If you’re a Jennifer Lawrence fan, lately you pretty much had to settle for one of three types of movies: Hunger Games, X-Men or David O. Russell films. That’s all well and good (and has led to two Oscar wins), but with the Hunger Games franchise over and X-Men winding down, we’re also excited to start seeing Lawrence spread her wings. To wit: the actress is set to star alongside Javier Bardem in Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming thriller.
Jennifer Lawrence - Page 2
Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy for her role in Joy at the 2016 Golden Globes.
Jennifer Lawrence’s newest starring vehicle, the Joy Mangano sorta-biopic, sorta-a-bunch-of-other-movies-smashed-together Joy, went into wide release over this past weekend only to meet with a spate of middling reviews. Lawrence’s unquestioning and absolute allegiance to director David O. Russell would appear to suggest that audiences can look forward to lots more pictures in the vein of the not-quite-there Joy, the not-quite-there American Hustle, and the not-quite-there Silver Linings Playbook. But hop one parallel dimension over, and Lawrence is currently being showered with praise for one of her most memorable, risky roles in a film that’s generated quite a bit of awards buzz.
The final installment in The Hunger Games franchise had barely hit theaters before Lionsgate started talking up plans for a potential series of prequels, as if dessert had just arrived at the table and there’s ol’ eager Lionsgate, already talking about picking up some snacks on the way home. Let’s not get greedy here, okay? Take it from Jennifer Lawrence, who has some opinions about this whole Hunger Games prequel thing.
I’m an old enough nerd to remember when the first X-Men movie came out in theaters. At that time, comic books were not the number one driver of all things in popular culture. Bryan Singer’s X-Men certainly featured all the comic’s beloved heroes and villains, but there did seem like there was a concerted effort to tamp down some of their comic-book-ness. Everyone dressed in black. There was no spandex. The story was grounded in weighty real-world themes like prejudice and vengeance. It was the X-Men you knew, but watered down just a bit. It was a rum and coke, not a shot of gin. X-Men: Apocalypse, in comparison, looks like a bottle of Beefeater.
Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns has made his intentions known to produce a series of prequels also taking place in the Hunger Games universe. In his words, and this is verbatim, the franchise “will live on and on and on.”
Jennifer Lawrence was 24 when she shot Joy. Her character, Joy Mangano, was 34 when she invented the Miracle Mop and became one of the first stars of the QVC network. This fact remains inescapable throughout Joy. Lawrence remains watchable in Joy because, as one of our best young actors, she can’t help but be watchable. But she’s totally miscast as a divorced mother of two who’s been repeatedly beaten down by life’s disappointments. This part was meant for the Jennifer Lawrence of a 2025, not the one of 2015.
Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell are the best thing to happen to one another, making up two halves of a winning formula that’s created a handful of engaging and distinctive films popular with Oscar voters and neighborhood moviegoers alike.
Like many actors before her, Jennifer Lawrence is preparing to add director to her impressive resumé. She can act, she can sing, she’s writing a movie with Amy Schumer and advocating for equal pay — is there anything she can’t do? Okay, she has trouble walking without falling everywhere she goes, but Lawrence is so graceful about it that she makes it look like a skill.
Today brings the wide release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 (or, as I have taken to calling it for clarity’s sake, Hunger Games 3 2) and while American fans have been worked into the customary new-premiere frenzy, Hungermania has spread across the four corners of the globe. One of the many secrets to the franchise’s continued success has been its international appeal, the themes of freedom’s triumph over oppression resonating with audiences across Europe, in East Asian markets, and just about everywhere else that movie projectors roll. But a global presence can highlight some curious cultural differences.