starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman
screenplay by Steven Kloves, based on the novel by J.K. Rowling
directed by Alfonso Cuarón
by Walter Chaw There's real poetry in Alfonso Cuarón's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (hereafter Harry Potter 3), encapsulated in a moment where Harry mistakes a vision of himself for the phantom of his dead father. It's another of the Mexican director's magic-realism conversations about children coming of age emotionally and sexually, marking the picture as a lovely companion piece to his A Little Princess and identifying Cuarón as a gifted, eloquent voice for the rage and the rapture of adolescence. Opening with the 13-year-old Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) fiddling with his wand beneath a blanket, the theme of self-discovery unfolds along jagged, de-romanticized lines like the rough rhythms of an Irish lyric or, more to the heart of the matter, a Mexican folk tale, all of blood, dirt, and heroic fervour.