Spotlight on the Stars: Jennifer Lawrence

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" World Premiere - Arrivals

For this week’s new spotlight piece, I wanted to again take a look at one of the biggest A listers in the industry…Jennifer Lawrence. I’ve written about her once or twice before, but as a legitimate megastar who’s also still a bit of an up and comer, I figured she was perfect for this piece once again. She’s someone who’s powerful in Hollywood, grounded in a way that most young stars aren’t, and above all else…one of the best actresses in the business, bar none, with an Oscar on her mantle to prove it. Lawrence consistently does interesting work and is more than worth checking in on here and there. As such, she’s perfect for the spotlight today, so let us dive in.

Lawrence first got her start, like many young up and comers, on television. Guest spots on Cold Case, Medium, and Monk began her career, though I first noticed her when she landed one of the main roles on The Bill Engvall Show. It hardly gave her a strong outlet for her talents, but she was compelling to watch even then. There were also supporting parts in films like The Burning Plain and Garden Party, but Lawrence was still clearly someone you didn’t pay too much attention to. That was about to change though, and in a really big way too.

She became a star on the rise with Winter’s Bone, a small indie that wound up being nominated for a quartet of Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Lawrence. Her personality and newcomer on the scene vibe made her an instant A-lister in the making, which doesn’t even take into account how great she is in the movie. She was not only well deserving of that Actress nomination, she also wasn’t far off from being deserving of the win. Her Oscar glory wouldn’t be too far away, but it was a great launch to her leading actress career.

Lawrence then shined in key supporting parts in would be awards contenders The Beaver and Like Crazy before breaking through to the masses with her scene stealing turn in X-Men: First Class. That put her in her first blockbuster, though that next year would really be the one to make her the Jennifer Lawrence we know today. She ably led the horror flick House at the End of the Street, but it was a pair of other roles that really made her an A-list star with a capital A.

With the combination of The Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook, Lawrence not only proved that she could be a box office draw (both became absolute smash hits), but a trusted leading lady as well. The former is a strong blockbuster that succeeds in large part to her screen presence, while the latter shows off her talents in a whole new realm. She won many a heart, including those of the Academy, as she scored a Best Actress win at the Oscars for that part. She was officially in the stratosphere.

The last few years have seen her work selectively, with sequels The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and another big awards player in American Hustle chief among them (American Hustle got her a third Academy Award nomination, one she came within an eyelash of winning for too). There’s also the long delayed drama Serena, which will see the light of day next year. Particularly with those blockbusters, she’s managed to only increase her power and status in the business. You’d be hard pressed to find a bigger A-list actress these days than Lawrence.

This week, she again delivers as Katniss Everdeen in the latest Hunger Games franchise outing, this one called The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. It’s the first half of the conclusion to the Hunger Games franchise, and even more so than ever before, it features her front and center. Without an actual game this time around, it’s almost a straight dramatic role, one that she aces without problem. Her charisma is toned down but still evident in these movies, so it’s a different sort of performance for sure. The movie itself is very solid, but once again she’s easily the best part of it. There’s no question there about that.

Overall, Lawrence is a tried and true megastar with the arrow on her career still pointed upwards. In the next year, she’ll continue to magnetize the screens, that’s for sure. That aforementioned Serena will come out, along with the Hunger Games conclusion (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2), and another Oscar play in the biopic Joy. She has a few other things in development, but the only other confirmed role right now is in the sequel X-Men: Apocalypse. Regardless of what she chooses to do though, I’m sure she’ll be great and I know we’ll all be there to witness it. She’s a top tier A-lister, one who is incredibly deserving of that honor as well…

Stay tuned for another look at an A-lister next week!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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