The Mockingjay.net Staff Reacts to the Capitol Portraits (Part 1)
Last week was a very exciting week for the Hunger Games fandom, with the release via Capitol Couture of a series of official Capitol Portraits for the main characters of Catching Fire. Here at Mockingjay.net, we fangirled over each portrait just as much as the next fan, and so here you have our reactions.
Now, we know a person’s opinion can change with time, reflection and discussion. So, here are our immediate reactions to the portraits (right when they were revealed), as well as what we think of them now that we’ve had a few days to process. Full disclosure, from our utter puzzlement over Caesar’s wig to the early arrival of Talk Like a Pirate Day thanks to Captain Odair. Warning: This is a long post. Long enough that we had to split it into two, in fact. But we hope you find these entertaining. Be sure to drop a comment with your own reactions!
(Note: Click on each picture to see that portrait in super HQ! Thanks to Lionsgate Publicity).
First reaction: And so it begins…
On second thought: It’s so pink and fluffy, and it’s so Effie. She’s really over-the-top in the best possible way, and I think this outfit really solidifes her status in the Capitol. I can just imagine Haymitch rolling his eyes at her.
First reaction: What ? New posters ? Very Effie-like !
On second thought: I love everything in this picture : her outfit and even more, her attitude ! She looks absolutely perfect. The way she holds her head up, in a very Effie manner got me very excited on the other posters to come !
First reaction: Oh my god, she looks PERFECT!
On second thought: I still love it. The fluffiness of the ensemble was a bit of a shock but if there’s anyone out there whose portrait is meant to shock me, that’s Effie Trinket. I love her make-up, it makes her look like a china doll, it fits the kabuki-style thing they had going for her in the first movie. The shoes are fantastic (all hail Alexander McQueen), the jewelry is fierce, and I love that the pink color in her wig is a bit more saturated at the tips– it’s almost like she set out to match with Haymitch. The only part I don’t like is what I’ve mentally come to know as the “Edward-Scissorhands-chic” gloves. Gauntlets? Yeah, whatever they are, I don’t like them.
First reaction: AHHHH! The marketing has started!!
On second thought: She looks wonderful! I had no idea how much I missed Effie until I saw this. Hair, clothes, make-up, shoes, gloves – everything is perfect.
First reaction: Wow, Effie is on fire and totally taking support for her tributes to heart! She looks gorgeous.
On second thought: While I still look everything about her clothes, her rings creep me out. I figured out why a couple days later, they look like the rings Sauron wears on the battlefield in the opening of Lord of the Rings!! LOL!
First reaction: Wow, that’s a lot of pink!
On second thought: While I really like her wig and love the color of her dress, I’m just not a fan of Effie’s outfit, especially after I saw a picture of a model on a runway wearing almost exactly the same outfit. It does look better when the person is standing, and I get that the whole ruffle thing seems to be a trend with the female Capitol Portraits, but I wished they’d dressed Effie in something else.
First reaction: Back and more fierce than ever. Its starting!!
On second thought: I think just because this was the first portrait, and we’d been a bit starved for new things, that I would have loved it regardless, but I just love me some Effie Trinket. I think the poster embodies the character so well, from how she’s arranged herself with one ankle tucked behind the other to her outfit. Although the pink was a bit much to take in at first – I love it. I love how Trish has incorporated current fashion into the movie – it just works to emphasize even more the idea that what’s happening in these movies isn’t so far removed from us now.
First reaction: Effie is back! Perfect look for her and exciting as it means its all truly starting again. But what on earth is on her hands!?
On second thought: When I looked closer I just had the promotional tagline ‘always elegant’ in my head and it absolutely fits. I don’t mind that her outfit is ripped straight from the runways of today, it still completely fits in The Capitol and I always liked to think Effie was slightly different in the way she interpreted the current fashion trend. I am still completely distracted by her gloved hands every time I look at it though, they look like gloves you wear to the snow with knuckle dusters attached. I would have preferred to see her hands and some kind of crazy nail art but I do commend Trish Summerville for being bold with the outfit. It’s not my favourite of the portraits but I loved that from the outset it set a very high bar to follow.
First reaction: Not sure how I feel about that hair.
On second thought: I’m still not on board with his hair. It’s so painfully obvious that it’s a wig. At least in the first movie his ridiculous blue hair looked like it made sense. I still love Caesar, though. Just not this picture.
First reaction: What’s with his hair and his face ? It looks different than in the first movie !
On second thought: His outfit looks nice, and mode detailed than I first noticed !
First reaction: What up with his wig? It looks like it’s (badly) photoshopped on.
On second thought: I think the suit is good for him, I like that it has gold accents (because the mockingjay pin is all the rage in the Capitol after the 74th Games, as we all know), but the coloring of the portrait itself makes it look green, which I think takes away from the wow factor. I still think the wig is ugly, though I love that they changed the color, it’s a nice nod to the books. But I’m not sure if I’d have gone with pink? I like the purple color of his eyebrows better, and would’ve hoped they could match the wig to that. Also, it almost looks like he’s tied his hair with a ribbon? I’m sure it’s just my eyes playing tricks on me, but he looks like he’d be right at home hanging out with Washington and Jefferson. It’s okay, but not one of my favorites.
First reaction: His hair has changed… when do we get to see Katniss?
On second thought: The pose fits and I love that he’s changed his style again for this year’s Games. Costume looks good and I’m liking the dyed eyebrows and hair. He certainly looks like Mr Flickerman to me.
First reaction: My first thought was Caesar looked great, I liked the gold trim on the black. It reminded me of the outfit we saw Plutarch in.
On second thought: After I got a closer look, his purple eyebrows made me do a double take. I like the pink hair, but I’m not the biggest fan of the ponytail.
First reaction: What the hell is on his head?
On second thought: I have no complaints about his outfit– I think the pattern on the suit is actually pretty cool. And I liked the dyed eyebrows and the fact that they changed his hair color (Caesar always changes colors from year to year), but that wig just looks like they plopped a far too-small child’s wig on top of his head and just left it at that.
First reaction: Loving the pink hair here. Perfect – now bring on Peeta!
On second thought: Ahh Caesar, everyone’s favourite host! I actually really like this one too – maybe I’m easily pleased. But I love his hair colour, and I like the fact that its so obviously a wig – I think it serves to show the artificiality of the Capitol even more. Plus the stencilling on his suit is really beautiful.
First reaction: Ooo shiny.. But why is there a dead possum on his head?
On second thought: I absolutely love Caesar’s suit, the more I looked at it the more I appreciated the stenciled pattern to it. I just wish that the lighting hadn’t been quite so dark, especially on his upper half. I have no problems with the colour of the wig and I love the touch of the coloured eyebrows as well but the wig itself has issues, it looks like those raccoon/possum hats you always see in the movies and it is just so limp hanging there. I also found it interesting that he was relatively un-airbrushed when it comes to the hands and face, particularly being a Capitol citizen I would have expected to see a bit more there.
First reaction: Perfection, as always.
On second thought: I have no complaints about this one. It’s an odd combination of non-chalent and serious (I don’t know how that’s possible, but it makes sense for Haymitch.) He looks like he wants to flip the middle finger to the Capitol, but he also looks concerned. I don’t know. I just love it.
First reaction: Oh Haymitch, you’ll never disappoint me !!
On second thought: Even though at first his outfit looks pretty simple I like more and more. And I don’t think I can not like Haymitch. His face, his expression is actually perfect and very Haymitch-like ! I love it !
First reaction: Well, I need to get me a blazer just like that.
On second thought: This is one of my favorite portraits. I love his posture, the way he crosses his legs at his ankles, and seems to be almost twiddling his thumbs; he’s sitting just straight enough that he won’t get called out for boycotting the photoshoot, but relaxed enough that it shows how bored he is with the whole thing, and how much he does not want to be doing this in the first place. I can just imagine the photographer going: “Okay, now look solemn,” and Haymitch just going blank-borderline-scowling. The colors are very D12, and I like that he’s wearing just a t-shirt under the blazer, it’s enough to show that he’s got a certain status but that he still would prefer to be dressed informally.
First reaction: Why isn’t he slouching?
On second thought: This portrait actually makes me excited to see Woody in action again. It was the first portrait to make me want to see the film. He was fantastic last time around and I know he’ll do the character justice again.
First reaction: I loved the gradient in his shirt, going from coal gray to light at the bottom. He looked casually chic.
On second thought: After thinking about it more, I still really loved Haymitch’s portrait overall. His hair, expression, and clothes all looked great and fitting.
First reaction: Ah, this I like!
On second thought: I like Haymitch’s pose. He looks bored, and I can imagine that he’s hungover. The photographer/painter probably told him to sit in a more formal position and Haymitch just glared back and struck this pose instead. I like the coloring in his jacket, how it’s dark on top and fades down, while his shirt is dark on the bottom and fades up. He looks much more “District 12-ish” then he did in the first movie, and I appreciate that. But, although I really like this portrait, it only ranks as my #4 favorite.
First reaction: Classic Haymitch right there.
On second thought: My first reaction is basically my reaction full stop. It’s very similar to how he looks in the first film, no dramatic changes which is good – I like him just fine the way he is.
First reaction: He looks really uncomfortable but absolutely in character.
On second thought: I love everything this portrait says about Haymitch’s character, they have nailed the outfit and the pose, he just looks so completely bored, over it and done with it and its utterly perfect. As the others have pointed out the two tone effect on his shirt and jacket really stand out, the jacket also seems to look a touch over sized and the placement on his shoulders is a little off, again perfect – its as if he has just plonked himself in that chair and told them to take the picture before running off as quickly as possible. Very glad to see they have kept his hair the same also.
First reaction: He is such a badass.
On second thought: Cinna looks really cool in this, but that’s about it. There’s nothing particularly jaw-dropping or touching about his portrait. He looks too disinterested, which I don’t think is an accurate portrayal of Cinna and how he actually feels. Definitely not my favorite, but he still looks like a badass.
First reaction: Not bad, but not as good as Haymitch yet !
On second thought: Cinna’s outfit is very simple, just as it is supposed to be. I have nothing to say on this, let’s wait for the other posters !
First reaction: …He looks like Darth Vader.
On second thought: Okay, I know Cinna is supposed to be “sleek yet simple” and all that jazz, and I guess black leather is supposed to represent that, but this one still doesn’t do it for me. While I appreciate that they’re trying to give his clothes a futuristic touch, I wish they had gone with something a little bit more… organic. Warm. Still black, but cozy. I don’t know if I’m making sense, but that’s what comes to my mind when I see this portrait: that he looks very stiff. Like with Caesar, the coloring of the portrait itself makes the black leather look greenish, and that puts me off. And those boots look like he’s just about to go work in a sewer. Definitely not liking this one.
First reaction: Yawn! Where’s Katniss?
On second thought: Remember how Rue’s portrait for The Hunger Games was so beautiful and expressed so much by having her be the only one looking down? I thought we’d have the same theme with Cinna here. But alas he wasn’t the most exciting of the portraits. Their chair, stance, costume and accessories say so much but Cinna seems just another Capitol citizen turning a blind eye. They did more with the other characters. Wasted opportunity.
First reaction: Even though the others were all looking to the side, I didn’t really care for how much Cinna was looking off to the side. His black leather outfit was too much for the Cinna in my head.
On second thought: I’ve always had a problem with Lenny’s Cinna being way too much hotness and Capitol for the Cinna I’ve always had in my head and after having more time to think about it, I still feel that way, particularly with this portrait. My book Cinna wouldn’t wear leather, rather he’d just wear plain black.
First reaction: Well, that’s underwhelming.
On second thought: It’s simple, lacking the common “Capitol flair” (which is good, Cinna is supposed to dress more plainly than other Capitol citizens), but why does he look like he’s either (1) about to get on a motorcycle or (2) descend into the Matrix? Or maybe he’s headed to one of those kinky sex clubs we’re not supposed to talk about in polite company? I’m glad the gold eyeliner is there, and I’m glad to see that he’s lost some of his bling from the first movie, but I’m still not impressed.
First reaction: I love Cinna’s chair, the rest was a tad to similar to the first movie to completely capture me like Effie’s and Caesar’s portraits did.
On second thought: They basically had to give me gold eye-liner here and I’d have been happy, so yeah I’m happy with this one. Again, not too much of a departure from how we know him to look already, but I do think that he should have been looking at the camera in this portrait. The outfit looks more like something from Lenny’s closet than Cinna’s but maybe that’s what they were going for. He still looks awesome though – and I love the hoop earring.
First reaction: Meh. Why can I only barely see gold eyeliner?
On second thought: Oh Cinna.. Such a fashionista, I have a hard time imagining you would wear such an outfit let alone have a portrait photo taken in it! Not sure I can say much beyond what has been said, I hate the leather look and I hate the fact that I have to squint to see that they have applied gold eye liner. Sooo many potential jokes/references as to what the outfit reminds me of, all I’ll say is it looks like the things I have seen on the “Starlet or Streetwalker” segment of ‘Fashion Police’. Not sure what was wrong with his Tom Ford-esque looks from ‘The Hunger Games’ and I really don’t understand the vision here. Disappointed with this one.
First reaction: She totally hates wearing that dress. It’s outrageous.
On second thought: I still think she totally hates wearing that dress, which is perfect because she DOES hate all the hype that they put her through. It makes sense how numb she looks considering the events in the book. I think it’s great, and even though the dress is too crazy to wrap my head around, I can at least concede that it’s an accurate portrait.
First reaction: What is that ? I hope it’s not her wedding dress from the movie !
On second thought: The dress is actually far better if you look closely at all the details they put in it. I still hope that the first time I will see the wedding dress is when I’ll be at the theater with my bag of pop corn, but it looks many efforts has been put in creating this dress so I could totally live with that. And Jen has the perfect Katniss look in her eyes, as usual. The more I look at her, the more I love this picture !
First reaction: Now, I should explain: the first time I saw Katniss’s portrait was when it leaked online and in VERY low quality. I couldn’t see the whole dress, her make-up looked horrible (it was like one of her eyes was bigger than the other), the things in her hair looked like they were pasted on with MS paint, and I was really, really hoping it wasn’t real because I really didn’t want them to reveal THE mockingjay dress yet. So basically, my initial reaction was: “No no no no, come on!”
On second thought: A few of those opinions changed when the HQ was released. I do love the dress: I love the fact that it looks like feathers and even has peacock-like accents on the bodice; I love the adornment that (I thought) is supposed to resemble a mockingjay; her make-up no longer looks clownish to me, but very well done (I love her eyelashes). I still don’t like the details in her hair and I’m still disappointed they chose to reveal the mockingjay dress so early, but I can live with that; I’m very eager to see what it looks like when it transforms. As for Katniss herself, I love her expression: much like the Victory Tour poster, she looks like she’s trying really hard to seem confident but at the same time it’s almost like she’s holding her breath, which I think suits the situation, and her hand on the chair seems placed there not-quite-naturally, like the photographer told her to put her hand there but she’s not quite sure if that means she should hold onto the chair or not. Those little details show me the Katniss I wanted to see in this scenario, and really I like that.
First reaction: She’s standing up, damn right Katniss is standing up!
On second thought: Part of me wanted a much more stoic Katniss. But in essence these are Capitol propaganda stills. And it’s much more fun to view them that way. So of course, she’s going to be in her wedding dress, of course her face is going to look almost unrecognisable. I adore that she is standing and the way she stands, the oppressive symbol of holding the rose and I also love how everything from her eye make up and hair clips to the intricate details of the dress looks like a bird. Finally this looks like something Cinna would design. Cannot wait to see this Mockingjay catch fire!
First reaction: When this was leaked, I was 99% sure it was fake because the dress looked like it didn’t fit her and I was also pretty sure that they’d never reveal her dress at this point. Boy was I upset when I found out it WAS real and that it was her dress.
On second thought: While I love the bottom half of her dress, I hate the accessory on top and I don’t like the bodice. It looks too poofy and makes Katniss look fatter somehow. I’m still in love with the bottom though and I wish they simply hadn’t bothered with a chair for her, it was really weird having her leaning on an empty chair.
First reaction: For the love of God, please tell me that’s not her interview dress!
On second thought: The only way I could even begin to look at this portrait was to convince myself that it was NOT the wedding dress she wears to the interview. Slowly, and I mean very slowly, I came to appreciate how breathtaking the dress really is– the flowing layers of frills, the structured bodice that so many people have pointed out looks like a mockingjay, how elegant she looks. I’m not a fan of her makeup or of the feathers(?) in her hair, but over all, this is an absolutely gorgeous portrait. Then the news came out that this is, indeed, her interview dress. I was so upset that I didn’t even want to post the story to our site. But I’d already fallen in love with her gown and I couldn’t make myself hate it again. This is definitely my second favorite of all the portraits.
First reaction: That better not be the dress I think it is!!!! Jen is looking flawless/fierce as ever, and standing up! No formalities for our Mockingjay!
On second thought: Ok so after I got over the initial shock of it actually being her wedding dress and I was looking at it more I came to adore it. Like seriously, its probably my favourite portrait now. Everything about it is so well thought out. I don’t know if that’s Jen’s doing or someone else’s but its so wonderfully done. I love the most that she’s standing up, and how she’s holding the rose downwards, almost as if she cant bear to look at it. The inner literature student in could rattle off about fifty things to say about this one so I’ll wrap it up here… I love how she actually looks like a bird and how ‘Capitol-ised’ she is, but only on the surface. Genius.
First reaction: WOW! Absolutely stunning and so completely Capitol-affected.
On second thought: I know I am in the minority here but I am so not disappointed in this dress, though I will admit I am still skeptical as to why Lionsgate would reveal this early that it is THE dress and am suspicious of some kind of ruse on their behalf. I’m not sure if anyone has ever mentioned this but when I read Catching Fire and the description of her wedding dress included sleeves and pearls draped everywhere all I could ever think of was some hideous dress from the 80′s that needs to stay in the 80′s. I seriously wondered how they would ever create something and was very nervous that she would look ridiculous, well, all of my fears washed away when I saw Katniss standing there in that dress. To borrow a line from ‘The Hunger Games’, my heart stopped. Aside from whatever it is that is meant to be on her head I don’t have any problems with it, she looks stunning and so touched by The Capitol, and I think the empty chair beside her is also ominous and foreshadowing to this effect. The way her fingers curl on the chair, her expression and the way she holds the white rose also tell me in this moment she knows what is at stake and that she needs to play along, even if it may be too late. Without a doubt my favourite Capitol portrait.
First reaction: Kind of boring compared to the craziness of the others’ costumes.
On second thought: I still think it’s kind of boring compared to the others. He looks too stoic and in control, and I just don’t think that fits with the character. Beetee is supposed to be nervous and twitchy and quirky! I don’t see any of that here. This one is disappointing, unfortunately.
First reaction: Woohoo first look at Beetee !
On second thought: It’s not the way I pictured Beetee but I must say I love this Beetee ! I love how his outfit represents his district and it got me really excited, I can’t wait to see him in the movie !
First reaction: Oh man, I LOVE IT.
On second thought: I still love everything about this portrait. I love his glasses, and how (to me, at least) they look a bit crooked, which is something I’ve always associated with Beetee. I love the vest (quintessential nerd haute couture), and the fact that the pattern on his clothes looks like circuitry. He’s wearing the coolest neck tie I’ve ever seen in my life, and he definitely wins the prize for best boots. I love that his clothes are actually green, and not black-turned-puke-green-by-the-portrait’s-coloring. But most of all, I love that there’s a wisdom in his eyes that can’t be denied. It makes me even more excited to see Jeffrey Wright’s portrayal of Beetee.
First reaction: AH! His costume is amazing!
On second thought: I still really love Beetee’s costume, it’s wonderful. He looks like a computer chip and this is the first time Jeffrey Wright has intrigued me as Beetee. Although I guess that is centered more around the costume which looks like it is made up of woven wires… wires! Not sure I feel the goatee fits but this is the first step in me seeing the character in Mr Wright.
First reaction: My very first thought when I saw Beetee was that his glasses were photoshopped on. They just didn’t look real. Maybe they did too much touching up or something. I did love his clothes and the knot around his neck was particularly cool.
On second thought: Still not a fan of the way the glasses look. I’d always pictured thin wire frames, not thick plastic ones, so it was a bit of a shock to me and they still haven’t grown on me. His zipper pants seemed more fitting for Finnick.
First reaction: What a nerd!
On second thought: Aside from disliking his hair and wanting to reach over and pull on his goatee to see if it comes off, I really like this portrait. When I saw it, I just laughed and laughed– Beetee the Nerd. So perfect! His vest and stripes on his pants look like a circut board, his weird little bowtie is great, and the man looks awesome in green! I’m not really a fan of the boots or the glasses, but I love how he’s timidly sitting there, and I can just imagine how he’s trying his hardest to sit still and not fidget with that rose.
First reaction: Exactly how I imagined him. Good job.
On second thought: He just looks like everyone’s favourite nerd – it’s brilliant! I love the patterns going on on his suit and that he’s wearing blues and greens, almost like he embodies the electricity! Glad they’ve sort of maintained the Capitol-weird-beard thing even though Seneca is now gone.
First reaction: Nerd alert! Love the boots though.
On second thought: Beetee’s portrait kind of underwhelmed me a little on my first look, so I must admit it took me a little while to notice the other details, like the circuitry pattern and intricate necktie. The glasses aren’t quite what I expected but they do suit him, I can imagine him looking over his work and having to constantly push his glasses back up his nose. Like the other portraits you can gleam a little of his character – quiet, unassuming, he looks a little pensive sitting in that chair and is if he knows what comes next. It’s not my favourite but I’m not disappointed in it either.