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J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life (2007)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary  |  30 December 2007 (UK)
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An insight into what life is like for well-known "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling as she finishes the final book in the series.

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Title: J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life (TV Movie 2007)

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Cast

Credited cast:
James Runcie ...
Himself - Narrator (voice)
...
Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sarah Beal ...
Herself
Neil Murray ...
Himself
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An insight into what life is like for well-known "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling as she finishes the final book in the series.

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30 December 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Aki megteremtette Harry Pottert - egy év J. K. Rowlinggal  »

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[last lines]
Narrator: How would you like to be remembered?
J.K. Rowling: As someone who did the best she could with the talent she had.
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References Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) See more »

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Overview of the format
11 May 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life', provides a satisfactory explanation of Rowling's background and the way in which it affected the writing of the 'Harry Potter' series. However, I felt that the documentary strayed from its purpose. The original aim stated was to find out the secret behind Rowling's success. Despite this statement, the documentary went on to explore aspects of the writer's fame and how she dealt with it, which is irrelevant in consideration of the original aim stated. The documentary either needed to be more focused or widen its aim.

Another issue is that when the narrator initially talks about the 'Harry Potter' series, he doesn't give us a brief summary of what the books are about, and instead delves into the moral messages it provides. As a result, it appears as though the documentary is assuming the audience has already acquired this knowledge.

While it was interesting and relevant to consider the context of Rowling's writing in the form of her childhood, the telling of it could be more direct. For example, the interviews were personal, however, could have been better structured to avoid questions lacking in relevance. For example, the question 'do you believe in God?' appeared to an audience as a run up to the introduction of Rowling's mother's death, rather than linking explicitly with the context of her writing. The music was also distracting at times and at points did not fit the topic. When talking about the writer's mother's death, the tone of the music could have been better suited as it slightly undermined the seriousness of the topic.

Overall, an informative documentary, however it could have been improved with several alterations to increase relevance and focus.


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