Jennifer Lawrence’s acting skills expand well beyond The Hunger Games. Over the past decade, Lawrence has appeared in various genres like horror, drama, romance, and action. The actress can separate her real-life persona from each character’s personas and comes off as a strong, independent, and fierce actress. Here are the actress’s top five films that are a must-watch.
This 2016 sci-fi romance is a modern take on James Cameron’s Titanic. Passengers details the journey of Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) and Aurora Lane (Lawrence) as they have been woken up too early from their hibernation pods in their traveling vessel heading toward a more habitable planet. This, in turn, means the two will be dead long before they reach the new planet. Lane, a journalist, details the journey as well as her developing feelings toward Preston. Lawrence delivers wonderfully, but it’s not her best role. This film feels like Lawrence is playing herself in the film as nothing separates her character from her real-life self.
4. Silver Linings Playbook
2012’s Silver Linings Playbook sees Lawrence quite different from her average roles, this time as a widow with an unnamed mental disorder fixated on her sister’s friend Patrick Solitano Jr. (Bradley Cooper). She becomes fixated on him after meeting him at her sister’s house at a dinner party. Solitano, dealing with bipolar disorder and his wife’s leaving after he found her cheating on him, affects nearly every decision he makes to which Tiffany Maxwell (Lawrence) uses to her advantage. As Solitano hopes to reconcile with his ex-wife, Maxwell pretends to be her as a way of getting closer to Solitano. Several scenes like the diner scene when Maxwell reveals her dark past to Solitano and says Solitano is a “conformist” and “afraid to live” reveals how versatile Lawrence is as an actress.
3. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Lawrence jumped back into the world of mutants when 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past decided to revamp the beloved film series. Again, the actress plays Mystique, the blue shapeshifter, and becomes the center around which the film revolves. When the X-men face extinction because of sentinels, indestructible beings that hunt down mutants, Hugh Jackman’s Logan/Wolverine volunteers to travel back to the 1970s to prevent Mystique’s death at the hands of evil scientist Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage). Trask plans to use the shapeshifter’s DNA to create the sentinels.
Those who watched the film’s predecessor, X-Men: First Class, can see the change in Lawrence’s character from Raven – the name given to her – to Mystique and how she slowly sided with Magneto. Toward the end of the film, Mystique goes solo and becomes a fugitive as she’s broadcasted on the news. The film further points out that Lawrence plays a fighter and a woman unafraid of exploring her path as a natural leader, which is later explored in X-Men: Apocalypse.
2. American Hustle
Big hair and an even bigger ego surround Lawrence’s character in 2013’s crime drama, American Hustle. Lawrence plays Rosalyn Rosenfeld, Irving Rosenfeld’s (Christian Bale) wife, an unstable and comical mess of a woman. She’s left in the dark much of the film as her husband schemes alongside his lover Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) to help bring down corrupt politician Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner). Rosenfeld is a character all on her own, and viewers may find themselves forgetting the woman is the actress as she’s that convincing in her own right. The cleaning scene with her singing along to Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” and when her husband comes clean to her about his illegal career shows how far Lawrence is willing to convince her audience she is married to an egotistical maniac. The film seldom finds the actress without a cigarette in her hand and a sense of fashion 70s style.
In 2015 Lawrence went above and beyond to do justice to Joy Mangano, a self-made millionaire that created her empire in the 90s. This autobiographical drama centers on Mangano, struggling financially in New York as an airline booking agent. Growing up in a broken household, Mangano finds hope through her inventive and creative thinking, so when her friend Jackie encourages her to pursue her inventions, our story begins.
The film does an excellent job of spanning four generations of family. As Joy and her half-sister Terry battle over finances and her father’s business, she comes across an opportunity that changes her life. Bradley Cooper is no stranger to working alongside Lawrence. Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and Serena all feature the duo working together. Cooper, who plays Neil Walker, an executive of QVC, believes in Mangano’s ability to persuade customers to buy her self-wringing mop while also bringing more business to QVC. Joy is Lawrence’s best role to date. Viewers can feel Mangano’s stress dealing with a good for nothing ex-husband and insane household. Everything in this film is going against Mangano. When she addresses contract issues with Derek Markham for him to avoid criminal charges involving fraud, we know how powerful and innovative this woman is. As she walks down the street smiling, there’s something so satisfying and pleasing knowing she overcame so much.
Featured Image: Bustle
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