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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

Les Jeux de la Faim - Pensees
I saw the The Hunger Games this morning, on a whim. (Usually I wait until I've read the book, but in this case I'm not sure when I'll get around to that.)

I decided to watch it in French, though since it was being shown in English this meant I didn't understand very much. I did however pick up on the film iconography: Cato the Jock, Peeta Gamgee, etc. (I, of course, was rooting for Foxface, the true heroine of the story.) I've not seen Battle Royale, so can't comment on the question of plagiarism, but I certainly got a strong Highlander vibe at times.

In the film, at least, it is strange that they make such a big deal about Peeta's strength in training, and then in the Games themselves the heaviest thing he lifts is a twig. It's an unusual departure from the law of Chekhov's gun, to which Hollywood is normally so devoted, but I for one don't object. Peeta also managed to get through the games without killing anyone.

It sure is a classical story, isn't it? Not just Juvenalian Panem et Circenses and the whole gladatorial set-up, but Cato, Cinna and Seneca (forced to take poison, yet!). Was America rebuilt by Latin teachers after the apocalypse?

I've seen Jennifer Lawrence criticized somewhere for not smiling or laughing once throughout the whole film, which seems to me absurd. What has she got to laugh about? (And would a male star would have got the same "Cheer up, love!" treatment?)

And so, back to the marking.