With award season right around the corner, my invitations to press screeners are picking up, which is an exciting time. I love sharing insights into upcoming films and today’s post features The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which I got to see on Tuesday evening. It's in theaters this Friday, November 17, 2023 for your viewing. Here are my thoughts and an official trailer.

Everyone Hungers For Something:

Everyone Hungers For Something
Courtesy: Lionsgate

I received complimentary tickets to the press screening of this film as a member of The Music City Film Critics Association. All opinions are my own. I received Lionsgate press materials included in today's post. Thank you.

About The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes:

Lionsgate./Directed by: Francis Lawrence · Produced by: Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Francis Lawrence / Screenplay by: Michael Lesslie and Michael Arndt/ RunTime:2 hrs.38 mins./Genre:lAction, Adventure /Rating PG-13

Synopsis: from Lionsgate:

The Hunger Games The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Courtesy: Lionsgate

Experience the story of The Hunger Games, 64 years before Katniss Everdeen volunteered as tribute, and decades before Coriolanus Snow became the tyrannical President of Panem.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows a young Coriolanus (Tom Blyth) who is the last hope for his failing lineage, the once-proud Snow family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With his livelihood threatened, Snow is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a tribute from the impoverished District 12. 

Coriolanus Snow And Lucy Gray
Courtesy: Lionsgate

But after Lucy Gray’s charm captivates the audience of Panem, Snow sees an opportunity to shift their fates. With everything he has worked for hanging in the balance, Snow unites with Lucy Gray to turn the odds in their favor. Battling his instincts for both good and evil, Snow sets out on a race against time to survive and reveal if he will ultimately become a songbird or a snake.

Official The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Trailer:

My Thoughts:

The book on which this film is based on has been out since May of 2020 and  I’ve resisted reading it because I was satisfied with how the Hunger Games series (books and films) ended and didn't want to read something that would change my opinion. 

After watching The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes earlier this week, I immediately ordered the book to see if it will help answer the many, many questions I have after the end credits rolled.

Even though this film is 2 hours and 30 minutes long, I was engaged throughout it. It didn’t feel that long at all. I was completely immersed in the story and the people of Panem. From the opening scene that gave me a bit of a start, to the end scene I wish wasn’t, I was fully invested and wanted to  know more. 

The acting was superb,the backdrop perfectly dystopian and the violence, heart wrenching. I suggest caution and to please take note of the PG-13 rating! And if you are triggered by snakes, be warned! Dr. Gaul played by Viola Davis (in photo with Snow below) will have you squirming and looking away!

Snow and Dr. Gaul

Even the music stays with you long after you’ve left the theater. I've got The Hanging Tree on my playlist!

The Takeaway:

This is a fantastic film that is sure to please die-hard Hunger Games fans and those who may be familiar with the series. I’ve been having discussions about it since family and friends learned I’d seen it and each time I try not to give away spoilers, and leave them with how good this film truly is and that they should go see it! It is a perfect date night film as well. My husband enjoyed it immensely and even discussed it with his work buddies the next day. 

As always, I hope this post helps you decide if you’d like to see a film on opening weekend or wait. 

Please share in the comments: Are you a The Hunger Games Fan?


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