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I agree that they seemed to leave out some really important parts of the books. I thought the acting was really great (the face Peeta/Josh makes when he gets “reaped”… oh man, he sold that (I thought)) and overall I thought the movie was pretty well done, but I also think that they could have showed more of Katniss manipulating the audience to get what she needed- those parts showed how clever she was at playing the game her way. I also really wished they had done more to show (a) Katniss starting to have feelings of closeness for Peeta, whether it’s romantic or not- she obviously cared about him in the books which I didn’t think really came across in the movie and (b) how emotionally screwed up they were when they came out of the arena (for those who have read the books, I think they could have shown Peeta being much more hurt by the muttations and then Katniss freaking out when she gets separated from him after they get pulled out of the arena).
In reply to hotspur’s reply to himself, which I couldn’t reply to… it did look like the kids were exactly the same age, but if you watch the credits you’ll see that each kid was played by two actors (can you call kids that young actors?), for ages that were two years apart (for example, Phillipa (3 years) and Phillipa (5 years)).