Julie's right, of course. I'm a definite Snape fan - for all of the reasons she gives, plus that shiveringly sensual delivery of the speech where we first meet the character in the film... Mmmmm. And yes, I'll admit to a shameful lech at some of the younger characters (Ron has caught my eye, but I'll have to watch out for the twins...) Although when I watch the DVDs of the earlier Harry Potter films, it makes me feel terribly old!
Cedric Diggory.... no. He was just too perfect!
I can't comment on the latest HP - I haven't seen it yet. And since I make a point of not reading the books until I've seen the movie, I don't know what I'll be facing, either.
But I like it that way. Given the choice, I'll always watch an adaptation first, and then read the book. The other way round is so often a road to disappointment. Our expectations are too high, maybe?
Sometimes, though, if it's a much-loved book, you can't escape seeing an TV or big screen adaptation after you've read (and re-read and re-read) the book. The Narnia books are one example. I think I've seen three adaptations of those now, and happily they've never disappointed. Those books are so much a part of my childhood it's almost painful to go to the cinema to see the latest, I'm always so afraid they'll somehow murder the soul of the story. But although the newest versions have certainly changed the story, they've left the beauty of that soul untouched.
I always remember how shocked I was with an otherwise lovely TV version of Ellis Peters' Cadfael stories. Derek Jacobi was, of course, brilliant in the role. But there was one character - a recurring character in the books - who was a shining beacon of goodness and humility. He was miraculously healed of lameness in the book which introduced him, then went on to take holy orders, be ordained, and run a charitable hospital. For all his goodness, he understood the frailties of humanity, and never judged. Everyone who knew him was in some small way blessed and restored.
In the adaptation they made him a scheming confidence trickster and thief.
I understand that perhaps they thought the modern audience wouldn't accept a miracle. But did they have to turn the character into the complete opposite of himself? It was such a shame.
But at least I can read the book again, and meet him as he was first written.
What adaptations have caught your eye for being brilliantly done, or perhaps for changing too much? Do you read the books first, or after, given the choice?
Don't forget to venture back on Thursday, when Christina will be sharing her thoughts.