Forbes confirmed Jennifer Lawrence as the highest paid actress in the world this year and she certainly earns her money. She’s been compared to Laurence Olivier, called “the most talented young actress in America” and she regularly speaks up for women’s rights both in film and the real world. I’m going to take a look at the best films that have been graced by one of her effortless performances.
Where best to start than the movie that made a lot of critics say “remember the name Jennifer Lawrence.” When you witness such a forthright performance with control beyond the years of a 20 year old, how can you forget. Winter’s Bone was all about atmosphere, so ethereal and yet completely grounded. Lawrence brought a nuanced rendering to her character of Ree against an authentic backdrop of a close knit community. It’s very light on plot but carries a heavy atmosphere as her character is searching for her father but is met with threat and silence. Half of acting is reacting and her reactions are perfect.
The Hunger Games
From the movie that broke her let’s move to the movie that made her. The Hunger Games was the first and definitely the best in a line of dystopian future young adult movies. It was a surprisingly gritty affair that brought an interesting depth and political angle to the young adult genre. J-Law made Katniss Everdeen a compelling heroine for young women. She was proficient in playing the lost girl who becomes an unlikely hero with believable, but complex emotional subtext.
The Hunger Games without Jennifer Lawrence is like Alien without Sigourny Weaver.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Catching Fire is my favourite Hunger Games film so far. It went deeper and darker with it’s theme and it’s politics and Jennifer Lawrence went with them. As the Capitol puts pressure on our hero we see vulnerability behind the scenes of the games but it is never shown in front of Snow. When it comes down to it J-Law’s Katniss Everdeen’s is resourceful and strong in the face of adversity.
Silver Linings Playbook
Filled with real everyday weird characters, Silver Linings Playbook showed us that everyone suffers from varying degrees of mental illness. Whether it’s having the remote in a certain place in the living room so your favourite football team wins or blacking out and hospitalising your wife’s extra-marital lover, we’re all crazy. Jennifer Lawrence was the perfect actress to call on for Tiffany. Her sense of optimism about the most unusual of situations encapsulates the main theme of the film. Her unflinching honesty when she speaks contradicts her unreadable face that hides a lot of inner turmoil. We are never completely sure, until the movie’s climax, what she wants from Pat or how she sees the relationship. She works well with Bradley Cooper as they hold a mirror to each other, we watch her truly get to know Pat. The couple come off as believable thanks to their performances that bounce of each other with genuine heart and laughs.
X-Man Days Of Future Past
Jennifer Lawrence first took over the role of Mystique in First Class. Having honed the role, she took on a Bryan Singer directed Days Of Future Past. He showed us that he’s the best at creating a coherent and captivating X-men film. Lawrence is just one in a huge ensemble cast of seasoned and young talented actors, but her transformation from Raven; Professor X’s life long friend, to the Mystique on a mission is fascinating and exciting.
Not really her movie so I’ll keep it snappy, her role in American Hustle was not as extensive as others in the film, but she certainly stole a lot of scenes. The ‘science oven’ scene proving she can bring humour to an actually very tragic and tortured role.