It is difficult to recall a time when Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t a presence in the movies, but in four short years she has gone from promising newcomer to Hollywood superstar – if she isn’t winning Oscars or capturing the hearts of any susceptible being, she is the face of what looks set to endure as one of the decade’s biggest franchises. With The Hunger Games: Catching Fire available on Blu-ray, DVD and to download on 17th March 2014, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment, we re-count the reign of the one they call… J-Law.
The Reign of Jennifer Lawrence
Winter’s Bone (2010)
A mere unknown during the release of Debra Granik’s independent encapsulating drama, Winter’s Bone was – and still remains – a relatively unseen masterpiece. Starring in one hell of a striking role, Lawrence plays Ree Dolly, a teenage girl living in the Ozark Mountains who must hunt down her drug-dealing father when the Sheriff comes-a-calling, threatening eviction. Left to fend for her two younger siblings, Lawrence showcases talent with an impeccable performance of a teenage girl who must put her fears to one side despite living in a world of uncertainty. It’s hard to believe an Oscar nomination was assisted with cries of ‘who?’, however, this one marked her name as one to watch.
Like Crazy (2011)
A smaller role, Lawrence starred in Drake Doremus’ Like Crazy, the film following Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones’ students who fall victim to long distance love and visas. Jacob (Yelchin) and Anna (Jones) begin drifting apart when she is banned from entering the States after overstaying her student visa, and Jacob begins seeing his colleague, Samantha – played by Jennifer Lawrence. You’d be forgiven for not really noticing her the first time around, as her screen time is overshadowed by the two leads, however a re-watch will leave you exclaiming, ‘oh look – it’s Jennifer Lawrence!’
X-Men: First Class (2011)
Another cog in Lawrence’s reign to most-sought-after-actress in Hollywood was starring as the young version of a recognisable character from a mammoth franchise – Mystique in Matthew Vaughn’s prequel, X-Men: First Class. Taking the role (formerly made famous by Rebecca Romijn) in want of material a little ‘lighter’, the experience proved a true endurance test as the actress was required to undergo an eight hour make-up process to take on Mystique’s blue form.
The Hunger Games (2012)
From fervent newcomer, capable support, and all the way to blockbuster poster girl – Jennifer Lawrence’s role as Katniss Everdeen in the initial adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ novel The Hunger Games has become nothing short of iconic. A resident of the poverty-stricken District 12, Katniss must apply her huntress abilities to evade death when she puts herself forward to participate in the Hunger Games in place of her sister, these games being an annual event which sees one resident of each District enter a specially-crafted arena, battling until one person remains alive. A humongous hit upon release, Lawrence brings a gravitas to the central character that other actresses her age would struggle to obtain.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Just because you star as the lead in one of the biggest blockbusters of the year doesn’t mean you’re permitted to take a step backwards… in fact, having Silver Linings Playbook released after The Hunger Games merely proved the sentiment that Jennifer Lawrence is one of the industry’s leading actresses. The Academy agreed, awarding her with the Best Actress statuette for her performance as Tiffany, a widow whose life clashes with that of Bradley Cooper’s bipolar-sufferer, Pat. Exuding kookiness with zaniness, Lawrence delivers a show-stopping performance – not her last under the guide of director David O. Russell.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
This sequel won over critics and audiences alike, as Lawrence’s heroine Katniss Everdeen – a winner of the annual Hunger Games following a rebellion-inducing act of defiance – battles her life outside of the arena, as Donald Sutherland’s President Snow plans her comeuppance. With her actions throwing loved ones into danger, such as her family, love interest Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and fellow winner Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), before too long Katniss finds herself in yet another arena aiming to survive amongst a skilled collection of previous winners. It is Lawrence’s nuanced performance that broadens the film’s appeal to pretty much everyone.
American Hustle (2013)
David O. Russell’s American Hustle is proof that, for Jennifer Lawrence, acting as part of a large ensemble is key opportunity to steal the show – something she does with ease as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, eccentric wife of Christian Bale’s con artist, Irving. Whether she’s throwing laugh-inducing lines of dialogue around or aggressively cleaning the house to Macca’s Live and Let Die, Lawrence’s BAFTA-winning role has set the stage for what looks to be another Oscar clincher – not bad for an actress not yet 25.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is released on Blu-ray, DVD and download on 17th March 2014 courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment