O. M. G.
When the credits rolled, my friend’s husband whispered reverently “maybe one of the greatest movies ever.” Now that might be a bit of an over statement. But, it was, nevertheless, an AMAZING movie. The poster is accurate because Jennifer Lawrence comes at you in this movie! I was sad that I couldn’t see it with Hannah, my VIP Bestie, but maybe I will see it again with her because it is DEFINITELY worth double-viewing. Fans of the books will be hard-pressed to find anything substantive missing from the books. Fans of good acting are going to be in hog heaven.
I should warn you that at dinner before the movie I jokingly called the Jennifer Lawrence Fan Club meeting to order. Obviously, we are huge fans of hers. She’s young, brilliant, and crazy — we identify with her. 😉 BUT, HOT DAMN, this girl CAN ACT!
And before I get too far down this ranting path… I will give you five reasons to see and love this movie — even if you were like me and could barely get through the book because it was so sad and the main character goes through so much.
1. Jennifer Lawrence
There can be NO OTHER number 1 than Jennifer Lawrence. She is in every single scene. She doesn’t carry the movie so much as elevate it to higher plane. Her emotional range as Katniss is unbelievable. I will give three examples: the second reaping (it is actually the most intense underplayed and truly heartbreaking scenes), Joanna in the elevator (her faces alone will leave you laughing afterwards), and the last ten seconds of the film (fans of the books will know that this is the moment when the reality of her terrible, horrible, and heartbreaking fate is spelled out for her and in that moment Jennifer Lawrence KILLS it.)
I don’t want to ruin anything. But I think if they would seriously consider the acting in fantasy books for the Oscar, she’d be nominated again. Drop the mic.
I’ll admit that I struggled with the chemistry between Peeta and Katniss in the first movie and may have even been quoted this very week saying I wish they had cast someone else besides Josh Hutcherson. I am sorry. I was wrong. In this movie, they have the sweetest chemistry. He’s wonderful, he’s so soulful and kind. In the book, one of my favorite moments is when Haymitch points out that Katniss could live a thousand lives and never deserve him. The kind of powerful statement is hard without chemistry. It’s not a problem here at all. Also, I believe that the two of them acting together elevates the other and they both have emotional depth and surprising comic timing.
(PS: the costumes in this movie were AMAZING. They were just enough less cheesy than the first and it was PERFECT. In particular, District 12’s costumes for the capitol (above) were just incredible.)
Gale doesn’t get a ton of screen time but it’s still more than the first (his time is coming… brace yourself movie #3) but Liam Hemsworth continues to not disappoint and does Gale wonderfully and also has incredible chemistry with our heroine.
3. Stanley Tucci (and all the supporting actors returning)
Ok, I love him, I do. He makes me laugh so hard. He and his fake teeth and falsies. Damn, he’s funny.
Everyone who returns, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz (who’d a thought he’d be crucial to the success of the movie), and Woody Harrelson. All give amazing performances and provide such heart to the movie. You enjoy every moment they are on screen.
(this is her wedding dress, and in classic Capitol fashion it’s completely over the top, however, it will win you over in the movie especially once Cinna works his magic.)
4. The new cast.
This movie did the impossible, gave me actors playing roles who appeared EXACTLY how they did in my imagination. Mags, Finnick, and Joanna are PERFECTLY cast. It is a bit mind boggling actually. You should go see it solely for Jenna Malone’s slightly crazy but definitely deadly Joanna. Or Lynn Cohen as Mags doing so much without saying a word. And Sam Claflin who seemed a bit of a weird choice is perfection as the sexy, charismatic, but still incredibly loving and vulnerable, Finnick. The Jennifer Lawrence fan club was speculating if somehow her impeccable performance led others to up their game, because game was definitely upped in this movie.
5. Captivating Story
This is a long movie. And when it ends, you are like, wait, isn’t there more?? The movie is beautiful. The acting (if you have not read the last 1000 paragraphs I wrote) was amazing. The story amazing. It’s just a wonderful movie. No sophomore slump or sequel issues whatsoever, it’s actually a more organic, smooth movie than the first and (no surprise here), Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss just gets better and better with time.
Go see it. Tell me what you think!