24 November 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 - 2014
  • Director: Francis Lawrence
  • Based on Book: by Suzanna Collins
  • Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Liam Hemsworth, Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Jennifer Lawrence: Hunger Games, Winters Bone
    • Josh Hutcherson: Hunger Games, The Kids Are All Right, American Splendor
    • Woody Harrelson:  Hunger Games , 2012, Battle in Seattle, No Country for Old Men, Prairie Home Companion, North Country, White Men Can’t Jump
    • Julianne Moore . The Kids Are All Right, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, I’m Not There, Children of Men, The Hours, Far from Heaven, The Shipping News, The Big Lebowsky, Boogie Nights, Surviving Picasso, The Fugitive, Benny and Joon
    • Jena Malone: Contact, Into the Wild, The Soloist, Cold Mountain, The United States of Leland, Donnie Darko, Homicide Life on the Streets
    • Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Boat that Rocked, Cold Mountain, Punch Drunk Love, Almost Famous, State and Main, Flawless, The Big Lebowski, Boogie Nights, Twister, The Scent of a Woman
    • Stanley Tucci: Hunger Games , Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Why ? the books and first two films
  • Seen: November 23, 2014 at the cinema with Hal, YW, KW, SW, AB, LR and J, exactly one year after seeing Catching Fire in the same cinema.
Things have changed.  No more games. This is war.  Katniss is recruited by the rebels. Peeta is captive in the capital city and has either been brainwashed or has become a traitor.
The first two films were grim but colourful. This one is grim and grey. And powerful. And sad.  There is exciting action, yes.  But much of the film is contemplative. Low-key. Katniss is reluctant, as always. But passionate about fighting back when required.
It’s a very good film. Jennifer Lawrence is, as before, perfect and the rest of the cast is very strong. It’s sad to see a likeable Philip Seymour Hoffman when we know he’s no longer with us.  A great loss.
There are moments of tears.  The Mockingjay gesture in the hospital. Katniss’s haunting song, joined in on by the rebels.
The only weakness will, one hopes, be solved next year. It is undeniably an unfinished film. So not quite the rating of the first two. Yet.

4 ½ * of  5

PS Of the eight of us who saw the film together, two did not like it.

PPS Again, an added bonus – we see the movie at the cinema housed in the same building where Greta Garbo made her first films.  It’s kind of cool for a movie freak to live a 20 minute walk from Greta Garbo’s first studio!

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