For me, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was the best movie of the year. It wasn't the strongest year for film, and there were others I really enjoyed. Spring Breakers, Inside Llewyn Davis and Evil Dead were fantastic - in fact, horror had a better year than film in general - but Catching Fire was the most all-round fun, moving and exciting movie of the year.
Despite a few changes to the book and some bizarre moments, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was really set aflame by one singular force: Katniss Everdeen. 's bold young woman stood for everything I love to see in a movie heroine, and strong women everywhere. I couldn't resist reliving her best moments...
1) Reach for the Sky
Katniss shoots the skydome, breaking it to a billion pieces and effectively ending the Capitol's hold over the Arena. She sets the tributes free, literally and figuratively, but, of course, this is just the beginning...
2) The Training sequence
Katniss shows off her intense archery skills. 'Now everyone wants you as their ally'. Well, duh. I'd watch that girl open a can of beans and still cheer for her.
3) Katniss takes down Gloss
Katniss never revels in bloodshed, but she will step up and defend herself, her friends and allies. Like when she popped Marvel in The Hunger Games, she dispatches Gloss as quickly and dispassionately as possible, for survival.
4) Katniss doesn't take any flirty crap from Finnick
He's an emotionally complex character, but Finnick can come off as kind of a douche. The rapid fire interchange of witticisms between her and Finnick as they meet was great, with Katniss parrying every verbal thrust he threw.
5) She ain't afraid of no Snow
President Snow - played to perfection by , who swoops in like Jafar to menace and malign - tries to grind Katniss down. Her kick ass response against the system? 'It must be very fragile, if a handful of berries can bring it down.' Love. This. Girl.
6) JLaw moment in the elevator
Johanna gets topless in the elevator. Haymitch and Peeta are eye-bugging, and Katniss is just like, 'GURL.' Katniss and truly become one in this rare moment of comic relief in Catching Fire.
7) This Girl is on Fire
Never has a dress had quite so great an impact; I swear there were whoops and cheers in the theater when Katniss' dress burned bright on the stage.
8) Katniss stays strong for District 11
The love and solidarity that these people have for each other is palpable, and after Katniss' heartrending tribute to Rue, this scene was just incredible. Also, it's one of the first moments when Katniss really realises what a symbol of hope she's become.
9) Katniss steps up to save Gale
Katniss is like the opposite of a damsel in distress. In fact, she has two big, burly boys that frequently need rescuing. She never wanted to be famous, but she is always, always brave, and this moment really highlighted that quality.
10) BONUS BADASSERY: Johanna drops two F-bombs on the Capitol
If we're talking empowering women, we have to mention how much totally Killed It as Johanna. She's raw, angry, unapologetic, and she shouts back at the frickin' Capitol. Johanna Mason, I salute you.
What was your favorite Katniss moment? Most people I've spoken to thought that Catching Fire was better than the first Hunger Games movie, but there's always a few dissenters...
I felt that Catching Fire suffered a little because of all the exposition: it had a lot to explain/set up for Mockingjay. However, what it lost in tautness and pace, it gained in emotional depth. Now, if you'll excuse me, I just remembered Rue's face and I have to go sob quietly and watch cute cat videos. Happy 2014!