(*homocinematically inclined)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Reverend's Reviews: Harry Potter and the Gayest Movie Yet

While Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (or "Harry Potter 6," as the AMC theatre marquee had it listed) is racking up critical superlatives, I hadn't read or heard anything about how downright gay the latest movie can be perceived.

I have not been a devotee of the books, but had read author J.K. Rowling's post-publication outing of Hogwarts' headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. One can see that the revelation has colored actor Michael Gambon's interpretation of the character ever so slightly. Frankly, I was more suspicious of the late Richard Harris's take on Dumbledore in the first two Potter films. His performance was more fey, but whether this was intentionally so or the result of Harris's weakening health will likely forever be unknown.

Then there's the latest movie's addition of potions professor Horace Slughorn, wonderfully played in older and younger versions by Jim Broadbent. Slughorn is given to inviting his most promising — and mostly male — students to private dinner parties in his salon. These scenes reminded me eerily of such soirees held by certain, former professors of mine while I was in seminary. Do I even need to mention these academics' sexual orientation?

Of course, these adult male figures — in addition to the series' arch villain, Lord Voldemort (who doesn't make an appearance in this installment) — can be said to have the hots for young, talented Harry Potter, once again well-played by Daniel Radcliffe. While their interest is presented as strictly platonic and professional, it isn't hard to read more into it.

The always heterosexually-questionable Professor Snape (the ever-delicious Alan Rickman) takes more of an interest in the icy Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton, growing up nicely) in Half-Blood Prince. And yet, Snape's influence over Harry's destiny continues to make itself felt.

Finally, there is an amusing sequence in the film in which Harry's best buddy, Ron (a buffed-up Rupert Grint), falls victim to a love potion intended for Harry. While under the influence of the potent concoction, Ron gets to moon a bit over Harry and even more so over Professor Slughorn!

GLBT viewers may feel I'm reading WAY too much into an ultimately innocent, though dark, entertainment for young people. Christian fundamentalists, who have long been opposed to Rowling's creation whether in print or on film, may take my observations as confirmation that Harry Potter is indeed inspired by Satan.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a good but not great entry in the seemingly endless movie series. It definitely feels like a pit stop, neither introducing nor concluding much. The film's main purpose seems to be reminding folks of what has come before while apparently setting things up for a climactic showdown between the forces of good and evil that is to come in the final two films. It accomplishes this well.

Editor's note: For more gay goings-on at Hogwarts, take Out Magazine's Which Gay Harry Potter Character Are You? quiz.

UPDATE: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is now available on DVD and Blu-rayfrom

Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade.


  1. Harry potter and the half blood prince both are fantastic. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a good but not great entry in the seemingly endless movie series.

  2. Right, so you think they're all gay. Very mature of you. Not that I don;t have full respect and support of people of other sexual orientations, but the fact that you think that you think that Voldemort has the "hots" for Harry Potter is downright laughable.

  3. Dear Kay, my piece is admittedly speculative and intentionally tongue-in-cheek. However, since Rowling write one of her characters gay--if not overtly so--why couldn't there be other gay or lesbian characters in the series? All film viewers bring their personal "lenses" to every movie, and that includes the lens of homosexuality for those of us who are gay or lesbian.

  4. I apologize for my inability to see the humor in your article. And, if you were serious about anything you said, my inability to respect other people's opinions. You could say I'm a bit uptight as Potter fans go. Cheers!

  5. Just saw this tonight. Overall, it was very good, and definitely one of the better 'Potter' films. Even as a heterosexual man, I picked up on some of the same subtleties that you mentioned in your review. Perhaps Dumbledore and Slughorn had a fling in the past..?

  6. Hmmmm, maybe re: Dumbledore & Slughorn. Thanks Steve!

  7. Haha- how is everyone gay? Do you believe everything you read about male guardians/teachers or are you just homophobic?

    On another note this movie was better than David Yates last installment. Order of the Phoenix was the worst excuse for a movie- there was no storyline. I honestly forgot Harry, Ron, and Hermione were real friends and not just thrown together because the Rowling books said to do so.

    Fortunately Half Blood had to be better and third time's a charm so the Deathly Hallows movie will have to be at least a 9/10.

    I can't understand why they cut out the end fight scene though. Without it Half Blood Prince seemed like a pit stop and not a movie on its own.

    As always the magic of these movies has been long gone. The little things such as that famous harry potter music and the small bits of magic that made the first 3 movies so thrilling is what Yates regards as "fluff."

    Whatever I guess. Yates will be a rich man solely because Rowling is a good storyteller... Where's Alfonso Cuaron when you need him?

  8. Um, I conjecture that some of the male characters are gay because they show an inordinate degree of interest in other males. And no, I'm not homophobic; I'm gay!

    I agree with you though about director David Yates. He seems to have drained the color (literally), fun and much of the magic out of the last couple installments. "Goblet of Fire" remains my favorite of the movies, because it contained a just-right mix of magic and menace, in my opinion.