The Hunger Games
Rating 1: ★★★1/2 A-
Rating 2: ★★★★ A+
Directed by Gary Ross
Screenplay by Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, and Billy Ray
Based off the Novel The Hunger Games (Book 1 in the series) by Suzanne Collins
Jennifer Lawrence: Katniss Everdeen
Josh Hutcherson: Peeta Mellark
Liam Hemsworth: Gale Hawthorne
Woody Harrelson: Haymitch Abernathy
Elizabeth Banks: Effie Trinket
Stanley Tucci: Caesar Flickerman
Wes Bently: Seneca Crane
Lenny Cravitz: Cinna
Donald Sutherland: President Snow
Willow Shields: Primrose Everdeen
Amanda Stenberg: Rue
Why did I give this film 2 different ratings? I did so because I am a slightly biased source, as I read and devoured Suzanne Collin’s Novel. The fact is though that Gary Ross nailed it. He made a film of the book. He didn’t change anything important.
The Hunger Games tells the story of Katniss Everdeen. I have to stop right here. Jennifer Lawrence deserves an oscar nomination…and she already got one for the utterly amazing Winter’s Bone. She went far above and beyond the call of duty for this part.
See, the book was written in the 1st person all the way through, essentially stream-of-conscious. Normally, this means a lot of voice over. Not when you have Lawrence. She can LOOK the words. I don’t need her to tell me what’s going through her head because she’s talented enough to make me feel it.
She was hand chosen by Ross and Collins, the latter of whom said that of all the people who auditioned for the part (i.e. Abigayl Breslin (little Miss Sunshine), Saeorse Ronan (Hanna), Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), among others) that, “She was the only one that I would follow into battle.” And that’s coming from the creator.
Liam Hemsworth – while his performance was very much satisfactory – I am not thrilled about his appearance as – to me – he looks a bit too much like Twilight.
Best Costume Design: Judianna Makovsky
Best Make-up: Ve Neill (Make-up) and Lina D. Flowers (Hair)
Best Music – Original Song: Safe And Sound (Music and Lyrics by Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams and T Bone Burnett; Performed by Taylor Swift and and The Civil Wars)
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Jennifer Lawrence
Best Art Direction: Philip Messina (Production Design), John Collins (Supervising Art Director), Larry Dias (Set Decorator)
Best Cinematography: Tom Stern
Best Music – Original Score: James Newton Howard and T Bone Burnett (producer)
Best Music – Original Song: Abraham’s Daughter (Music & Lyrics by Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, and T Bone Burnett; Performed by Arcade Fire)
Best Music – Original Song: Kingdom Come (Music & Lyrics by John Paul White and Joy Williams; Performed by The Civil Wars)