The Morning After: Nov. 23, 2015

Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I’ve seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.

So, here is what I watched this past week:

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

For a fan of the book series, this finale is a fitting conclusion to the films. Featuring Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a pair of Hunger Games victors, a film crew, and a host of soldiers and friends, the film follows its protagonist as she makes her move against a weakening President Snow (Donald Sutherland) on a quest to put an end to him and secure victory in honor of the whole of Panem.

Since she took on the role of Katniss, Lawrence’s star has ascended. With an Oscar, multiple nominations and a host of acclaimed performances, she’s never let the medium down. From intimate films to blockbusters, she’s a consummate professional, which gives this franchise, and especially this final film, a level of gravitas that it might never otherwise have had.

The film is tight, controlled and frequently surprising. Director Francis Lawrence does a superb job keeping the film on track and not bowing to the pressure of needing constant visual stimuli and excessive combat scenes. He focuses on the gentle and sometimes horrific smaller moments where human beings are exposed as just that: human. It may not be the most exciting, most climactic conclusion to a franchise, but it’s an ultimately fitting and appreciated effort.

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