We’re back with an all new installment for Book Club. This week we are covering the first few days inside the Hunger Games arena (Chapters 14-16), and all the “holy s**t!” things that go down. Let the recap begin.
1. How Rue-d! Screw Peeta and Gale, the relationship we are most looking forward to watching come to life on the big screen is between Katniss and Rue. The tiny warrior breaks our heart at every turn, from her four-note song to the Mockingjays to her underdog status in the Games. This line in particular, kills us: “‘You have good sponsors,’ she says longingly. ” (Page 201)
2. The Bow Saves The Day. Katniss manages to wrangle the bow from Glimmer’s dead and swollen body while hallucinating from tracker jacker stings. She does so with good reason — she uses it to sabotage the Careers’ supplies stash (and to hunt, and restore her sense of self, etc). It even makes her excited to kill! “If Cato broke through the trees right now, I wouldn’t flee, I’d shoot. I find I’m actually anticipating the moment with pleasure.” (Page 197) Atta girl.
Well, it’s “holy sh*t!” time here at Book Club headquarters. This week we are covering the end of training and the start of the actual Hunger Games, and boy, does a lot go down in these three chapters. Below we’ve got the Five Most Important Things From The Start of the Games. Let’s recap it up.
1. Cinna, The Instiller of Confidence. We really love the development of Katniss and Cinna’s friendship in these chapters. The idea that strength and inspiration can come from unlikely sources is always a nice reminder. After all, we (you know, us and Katniss) initially thought that Cinna was going to change her appearance into something that defies who she is. Instead he’s helped let her spirit become visible to the outside world. “Remember they love you,” he tells Katniss before her interview with Caesar Flickerman on Page 123. “Just be yourself.” Such great advice, especially coming from the guy responsible for transforming her physically. As we’re re-reading the book, we’ve especially loved imagining Lenny Kravitz in this role. We weren’t sold when the news hit, but Cinna is so soft, gentle and understated. For some reason he now just completely fits.
1. We’re about to compare Katniss to Kristen Stewart. You’ve been warned. But seriously: what really struck us in these four chapters is Katniss’ development as a reluctant star. Everything from the prep team’s grooming and changing of her appearance, to Haymitch directing her and Peeta’s interactions, to the flashy outfits and adoring crowds to her inability to be anything but herself…you see what we’re saying. It’s a wonderful commentary on celebrity, and a reminder that not everyone asks for it, certainly not Katniss. But what will she do with it now that it’s hers?
If you haven’t heard about Jennifer Lawrence by now, following her Oscar nominated performance in Winter’s Bone and her turn as Mystique in X-Men: First Class (out today!), don’t worry—you’ll have plenty of chances to catch up before The Hunger Games hits theaters next March. Lawrence beat out ingenues like Hailee Steinfeld and Chloe Moretz for the lead role of Katniss in Games, which many expect to take over Twilight‘s position as the must-see teen franchise after Edward & Bella bid goodbye. Almost as impressive? That hardly anyone seems to have noticed she’s in Mel Gibson‘s The Beaver. Sometimes its better not to be seen!
Naturally, Lawrence’s increased profile has meant increased access to glamorous dresses. Check out the gallery to see 20 of her hottest looks so far…though there’s certain to be plenty more to come!
Not so fast, Katniss. Looks like we’re going to need a bigger film franchise. As of today The Hunger Games filmmakers are pulling a Harry Potter and separating The Hunger Games into four movies, despite the fact that the movies are already based on a trilogy of books and, you know, no one has actually seen the first one to determine if the public even wants the first three. Considering TheHunger Games production photos confirm that the filming of the first movie is already well underway, it’s likely that either the second book Catching Fire or final edition Mockingjay will have to be teased out into two films. After an alleged meeting between studio executives this morning, Lionsgate confirmed the four-picture deal, acknowledging that “we have a deal that encompasses 4 movies” but declined to comment further. We love a cliff-hanger as much as the next person, but this decision begs the question: where will the third movie end and the fourth movie begin? Which movie do you think would be the perfect place to leave the audience writhing in complete agony until the final film?
Let’s see, snow-white hair? Check. Creepy reptile eyes (at least on-screen)? Yup. Mouth constantly filled with weeping sores? We sincerely hope not, because he seems like a nice guy in real life. Either way, Donald Sutherland’s President Snow in The Hunger Games finally puts a (terrifying) face to the series’ main villain, orchestrator of the Hunger Games themselves and nemesis to Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss. “President Snow has been the autocratic ruler of Panem and its contained districts for some 25 years at the outset of the story. With a snake-like appearance, he is cruel and ruthless in his intimidation and control tactics,” says the Lionsgate press release about the Hunger Games casting pick. As anyone scared by his bad guys in Outbreak or Disclosure can attest, Sutherland can go full evil with the best of them.
1. Peeta is a sensitive hunk with a heart of gold. But can he kick ass? Sure, we don’t know if he can be trusted yet, and he’s clearly got some fire in him (Snatching Haymitch’s drink in Chapter 4 was a bold move, Bread Boy.), but overall Peeta seems like a gentle soul who may not be able to handle the bloodbath that awaits. Let’s review, shall we? He risked punishment and purposefully dropped bread in the fire so that he could throw it out and give it to a starving Katniss. He gives his competitor a “reassuring squeeze” after they’re picked at The Reaping. HE CRIES. The question is, what will Katniss do about it? “I feel like I owe him something,” she says, “and I hate owing people.” (Page 32) Foreshadowing much?
2. Katniss is a survivor. She’s also that girl who doesn’t realize how hot and cool she is. Katniss Everdeen is the perfect heroine; self-reliant in her ass-kickery and genuinely selfless, sacrificing herself for her family. We love that she doesn’t even dwell on romance — she’s got squirrels to hunt, ya know? She’s just about the perfect woman in every way: she doesn’t care about how she dresses or looks, she pays her own bills, bills, bills, she’s athletic, the only time she worries about what she eats is when there’s not enough food and she’s blissfully unaware of all the dudes who wanna cuddle with her. And of course she has no idea how great she is. We’d hate her for it, except she’s so freakin’ awesome we can only worship at her muddy feet.
Hunger Gamesstars Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth have been spotted on the set! We’re guessing by the blue dress that Jennifer’s wearing that they were shooting scenes from The Reaping. Liam was strolling around in a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops, so either he was in his street clothes or Gale is being modeled after a Dartmouth frat boy working on Nantucket for the summer. We’re excited just to see pics of these two, and we’re dying for a look at Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. Give us some blond hair and some bread hands, please! What do you think of the pics?
Hilary Duff paid a visit to the VH1 offices this week and we got a chance to talk to her about — what else? — The Hunger Games. Duff is one of those triple threats: singer, actor and Young Adult fiction writer. Her novel Elixir is a New York Times bestseller, so it seems only fitting that we chat with her about the next big book-to-movie franchise. She declared her love for one of Katniss’ suitors in the video above, and filled us in on her own book-to-movie dreams. Is Elixir next? Check out the video below to find out!
It’s a lucky break for Lenny because we all know that the movie (and the consequent trilogy) is going to be massive! We know he’s super famous already, but movies are a whole different ball game and it often isn’t easy for singers to make the crossover. This feels like a good move from him post his role in Precious. But can he pull off the role of Cinna? Stylistically, yes. Kravitz can totally work those flicks of golden eyeliner. But Cinna is much more than that—and so much more than just Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence) stylist. He’s the strong (and yes, sexy), enigmatic, ultimate voice of dissent, which can’t be an easy job to pull off. Cinna is the sort of character that draws you in slowly and steadily, and we can’t think of anyone we know who didn’t get completely attached to him. But we want to know what you think? Is there anyone else you feel would be better for the role, or is Lenny it?