F is for Friday Five (The Hunger Games Edition)

Happy Friday, friends!

I’ve been wanting to post my thoughts on a little movie I saw two weeks ago, one you may have heard a bit about:

The Hunger Games

The thing is, I needed a good long while to fully absorb the undeniable epicness (totally a word) of  my viewing experience, and I didn’t want to do my review (a word I use loosely) an injustice by jumping the gun…

Me and my ticket stub. (I'll refrain from describing all the grumbling my husband did when I asked him to snap my photo in the theater.)

Spoilers Ahead!!!

So… I had a few minor issues with movie (no book-to-film adaptation is perfect, of course), but overall, I was a fan. A BIG fan. Its mood, its message, its unavoidable representation of all things YA lit — all wonderfully executed.

Here, in true Friday Five fashion, is a countdown of the things I loved most: 

5. The Overall Appearance of the Film (costumes, sets, Seneca Crane’s beard…) – The gray disparity of District 12 contrasted with the garish spectacle of the Capitol spoke volumes. The arena’s forests, the tracker-jackers, the tributes’ gear — it was all spot on. So much of what I pictured while reading The Hunger Games two years ago appeared, nearly identically, on-screen. This, as a reader and viewer and fan, was incredibly satisfying.

 

 4. The Add-Ins (or, things we didn’t get to “see” while reading) – I found the behind-the-scenes (and highly calculated) game-making fascinating, and the District 11 riot was absolutely chilling. Thanks to Katniss’ first-person narration, neither of these aspects were explicitly described in the book (we can safely assume they happened, at least in some capacity), yet they turned out to be two of my favorite bits of the movie.

3. The Acting (Woody Harrelson, Stanely Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Amandla Stenberg, specifically) – While Liam Hemsworth is pretty, I could have done without his empty stares and choppy dialogue, but the majority of the cast… Yowza! I was in awe of the way they grabbed hold of their roles and perfectly personified their characters, often above and beyond my (admittedly high) expectations. For me, the  performances  of the actors and actresses in supporting roles are what truly brought the movie to life.

This scene: Win

2. The Reaping – I’m not a crier — never have been — but damn it if I didn’t choke up  during the Reaping. That little Prim, the way she trembles and cries out for her sister. The way Gale has to drag her, kicking and screaming, from the ceremony. The pity — and relief — in the eyes of the onlookers. The way Katniss’ voice breaks when she shouts, “I volunteer!”  That whole scene was cinematic gold.

1. Jennifer Lawrence – There was a time, many moons ago, when I rooted for Hailee Steinfeld to earn the lead role of Katniss Everdeen. While I still think Hailee is adorable, having now seen Jennifer Lawrence so totally embody Katniss, I can’t imagine any other actress playing the part. Jennifer was subtle and controlled, yet she executed a flawless Katniss: brave and bold and bright, self-sufficient and pragmatic, so obviously passionate. I could not take my eyes off her, and I cannot wait to see how she helps Katniss evolve as the trilogy progresses onscreen.

Jennifer Lawrence + Katniss Everdeen = Badass

Looking for more on The Hunger Games movie? Check out these thoughtful reviews from fellow reader-writer-bloggers Sarah Enni, Caroline Richmond, Maggie Stiefvater, and Farrah Penn.

Have you seen The Hunger Games yet? What did YOU love?

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It’s here!

I don’t consider myself to be a particularly emotional person, but the just-released official The Hunger Games trailer nearly had me teary…

Honestly. It’s everything I’d hoped for and then some. Based on its trailer, I have 100% confidence that this movie is going to be amazing. March 23, 2012 cannot get here quick enough!

So, what do you think of The Hunger Games trailer?