The parallels to The Empire Strikes Back, in both quality and themes, are clear by the end of Catching Fire.
When I read that Silver Linings Playbook was about two psychologically troubled people, I was initially concerned, and I wasn’t encouraged when the first few scenes of the film took place in a mental hospital. But shortly after Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) is discharged by his extremely concerned mother (Jacki Weaver) and I watched them and Pat’s obsessive-compulsive father (Robert De Niro) communicate, or fail to, as a family, I saw that director David O. Russell was going for authenticity, not parody, and those worries dissipated.
Lawrence, who was nominated for an Academy Award as the heroine of the country noir masterpiece Winter’s Bone, is basically playing the same role in The Hunger Games. In both, her father is dead, mother is useless, sister needs her, and her courage and hubris both get her in trouble – and she kills and cooks squirrels.