PROFILES IN POWER: JENNIFER LAWRENCE
As her brilliantly written piece on the inequality in pay between male and female stars goes truly ‘viral’ this week (check it out at: http://www.lennyletter.com/; it’s a great read) and with the final HUNGER GAMES out soon as well as a new X MEN film coming in 2016, now is as good a time as any to sing the praises of JENNIFER LAWRENCE.
So here they are: Three main reasons why we all love the wonderful Jen.
1. THE GREAT ACTRESS
This is perhaps the most important point. Now, one COULD argue the detail here. Because her powerhouse performances are just that: showstopping, barnstorming, loud displays of talent. That’s where she has won the greatest plaudits. The Oscar for SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK and nominations for AMERICAN HUSTLE rewarded her ability to eat up the screen and to convince very clearly as a person with a manic, wild side.
The parts are by their nature at once funny and tragic, thereby providing an ideal platform for any actor to excel. But Jen did it with a unique style and timing and her specialism in those cases is in no way a reflection on a wider versatility.
The character in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is not anything like the one in AMERICAN HUSTLE, though they provide similar opportunities to ‘do’ wild and manic; it is a different look, movement and ultimately emotional impact that Ms Lawrence crafts in both cases.
The lady is versatile and perfectly capable of giving a non showy, selfless and physical performance that still stands out.
2. THE MOVIE STAR
Jennifer belongs in Hollywood. OLD Hollywood. She could be a starlet of the 1930s through to the 60s and 70s and beyond. You could pick a decade, an era, throughout the history of the medium. And this girl would succeed, no matter what.
Think the seductive allure of Marilyn Monroe, married to the sassy attitude of Shirley Maclaine and the political determination of a ‘Hanoi’ Jane Fonda. The potential versatility of Meryl Streep. Jennifer is her own person and yet manages to channel similar qualities to each of her diverse predecessors in the role of Hollywood’s most wanted actress.
She knows this, of course: not in some arrogant, self reverential way but more a case of her own romantic recognition that she was perhaps born for a better era. Today’s leading men generally lack the kind of old school masculinity and gentlemanly charm to truly provide a worthy onscreen match.
One longs to pair Jennifer with a Humphrey Bogart type but they just don’t make them like that anymore. Jack Nicholson came fairly close, though. Rumor has it that Jack and Jen bumped into each other at a recent Oscar ceremony. She hugged him and bemoaned the fact that they simply did not provide his brand of male movie star today. Jack sent her flowers, next morning.
That scene sounds very convincing: it HAS to be true. But even if it were pure fabrication, it has compelling credibility because Jennifer simply ‘has’ that kind of movie star CHARM. It’s effortless and warm, with an edge that means she’s never bland or derivative, yet somehow feels familiar.
Whilst she has indeed worked hard to earn her place in the public eye and is a great actress, one feels her rise to power was inevitable and predestined, because her innate star power transcends the generations.
3. THE SHREWD BUSINESSWOMAN WITH A HEART OF GOLD
Make no mistake, Jennifer’s comments about the pay divide are not simply concerned with gender equality as a principle. No. This is a girl with a very clear grasp on commercial realities. One could argue she knows as much, if not more, about how to play the Box Office game than many a Studio Boss and Hollywood agent.
The fact of the matter is that her name opens movies and indeed, gets them made in the first place! A prolific and hard worker, Jennifer has at least 4 projects in various states of production / discussion / completion / promotion at any given time. She knows the power of a franchise and her combined contributions to HUNGER GAMES and X MEN have ensured her status as an all time Box Office records champion.
At the same time, the girl knows the value of a more creative and experimental ‘art house’ effort and has engendered a spirit of supportive community through consistent collaborations. Her work with Bradley Cooper is becoming something of a cinematic fixture. They are already one of the all time great double acts in Hollywood history. Director David O Russell clearly sees J-Law and Cooper as a kind of joint muse, with the forthcoming JOY marking a further collaboration for the trio (also including Robert DeNiro again, too).
Jen has a solid onscreen chemistry emerging onscreen with Michael Fassbender as well: it is the Magneto /Mystique dynamic that has recharged the X MEN franchise. They should have their own film together. And she was a great comedy partner to Christian Bale in AMERICAN HUSTLE. She plays well with others, despite sometimes stealing the show.
Off duty? Jennifer = FUN. With spark and soul and grit with glamour. The perfect package of impossible contrasts, all hitting you at once.
She’s funny, clever, irreverent and honest. Her interviews are as entertaining as the movies they help to promote.
The girl can ride a horse with skill. She has told tales of jumping on a powerful steed once without a saddle and just galloping for miles, steadying it somehow, against the odds and living to tell the tale. At the same time, Jennifer also recognises that was probably a bit dangerous (do not try it at home, kids!).
So a date with Jen (she’s probably very spoken for but even so..) could include a spot of horse riding; followed by a burger and a sports / movie fest. There might be a heated political debate, too. Perhaps a fashion show (she is a face of Dior). Oh and a visit to a Childrens’ Hospital (J-Law visits sick kids in Kentucky: another reason to love her). Pad it out with a few strategically placed quotations from DUMB AND DUMBER (the girl knows the movie off by heart and would have loved a role in last year’s DUMB AND DUMBER TO).
In short, the new piece that JENNIFER LAWRENCE wrote about the gender gap in pay is going viral across the internet for good reasons beyond the quality of writing and points it raises. It’s indicative of her star power.
The girl just happens to be clever, charming and a fine actress, too. The best is yet to come.
We love you, J-LAW! Long may you Reign.