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5 Reasons You Need to Watch Mockingjay - Part 1 Now

Sunday, November 23, 2014
Confession: I skipped the Harry Potter bandwagon (I KNOW, I know) and Twilight any/everything (no regrets there). But one YA series that does particularly tickle my fancy is The Hunger Games. It moves me. It inspires me. It makes me feel things. And, let's be honest, it's easy to love a story centered around a bad ass girl with a braid who demonstrates strength both within herself and for others. She's a heroine sans superpowers.

The third installment of the movie franchise, Mockingjay - Part 1 (released November 21) is undeniably not a standalone film. It is, essentially, an opening act for Mockingjay - Part 2. However, it is well done and definitely worth the trip to the theater.

The main reason you should see it is because I am telling you to. Ugh, you want specifics? Fine. This spoiler-free breakdown should do the trick.

1. Julianne Moore (and her amazing grey hair)

Julianne Moore is one of those actresses that just gives me warm fuzzies. It doesn't matter what she is doing, it's inevitable that I will love it. In Mockingjay, Ms. Moore takes on the role of District 13's  President Alma Coin, the leader of the rebellion against the Capitol. Her execution is flawless, compelling and, I mean...that hair is #onfleek.

2. A new side of Peeta.

In the spirit of keeping this spoiler-free, all I will say is this: Peeta is a just a smidge different than the last you saw of him in Catching Fire. And boy, is it a roller coaster to watch. Some of the most gasp-worthy, dynamic scenes include the formerly soft-spoken Peeta.

3. Katniss' sleek suit.

The evolution of Katniss' suits have been so fun to watch. This creation by Cinna (real wardrobe designers Kurt and Bart) truly is a stunner. Inspired by combat fatigues, the duo combined mobile, tactical fabrics to give Katniss "rigid yet flexible" movement. The asymmetrical breastplates on the suit were inspired by those worn during Kyudo, the Japanese martial art form of archery.

4. Jennifer Lawrence, generally.

Oh, it's not enough to just say J. Law is in the movie? Although that is reason enough for me. Jen knocks it out of the park in the movie, bringing to life the depth of Katniss' emotional layers of trauma, depression and anger. Personally, I found the first part of the Mockingjay book a bit difficult to get through, but watching it come to life via Jen's commitment to the character was a rewarding experience. Plus, you get to hear her sing "The Hanging Tree," which was haunting and beautiful.

5. Effie.
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One big change from the book to the screen is the inclusion of Effie Trinket in District 13. I was skeptical, but soon convinced this change a perfect decision. To see Effie stripped of her eccentric wardrobe and superficial notions to feel empathy and be a part of the revolution was a smart move. And Effie was not without her signature shade various times throughout: "You know what needs a revolution? That hair."

My one complaint: we have to wait another year for Part 2. How will I make it through? What are your hopes for the grand finale?
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