The Hunger Games is a riveting portrayal of how the young see the modern world, where a privileged elite has a "Stalin-like" control over who lives in plenty or poverty in a post-apocalyptic North America. The young just coming of age are not far from the truth.
I have a confession to make: I am not a popular reader. But this year, I read several best-sellers that I thoroughly enjoyed. From this, an idea was born: What if I spent a whole year only reading best-sellers? Would I be constantly reading things I hated or would I mostly be reading gems?
Reading is supposed to expand one's horizons. It's supposed to enable people to experience lives and cultures and people they would otherwise never get to -- and maybe even discover that the people who live those lives aren't so very different.
Both Chastain and Lawrence now appear in films with strong Best Picture potential and thus they could benefit from the coattail effect that swept Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby) and Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love) to past victories.
The Avengers. Joss Whedon deserves some kind of award for turning what could have been the clunkiest superhero-supergroup spectacle since Fantastic Four into a razor-sharp, bullet-fast fun-fest, but they don't give Oscars for that.