There was never a doubt in my mind that Jennifer Lawerence would be able to embody Katniss. She was able to portray all sides of Katniss perfectly. She reminded why Katniss is such a great character and was quite the inspiration to watch on screen.
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch was hilarious. He got that drunkard down to a T and his bantering back and forth with Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket was perfect! Elizabeth also did a wonderful job as Effie. She made you want to hit her, and then apologize afterwards because you know she means well.
Liam Hemsworth as Gale didn't get a lot of screen time, which was fine since he wasn't in the book all that much, but I could already tell that he is going to do a really good job playing Gale in the future movies.
I wasn't sure how I felt about Lenny Kravitz as Cinna when he was first announced as the actor, but after watching the movie I liked his portrayal and performance a lot. He was the calm throughout the whole movie and it was obvious that he truly cared for Katniss's well-being.
And oh my gosh, Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman was one of my favorites. I love Stanley Tucci anyway, but he was wonderful, absolutely wonderful. He was also one of the comic reliefs in the film.
Donald Sutherland as President Snow was more terrifying than Voldemort. You could just tell that behind his calm demeanor and white beard, there was a madman.
Willow Shields as Primrose, Paula Malcomson as Mrs. Everdeen, and Amandla Sternberg as Rue were also wonderful. Prim and Rue reminded me so much of my little sisters, which made Rue's death even more heartbreaking.
But Josh Hutcherson as Peeta stole the show. When he was announced as the actor playing Peeta, I have to admit that I wasn't sure he was the right actor for the role.
Boy, was I dead wrong.
It's like Josh went into my mind, figured out how I imagined Peeta, and played him EXACTLY like that. By the end of the movie, I was a puddle on the ground. I have always loved Peeta, even more than Ron Weasley, and to see him so perfectly portrayed was more wonderful than words can describe.
Part Two: The Plot
They didn't leave out one single thing that was necessary for future plot development. Seriously.
Sure, they left out things and changed a few things around.
Katniss found the mockingjay pin instead of it being given to her by Madge, but Madge was essentially an unimportant character so it wasn't a big deal.
They cut down a lot of the stuff in the arena, like Katniss's search for water and food, but was that really necessary? Nope.
I think the success of the plot has to do with the fact that Suzanne Collins helped a lot with the screenplay. Whenever an author is the screenwriter or helps a lot with the process, it's a good sign that the movie is going to stay true to the book.
Part Three: Violence, effects, make-up, etc.
There was the perfect amount of violence in the movie. Some people might be critical and say that there wasn't, but they must not understand the true meaning of the book. Yes, it could have been very graphic and very bloody, but then they would be portraying exactly what Suzanne Collins was disagreeing with when she wrote the book. There was enough to leave you cringing, but not enough to make you gag.
The special effects and make-up were also very well done. I especially enjoyed the make-up of the Capitol citizens. It was so outlandish and gaudish; exactly like it's described in the book.
I also really enjoyed the scenery of District Twelve and the layout of the Capitol. The imagery in the movie was wonderful and truly captured the spirit of the novel.
Best book to movie adaption I have ever watched. It's in the top three of my favorite movies of all time, and if I had the money I would go see it again today. I don't see how any fan of the Hunger Games would NOT like the movie, but that is my personal belief.