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Easing Liam Hemsworth’s Paranoia

Oh, Liam! It was supposed to be amazing, wasn’t it? Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, YOU, a hot chick to hang off your arm, and loads of tech! Paranoia had all the elements of a summer blockbuster!

The hair department may also be to blame.

The hair department may also be to blame.

… Too bad about that freaking awful script. Here’s hoping you got paid really well to spew those lines out!

Paranoia made only $3.5 during its opening weekend, which is less than the top movie made on a single weekday. Relativity replaced its marketing director following the flop, which isn’t a huge surprise considering total lack of advertising. But the good news is that critics, despite not liking the film, are typically not blaming the acting!

It’s hard to make a name for yourself, especially when you’re best known as “Gale from The Hunger Games” and “Miley Cyrus’ Man Candy”, but we know you can prove yourself! The film industry is a tough and it takes time. Everyone on The Hunger Games set has had great things to say about your natural talent, so we’re not taking this downer as any sort of reflection of your abilities.

So meanwhile, here’s some tips to help you get over this bummer, Victor’s Village style:
1) Food of questionable nutritional value - Hot pockets, ice cream, and chocolate are not good for you physically, but they are mental health GEMS.
2) Awesome fantasy films - Because nothing takes your mind off things like getting lost in a good action fantasy film. Try Star Wars or Harry Potter.. Oh, too soon for those reminders?

The Trans Am can't compensate for lackluster roles

The Trans Am can’t compensate for lackluster roles

3) Books - They’re never actually about you, so it’s really easy to forget that feeling upon seeing the box office numbers.
4) Music - Something calming and poignant is good to help balance out any bad vibes. Or maybe something angry or depressing to get it all out of your system. Just not Miley. Because she CAN, in fact, stop.
5) Looking at scripts outside the action/thriller genre - Okay, maybe we don’t do this one. But now is the perfect time to try to BRANCH OUT. You seem to love that kinda stuff– Expendables, Paranoia, Empire State, and the upcoming Cut Bank, for example– but it’s very hit or miss. Mostly miss. This is not the Golden Age of action films anymore. Take a chance! Take a page out of Jen’s book and go for something totally out of your comfort zone. Because that genre could be your bread and butter, but it could also be your downfall.

Try, Try Again!
The Girl With The Pearl

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Why Did They Change It?

THIS is the last post in Guest Postapalooza. FOR REALS, GUISE!

The official Guest Postapalooza Poll will go up tomorrow and winners will be announced Saturday, during our site anniversary extravaganza!

In the meantime, check out this entry from TimeTravellingBunny on book-to-film transitions!
_________________________________

“Anyway, films adaptations of novels are sometimes prone to failure not because they are too faithless but too faithful: why spend all that effort producing an audiobook with pictures?

This quote comes from David Mitchell and his foreword to his novel Cloud Atlas, which was last year adapted into a film. Like my fellow Hunger Games fan and blogger Satsuma, Mitchell understands that certain changes always have to be made in order to translate a story from one medium to another. This opinion is not always shared by many fans of popular books who are disappointed when certain things get cut, changed or added in the adaptation, making the actual film different from the pictures they had in their heads while reading the book.

Oh, the travesty!

Oh, the travesty!

Yes, there are adaptations that stray so much from the source material that they fail to preserve the characterization, themes and messages of the book. There is a good reason why the saying “Don’t judge a book by its movie” exists. Even with famous literary works, it’s not uncommon for film adaptations to whitewash the main characters (every film version of Wuthering Heights does that to Heathcliff in one or the other sense of the word, most of them in both), cut entire storylines and push important characters into the background in favor of characters and storylines that are deemed more exciting to the wider audience (most adaptations of Wuthering Heights and Anna Karenina) or even slap a happy ending on a tragic tale (notorious reworkings of Shakespeare’s tragedies by Nahum Tate which were popular in England between the 17th and 19th century, or, in our times, the atrocious 1995 movie The Scarlet Letter starring Demi Moore). But these are not the kind of changes I’m talking about here. Even in the most faithful adaptations, and The Hunger Games movie was one of them, certain changes have to be made in order to make a good and exciting film from a good and exciting book, and I’m not talking just about squeezing a 400 pages book into two hours of screentime. There’s also a good reason why Best Adapted Screenplay is an equally respected award category as Best Original Screenplay.

One of the biggest problems that every screenwriter adapting a novel has to face is the issue of exposition. Novels are, by their nature, wordy – even when their protagonists are quiet by nature. Things get explained at length by a first person or a third person narrator: the background, the complicated histories, the relationships, the feelings. Films can use voice over narration, text on screen Star Wars-style, or characters delivering “exposition dumps” in dialogue, but these storytelling devices can only be used in very small doses since they tend to be clunky, awkward and boring. The first rule of film is: Show, don’t tell.

Hey, that's not Madge!

Hey, that’s not Madge!

One of the changes in The Hunger Games movie that has caused the most outrage among the book fans is the decision to cut the character of Madge from the movies and change the origins of the mockingjay pin. Some fans are still holding out the hope that Madge will make an appearance, others are bringing her up all the time as a proof that almost any character, other than the major ones, could be cut from the movies. (They cut out Madge, so why not Annie?) Others are claiming that the mockingjay pin has lost all meaning

Let’s think this over. Madge is not just a minor character whose absence won’t particularly affect the story – she simply had to be cut. Madge appears early on in the first book, gives Katniss the mockingjay pin and then only reappears halfway through Catching Fire to bring morphling for Gale, and is never seen again. The entire importance of her character lies in the complicated backstory of her family that we learn halfway through the story. In the third book, we learn that she died in the firebombing of District 12 with her entire family.

In a movie franchise, this couldn’t work. Films are not made just for people who are already fans of the book and just want to see their favorite characters on screen. What the film viewers would see in the first movie is a random person, apparently a friend or acquaintance of Katniss, who gives her the pin and then disappears from the film. She would then randomly appear in the second movie, by which time the majority of the audience wouldn’t even remember who she was or that she was in the movie they had seen a year and a half earlier, and the backstory of the pin would require a lot of screentime and exposition dump that would take valuable screentime.

Will the mockingjay pin lose its meaning without Madge? Not really. The mockingjay pin is important for the people of Panem for two reasons: because of what a mockingjay represents, as a creature that came to be despite the wishes of Capitol and as a result of the Capitol getting outsmarted by the rebels, and because Katniss wore the pin in the Games. The additional poignancy of the pin having been worn by a girl who died in the Games is a bonus that is not essential for the story. Besides, this backstory could be easily done in the movies without Madge. Maybe the pin was once worn by a daughter or sister of the sad-looking lady (credited as “Hob vendor”) who gave Katniss the pin ?

What is HE doing there?

What is HE doing there?

Thanks to the interviews and teaser trailer, we already know about some of the minor changes made in Catching Fire. Certain minor characters have been cut: Bonnie and Twill, the two refugees that Katniss meets in the woods, won’t be in the movie. This is hardly a surprise: although these two characters were likeable, their purpose in the book was to deliver exposition so Katniss and the reader would know what happened during the rebellion in District 8, and to raise the possibility that District 13 may still exist. The former is not needed in a film, which isn’t limited to Katniss’ POV and can simply show those events instead of having people talk about them, while the latter can be done in many other ways, and a whole bunch of other characters could easily come to the same conclusion about District 13 that those two did. Even Suzanne Collins didn’t care to tell us what exactly happened with them.

On the other hand, sometimes adaptations add certain scenes or lines. We know that Gale will have at least two scenes he doesn’t have in the book: he has a goodbye scene with Katniss before she goes to the Arena, mentioned by Francis Lawrence, and the teaser trailer shows him and Katniss witnessing the burning of the Hob, despite the fact that the book had Katniss and Peeta in a similar scene. This has caused a big controversy in the fandom, with complaints and suspicions that Lionsgate wants to enlarge Gale’s role at Peeta’s expense, or even make him the primary love interest for Katniss.

I could start explaining why I think this is really unlikely, but I’ll leave it for some other time. Suffice to say, I don’t think Gale’s role will be enlarged and I certainly don’t think he will become a more prominent character than Peeta (which would be really hard to achieve anyway due to the fact that Gale is absent from the whole second part of Catching Fire, while Peeta has a prominent role throughout the book and lots of scenes with Katniss); and Liam Hemsworth himself has pointed out in an interview that his character does get more to do in Catching Fire, but that most of his stuff is really in Mockingjay.

However, the additional scenes and dialogue are necessary in order to flesh out Gale’s character and explain his relationship with Katniss. The first movie showed that Gale and Katniss were close, but didn’t get across the fact that they have been best friends and hunting partners for years – and even left some viewers thinking that Gale was Katniss’ boyfriend, and some others believing he was her brother. Gale’s role in Catching Fire is not major, but he is a part of the love triangle which, while it’s not as prominent as the media would have you think, does exist in this particular book, where Katniss is still torn between him and Peeta. More than that, Gale essentially represents Katniss’ past life and one side of her personality. The story would be severely unbalanced if the viewer does not understand their connection. And while Gale gets a lot more to do in Mockingjay, that book shows their friendship falling apart.

In the books, we find out a lot about Katniss’ relationship with Gale and their history through internal monologue – something that’s missing in the movie. True, Katniss does not get to tell Gale goodbye in the book, because she’s whisked away and never gets the chance. However, she’s thinking about things she would tell him: how important he has been to her all these years, and that she loved him even though she doesn’t seem able to give him the romantic love he wants. Film viewers would have no idea about any of this since they couldn’t hear her thoughts, and Katniss just being dragged out to the Capitol train without saying anything to Gale would have no emotional resonance.

Similarly, a film viewer who saw Katniss and Peeta watching the burning Hob would not know that Katniss is thinking of the Hob as something that Peeta had little to do with, unlike her and Gale, who had been trading at the Hob for years. The viewer may know that Gale and Katniss are both hunters, but they didn’t see the scenes with Katniss and Gale both trading at the Hob, they probably won’t see flashbacks showing their history together or hear Katniss talk at length about her friendship with Gale. Gale and Katniss watching the burning Hob is a perfect opportunity to mention their history and get across their connection to this place.

Peeta, on the other hand, has many other scenes in Catching Fire that are far more important for fleshing out his character and his relationship with Katniss. I’m willing to bet that Peeta will get scenes in Mockingjay part 1 that he does not have in the book, since he spends most of the first part of it imprisoned and tortured in Capitol. I expect the films to feature some scenes from the Capitol, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes an appearance in a dream scene or two or even a brief flashback, to remind the viewers of what he was like before the hijacking and explain Katniss’ feelings for him for those who don’t remember what happened in the film they saw a year or two earlier.

Adapting a book into a film is a bit like translating from one language into another. If you translate everything word by word, you will lose the meaning and end up with something clumsy and confusing. You need to think about how it will all sound in the other language. Or, in this case, how it will look on the screen.

TimeTravellingBunny

Jennifer Lawrence and Hate Groups

Oh, journalism. I’d love to say you’ve gone way downhill recently, but more often than not, you have always been a cruel mistress of sensationalism and general ridiculousness.

The most recent form was an article published by Vice.com a couple weeks ago, which tried to discover if anyone could possibly hate Jennifer Lawrence, one of the most beloved actresses in Hollywood, by calling several hate groups to get their thoughts on her. Seriously, all he had do to was go on tumblr. There are haterz there for EVERYTHING.

To cut it down so you don’t have to read the article: Every hate group except one told the reporter to go fuck himself. They claimed to have no idea who she was. It’s not a surprise– not just because they’re hate groups, but because the question is kind of stupid.

The one group that did know Jennifer? The Westboro Baptist Church, an uber-religious hate group that pickets everything– mainly military funerals and anything related to the gay rights movement. They’ve been so offensive that Hell’s Angels and the KKK have threatened to counter-protest against them. However, they’re also known for being creepily kind to the media, whom they speak to willingly and often.

In this conversation, a member of the church admitted that he didn’t know much about her, but he thought Winter’s Bone “rocked” and also presented this whammy: Some of the kids in the church are fans of The Hunger Games movie.

Knowing the Westboro Baptist Church, the books aren’t exactly readily available and the messages of the series haven’t quite crept up on this after ONLY seeing the first film, but we’re still baffled by this. Here’s one of the most well-known protest group, infamously known for their vicious intolerance and propaganda, getting into a series that largely heralds the extreme dangers of intolerance and propaganda.

All we can think is… Wow, wouldn’t it be great if those kids stay into the Hunger Games movies all the way through Mockingjay: Part 2 and the filmmakers highlight the use of propaganda to brainwash people into believing things that aren’t real or true? It probably wouldn’t change their mind. There’s years of hateful indoctrination practically running through their veins. But what if someone in that organization realized something was off, if even for a moment? That propaganda that tries to dictate peoples’ lives should not be taken lightly? We think that would be kind of beautiful.

I Still Find It Awkward That They Watch Real Movies,

The Girl With The Pearl

Permission to Stalk Jennifer Lawrence?

Oh, Jennifer Lawrence! You’ve had such an exciting week, but we’re getting awfully excited about an upcoming project of yours!

Massachusetts according to Bostonians

A brief look at The Girl With The Pearl’s fine state…

David O. Russell’s upcoming film about the Abscam scandal doesn’t even have a title yet, but if the rumors are to be believed, it does have something else: Filming Locations. New York and Boston.

We know your part is small and chances are you won’t be in every filming location, but we’re really hoping you’re in Boston. Mainly because I’m in Boston. Well, I’m elsewhere in Massachusetts, but I CAN be in Boston.

Look, I’ve never done this before. This is new to me! I just have one simple question for Jennifer Lawrence:
IF YOU COME TO BOSTON, CAN I STALK YOU? PRETTY PRETTY PLEASEEEE?!

Only for a day or two, of course. I can’t take too much time off work! And only if you’re filming in some sort of public setting where curious bystanders can hang out without being total creeps. Maybe if there’s a call for extras, because I’m a great clueless bystander type! I could even bring along my future brother-in-law, who was an extra in another David O. Russell film, The Fighter (and actually made it into the movie!)

Yes… Yes! The plan is unraveling now! Muahahaha!

I’ll do things like quietly watch how films are made! And smile politely, perhaps even manage to mention what a big fan I am if you come close enough that I don’t have to shout out, but only when the cameras aren’t rolling. Don’t worry, I would never even choke up the courage to ask for an autograph or a picture! (TRUE STORY: The only celebrity I’ve ever asked for a picture is Rupert Grint, and it’s perhaps the worst picture of me I have ever taken IN MY LIFE. I made rabid hyenas look classy.)

Pretend I'm not there and Rupert's whole face IS there...

Pretend I’m not there and Rupert’s whole face IS there…

… Okay, so maybe I’m not that great of a stalker. Hell, I wouldn’t even hide outside Jennifer Lawrence’s hotel! I don’t completely understand why us Average Joes always feel compelled to see celebrities in person, we just do. We know, deep down, that she’s the same as everyone else, except she’s got a really excellent job. WE KNOW. Yet we still have to see it for ourselves, almost as if to prove that Jennifer Lawrence is a real person. (ANOTHER TRUE STORY: I once had a three sentence conversation with Mark Wahlberg without realizing it was Mark freakin’ Wahlberg. I think I made zero impression.)

Anyway, everyone at Victor’s Village hopes you stop by. At the very least, I’ll make you some fairly corny list of things us working class kids do in Boston!

But If You Do The Accent And Mess It Up… NO MERCY,
The Girl With The Pearl

The Power of Buttercup

We discussed that awesome joy that comes from hooking people on The Hunger Games series many a time before! Besides validating your own addiction, the more people you get to talk about the series with, the better! But the best is when someone new to the series gets you going on topic you never really thought about before.

But we'll still take it!

But we’ll still take it!

Hence this conversation with a friend, in a bar of all places:
Them: “I love the books now, but I’m so disappointed that the cat wasn’t really in the movie!”
Me: “Buttercup? Yeah, he’s awesome but they tend to cut everything that isn’t totally necessary.”
Them: “He IS necessary! He reflects all her emotional stuff. Without a voiceover, we NEED him!”

Then the conversation was interrupted by the hypothetical zombie apocalypse (BE PREPARED! …Not really), but it left me thinking.

While I’m not as stuck on a sheer need for Buttercup in the movies like my friend, what they were saying makes sense. When Katniss is jaded and hardened in the beginning of the series, the only character that matches her intensity and takes her head on. Like Katniss, he is forced to go to District 13, disgruntled and disobedient, but he puts up with it to be with Prim. As Katniss drives herself mad thinking about Peeta in the fallout shelter, she takes Buttercup right along with her. And finally, when she is devastated and needs someone dearly at the end of the series, so does Buttercup.

When Buttercup was a mere flash in The Hunger Games, many people noticed. Like us, it seemed many were mourning that LAST scene. But it’s all the little scenes in between are what make that last one work.

Let’s all take a moment to recognize the power of Buttercup. Because no matter how slurred the words may have been in that conversation, it was right on. That little cat is Katniss Everdeen’s spirit animal.

If Francis Lawrence thought at all about how to keep the series relevant and touching, we’re hoping he chooses to stick Buttercup’s simple but powerful story back into the mix. It would take a minute or two per movie, but Panem’s most badass cat would break the collective heart of the entire world.

And I Consider Myself A Dog Person,
The Girl With The Pearl

Comedy or Error?

Jennifer Lawrence Bradley Cooper Silver Linings Playbook

There are smiles…

As predicted, awards season nominations have been very good to Jennifer Lawrence and her performance in Silver Linings Playbook. Deservedly so, seeing as fans and critics alike have raved about her intelligent take on Tiffany, an unpredictable widower who joins forces with Bradley Cooper’s character to overcome their fears and illnesses together.

There’s just one thing that has got us worried: The Golden Globes has made the dubious decision to list Silver Linings Playbook as a comedy, thus pinning both Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley’s Coopers performances in the “Comedy or Musical” category.

... But things are dramatic!

… But things are dramatic!

Silver Linings Playbook is the type of movie known as a dramedy, in which the story has dark, dramatic undertones but, since the characters in the film are doing everything they can NOT to drown in their own sorrows, there are moments of comedic lightness. It’s a hard film to categorize, but we really, really wish it had gone into the opposite category. Here’s the catch: The Golden Globes, while not directly affiliated with the Academy Awards, is a major precursor to Oscar night. And when Oscar narrows things down into neat little categories like “Best Actress”, it’s the comedic nominees that usually lose their place in the lineup because they’re not taken quite so seriously. (Recently, this is not true of musical side of the category, nor do we think Les Miserables will be shunned, because it’s freaking LES MIZ.)

We’re pretty confident that Jennifer’s amazing performance will be recognized enough to survive the category subsidization shuffle, Hollywood is a bureaucratic beast. It’s hard to imagine why the Hollywood Foreign Press Association would pin her performance as comedic when there was so much pain and depth in her character, even during many of the times she made you laugh. Was there just too many actors or actresses they wanted to include in the dramatic category, so tossing Silver Linings Playbook into comedy worked for everyone? Only time will tell.

Better Make It Up To Jen With A Win, GGs!
The Girl With The Pearl

Welcome Back, Francis Lawrence!

Can it be real?! Good timing? Dedication? Perhaps even a shot at continuity? Yes, it is so!

Francis Lawrence Director The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Mockingjay 1 and 2

His hair did all the negotiating!

Lionsgate has bucked the annoying but hip new trend of hiring a new director for every film in a franchise and signed Francis Lawrence up to direct Mockingjay Part 1 and 2! We’ve aired our grievances with too much change in a single franchise before and we were expecting the “different director for each book” approach after Gary Ross decided not to come back (as if Lionsgate could act like “Oh, that? We totally did that on purpose! Trend alert!”) We’re psyched to see an effort to keep things steadily rolling along.

That being said, feelings are still mixed. The people over at Lionsgate trust Francis Lawrence with The Hunger Games franchise, otherwise they wouldn’t have re-hired him for the pivotal, intense ending to the series. He’s made it clear that he wants to do the series justice and do right by the fans. The dude is doing something right.

But we can’t trust him yet! Nothing personal, Frankie! We can only trust our own opinions, but we haven’t even been able to form them. We won’t even see a teaser trailer for another several months. There’s over a year until the release of Catching Fire and it hurts so much to even think about that! We’ve seen other work by Francis, but that doesn’t give us any real hints about his ability to successfully interpret the second and third installments of Hunger Games, even if he’s worked on fantasy before.

Without anything to go on, even we remain cautiously skeptical. Every actor in the franchise could say he’s great, but that doesn’t always lead to outstanding final products. We want it to be outstanding, of course! If it’s not, this site is going to get uber depressing at an alarming rate.

In short, it comes down to this…

Congratulations Francis! Now Don’t Screw It Up!
The Girl With The Pearl

The Jennifer Lawrence Standard

Back in the day, a young adult movie was a young adult movie. It wasn’t a blockbuster. Nobody was expecting to shatter any records. The standards that the films were held to was questionable, as were the actors.

Jennifer Lawrence

Nomination!

There were still naysayers against actors hired to work on popular series, like when Robert Pattinson was cast as Edward Cullen and half the Twilight fandom had a coronary, but the studios didn’t really seem to think on it much. They weren’t expecting the massive fanbase that would rise up. In short, they really didn’t have anything to prove.

So was the way of Hollywood until March of 2011, when Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss Everdeen. She had an Academy Award nomination! She had indie cred! She had outstanding interview skills! We weren’t just dealing with another teen actor picked to carry a franchise based on popularity with the teen crowd. The Hunger Games sought out a professional.

And it looks like other Hollywood franchises that started up after The Hunger Games are taking notes! You know how we like to set trendz! It may be the death of the “Breakout Star”, but movie studios are casting young adults with clout.

Abigail Breslin

Nomination!

For instance, take Ender’s Game, which comes out in November 2013. Ender himself will be played by Asa Butterfield, who became very well known after his breakout role in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. It only won 5 Academy awards, NBD. Abigail Breslin, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Little Miss Sunshine, will be Valentine Wiggin.

Just days ago, Summit Entertainment announced that Shailene Woodley will be Tris Prior in their adaptation of Divergent. Shailene may have a bad rep for starring on one of the most poorly written shows on television (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), but we’ve got a feeling that the studio was paying more attention to her Golden Globe nom for The Descendants.

Shailene Woodley Golden Globes

Nominations everywhere!

Since Jennifer, it seems like Hollywood is taking their young adult franchises a little more seriously. They won’t cast just anyone. You need to love the books, handle the media spectacularly, and oh yeah… act the hell out of any role handed to you. People have expectations for young adult adaptations set unrealistically high– you’ll never please them all, but studios seem to be working hard to please the majority. Having grown up in the generation subjected to really bad “teen movies” filled with gorgeous actresses playing paper thin characters (and doing so very poorly), we can assure you this wasn’t anyways the case. And we’re giving Jen some credit for the shift!

Now Can We Nix That Rumor About Alexander Ludwig as Four in Divergent? PLZKTHX.
The Girl With The Pearl

The Hunger Games Costume Fail

No, we’re not talking about those costumes! We’re talking about the costume design for the films!

Guest writer Elizabeth is a bit of a clothing design fanatic. Sadly, she wasn’t all too impressed with the fashion choices in The Hunger Games. Let’s see what she has to say and hear her hopes for Catching Fire!

_______________________________________________

Filming for Catching Fire has begun, and there’s a new costume designer on set. And while we don’t know exactly what Girl with the Dragon Tattoo stylist Trish Summerville is putting our loved (and loathed) tributes in under those insidious white bathrobes, this reader certainly hopes it’s better than the last time around.

Girl on Fire dress The Hunger Games

Is this the best we can do?!

With the exception of Katniss and Peeta on the chariot, the Tribute costumes of The Hunger Games were underwhelming at best. Blue and hot pink fish for District 4? A frilly tutu for Glimmer’s interview, who in the books had been described as wearing a sexy golden gown? All forgivable, I suppose, but what broke my heart was Katniss’s interview dress. I believe the description I’ve heard some people use is “last-season Narciso Rodriguez,” which is dead on. With all the tech effects in this film, it’s startling they weren’t able to find some way to approximate the bejeweled spectacle that was our heroine’s interview dress in the books. The DVD commentary for The Hunger Games says that it was Gary Ross’s vision that was important for that dress, not Suzanne Collins’s, but man, what a miscalculation to not go with her description.

Costumes are so important in Catching Fire, much more so than in the first film. I would go as far as using the word “iconic.” Although the Hunger Games franchise can be read as an indictment on our materialistic culture, fashion is vital to the series and its theme of image as a means to an end. Each costume perfectly encapsulates characters and themes. Finnick’s golden net tied seductively at his hip says, “I am the sexy golden boy. I’m here to tempt you.” Johanna’s leafy outfit followed by her shameless elevator striptease says, “natural, exposed, confident. This is who I am, deal with it.” Katniss and Peeta’s radiant parade costumes, of course, are supposed to express the betrayal they feel, but that they are still powerful, defiant.

And of course, the single most important outfit is Katniss’s wedding dress and its fiery transformation to a mockingjay. That wedding dress has to be the dress to end all dresses, the last word on bridal gowns, as Katniss would say. It has to be a feat of craftsmanship, ethereal yet elegant, and it has to be exactly the way it was described in the book, because readers have had dreams about this gown. This isn’t the time for some up and coming designer to create an avant garde confection purely from their own imagination. Nope. The dress has to have the pearls wrapping around her throat, the sleeves that fall from the wrists to the floor, the fitted bodice and elaborate skirt. It has to be beautiful enough to make us cry at the tragedy that she will never get to wear it and the horror that she is forced to wear it as pretty much a burial shroud.

Jennifer Lawrence Prabal Gurung

More like it!

And they have to get the transformation right. The fire can’t look cheesy. She can’t look like a burnt chicken. I think the costume people can get a lot of inspiration from Natalie Portman’s Black Swan look. This IS the place to get creative. Since it’s a little harder to picture a designer interpretation of a black bird than it is to picture a wedding dress, there’s room to play. And like white swan vs. black swan, it must be the exact opposite of a virginal wedding dress even if the silhouette is the same. It has to be sexy. BAD. Dangerous. Plunging neckline, maybe a high slit. All the feathers should be long and shiny to catch the light.

In my ideal world, I would love to see Katniss’s dresses be designed by Prabal Gurung. Jennifer Lawrence already rocked a sexy Prabal Gurung gold cutout gown on the red carpet this year, and she looked like a babe from outer space in it. And the designer already has some gowns in a recent collection (in black and in white, no less) that mix shimmery fabrics with sheer or lacy details and feathers. Feathers!

Suzanne Collins could be a closet (see what I did there?) fashionista. She made one of the most beloved characters in the series a stylist! Let’s hope the producers of Catching Fire can make her droolworthy costume descriptions come to life so that the sequel will be filled with stunning sartorial eye candy.

Elizabeth

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