Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ★★★★★

Mostly just going to reiterate what I said here by doubling down on my appreciation for Columbus' approach to laying the foundation for this expansive, varied franchise. At it's most basic level, the first Harry Potter film is a whimsical, sincere and heartwarming story of a lost kid finding a home in a world full of magic. It's a simple approach, but it works wonderfully. All of the beats are plainly presented and convincingly executed; impressively calculated to feel economical, fast-moving and breathlessly awe-inspiring. Columbus excels at building this world; easily conveying the warmth and community that Harry clearly latches onto. Scenes like Harry and Ron playing chess in the dining hall decorated for the winter holiday are so enchanting, and the troll intrusion during dinner on Halloween is harmlessly spooky in the best way. Quidditch matches are exciting, Hedwig is adorable, and the broad cast of characters is rich with quirky personalities, mysterious motives and compelling backstories. This is a comfort movie for me; I used and abused my special edition DVD as a kid and I absolutely have a relationship to this franchise; especially the first three films. Call it a guilty pleasure or blind nostalgia; I say Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone holds up wonderfully.

Harry Potter Marathon

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