Jennifer Lawrence’s nearly a decade-long career has encompassed both large-scale spectacles and lesser independent dramas. This weekend, her most recent film, No Hard Feelings, will debut in theaters. Here is a glimpse back at some of her most memorable films.
Winter’s Bone, filmed when Lawrence was only 18 years old, was the film that propelled her to prominence. The unvarnished and truthful drama remains one of her finest dramatic performances to date.
1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
After making a name for herself in independent films, Jennifer Lawrence became an overnight sensation thanks to the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise. Based on a series of young adult books, the solar movies introduced audiences to Katniss Everdeen, who was forced into a violent bread-and-circuses televised showdown and ended up a revolutionary leader.
With this second installment, Lawrence took her role to the next level, showing off her acting range as Katniss is consumed by her love for Peeta. This is a tense, action-packed thriller that has plenty of heart and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
2. The Hurt Locker
After proving she could hold her own against acting legends like Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Lawrence was given center stage in this David O. Russell drama about a single mother who rises to success. She is a revelation.
The actress’s natural performance in this down-to-earth drama earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination. As Ree Dolly, a young woman living in the Ozark Mountains, Lawrence exposed the rawness of her talent.
This sci-fi film gave Jennifer Lawrence her first high-profile blockbuster role. As Mystique, she starred alongside the likes of Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy in this superhero franchise. She reprised the role in two more X-Men films before moving on to other projects.
3. American Hustle
X-Men: First Class and The Hunger Games may have catapulted Lawrence to superstardom but her film career didn’t begin and end with those megahits. She returned as shape-shifting mutant Mystique in this sequel and proved she had the acting chops to make it work. She also brought great presence and maturity to this contrived drama from screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (Babel, 21 Grams).
The young actress took a big step forward with director Debra Granik’s bleak, uplifting drama about an Ozarks family in peril. Lawrence is the fearless Ree Dolly, a teen trying to keep her meth-head father and siblings from wallowing in poverty. She also earned an Oscar nomination for her starring turn. This was probably the movie that showed Lawrence’s acting muscles in the best way. She would continue to expand her range in later films like Mother! and Red Sparrow.
4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
The first installment in the Hunger Games franchise catapulted Lawrence into movie stardom. She is Katniss Everdeen in this dystopian series of films that spawned a trilogy. Despite the series falling into the pitfalls of franchise-killers, Lawrence’s weighted performance helped the films remain a major hit.
Darren Aronofsky’s psychological nightmare had audiences screeching in shock and amazement, while the Academy Award-winner Lawrence shone in her role as the woman at the center of it all. Her character embodied Bunuelian craziness, absurdity and obscenity, and she managed to deliver the film’s massively challenging and extreme material.
The breakout movie that put Lawrence on the map as a genuine actress. In this drama based on Daniel Woodrell’s novel, she plays Ree Dolly, a rural teen who tracks down her drug-dealing father to save the family home from foreclosure.
5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 3
The Hunger Games is the film that arguably made Lawrence a Hollywood star and it certainly set her up for a lucrative career. The 2012 YA adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ novel sees Katniss Everdeen compete in a televised game of survival in a dystopian future and the movie’s success spawned two sequels.
Darren Aronofsky’s dark fantasy nightmare was an arthouse event-movie provocation that had critics screeching with annoyance but Lawrence rose to the challenge, delivering a performance full of Bunuelian craziness and absurdity.
Jennifer Lawrence is back in the dystopian world of Panem with this biographical drama that follows Joy Mangano’s (Jennifer Lawrence) story from a single mother to a billionaire entrepreneur. The actress is in fine form as the determined woman whose odds have always been in her favour. This is a powerful and moving film.