trying to figure out how to deal with his overbearing mother and who gets a summer job working for a retired actress, which ends up as more than he bargained for. The plot’s simple, and it’s got all the trappings of your typical coming-of-age movie: pining over girls, forming a friendship, trying to exert independence and not particularly succeeding, etc. But it’s truly a superior example of this genre. Writer/director Jeremy Brock is responsible for the screenplays for several award-winning films, including The Last King of Scotland, and the rest of his cast is also top-notch: Julie Walters as the old woman (you may know her, coincidentally, from playing Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter movies) and the always wonderful Laura Linney as the crazy mom. Rupert more than holds his own against these formidable actors in several emotional scenes and plays a very remarkable character pretty much perfectly. Great performance, great movie. See it!


4 Responses to “Hogwarts School of the Dramatic Arts”

  1. 1 patty September 19, 2007 at 9:14 am

    you’re forgetting!


  2. 2 Becca September 21, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    Good post! All well said.

    Does Grint make a scared face at all during that movie? I know we aren’t supposed to trap them in their roles…but Scared Ron Face is the Best Face Ever.

  3. 3 giroux September 22, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    This is what I got from that:
    – you are more than ready for our for all our imaginary baby showers we’ll all be having after all our imaginary weddings
    – you will be coming to visit me in 2008
    – I’m surprised they made a movie out of “Ballet Shoes”
    – And I’m totally going to go see “Driving Lessons” to remember what it’s like to talk about something other than credit derivatives
    – how much do you miss me :-)!

  4. 4 Carly September 30, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    you know, I was not a huge fan of the Ballet Shoes, or any of the other Shoes books. Maybe I read them too late in life. It actually bothers me every time Meg Ryan recommends them in You’ve Got Mail. Do you know if Daniel Radcliff is in the touring cast? Cause I’ll totally go see him nekkid on Broadway, that’s just the sort of cradle-robbing activity I relish. Rupert Grint IS a really good actor. I’ll put Driving Lessons in my queue when I have a queue again.

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