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It may still be December, but I'm already in full-on nervous anticipation mode for "The Hunger Games" debut in March.
From everything released from the movie so far – including several big scenes – it looks to be a pretty faithful adaptation. Still, there are a few I just can't wait to feast my eyes upon.
Here are my five most anticipated moments – check 'em out and get ready to give me your thoughts (What did I miss? Which ones are your faves?) when you finish.
The Boy with the Bread
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"The Hunger Games" is rife with flashback scenes but one stands out most for me: The Boy with the Bread. It's the first moment when we realize that Peeta Mellark is no ordinary boy and his feelings for Katniss are no small, fleeting crush. Seeing Katniss at death's door, scrambling through garbage cans and hoping to find even the tiniest morsels of food to share with her starving family, Peeta makes a major sacrifice to get to her two loaves of burnt bread and inadvertently sets her on a dandelion-riddled road to self-sufficiency. It’s an iconic moment.
The 74th Hunger Games get real the moment Katniss is put in her tube and shot into the arena. She has 60 seconds to take it all in as 24 kids surround a giant Cornucopia stocked with survival tools and weapons. It may get gory – 11 tributes die in this moment in the books – but seeing the arena for the first time through Katniss' eyes is something that really gets my heart racing.
The Tracker Jacker Meltdown
In the process of forming an alliance with little, underrated Rue and successfully getting a bunch of nasty career tributes off her back, Katniss sustains three poisonous Tracker Jacker stings. The venom's hallucinogenic impact sends Katniss' world falling into a twisting, frightening state. I'm looking forward to seeing some of that confusing mess for ourselves.
The Farewell to Rue
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Pass me the tissues! The alliance between Katniss and Rue seemed inevitable given Rue's spirit, good nature and similarities to little Prim. So, when their plan to take down the careers' supply stock leads to Rue's ruthless demise, Katniss is rightly devastated. She sings young District 11 tribute to "sleep" and covers her tiny body in flowers (which is Katniss' way of rebelling against The Capitol). I'm just praying they don't mess up this weep-worthy moment.
The Mercy of Thresh
Turns out, Katniss isn't the only tribute maintaining a strong moral code. Thresh, the other tribute from District 11, feels a debt of gratitude toward Katniss for her kindness to Rue and it ends up saving her life. When given the opportunity to kill her, he simply lets her go. I'm sure most of this scene will take place in a matter of seconds and in a look exchanged between Katniss and Thresh, but I love the way these two see eye-to-eye and both understand that the real enemy is The Capitol, not each other. It gives me the chills just thinking about it.
Amanda Bell is a young adult book-to-film enthusiast and has made a name for herself as a fan-friendly, informative and dependable source. In addition to being the District 14 columnist for NextMovie, she runs the popular Twilight Examiner column. Keep tabs on her on Twitter.