Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

March 18, 2011 -- 6:24 p.m.

They've cast the lead role for Hunger Games. Jennifer Lawrence. She's a little for your average starving 16-year-old, but it is Hollywood after all. The book has an interesting and realistic mixed message about commercialized teenage beauty (manufactured beauty is evil but...ooh, look at my pretty dress!) So hiring such a pretty actress could potentially add another layer of meta-subtext to the film. Looking at her, you can definitely see why Peeta and Gale might fight over the woman. We'll see what Miss Lawrence looks like as a raven-haired archer.

Of course, I recognize I'm adding another level of meta-critique to my own blog post by giving my reaction to her casting based on appearance alone, but I've never seen any of the movies she's acted in. The clips of Winter's Bone I saw online looked like she was a creditable actress.

I didn't realize the director they chose also directed Pleasantville, one of my favorite movies of all time, less for the story--though I did enjoy the portrayal of teenage sexuality, particularly how it didn't take the easy way out and just go 'sex is good, adults are bad' like so much modern media--and more for the cinematography and the creative use of color. He was also able to coax a really memorable, strong performance from then relatively unknown actress Reese Witherspoon. I hope he brings a similar touch to Hunger Games. I'm looking forward to seeing who they cast for the other groups, especially Haymitch. I've always pictured Haymitch being played by the actor of Javert who did the Les Mis 10th Anniversary 'dream cast' tv production. The problem with most older actors is they don't look beaten down enough. Nicholas Cage would make a surreal choice for the part. I suspect the director won't cast any big names, but Cage would certainly bring the crazy.

FUN FACT: Reese Witherspoon played a teenage girl in a movie called "Twilight," which was released the same year they released Pleasantville. Thanks, Wikipedia!


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