Is Jennifer Lawrence Not Hungry Enough Looking For Hunger Games?

Categories: Film

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It's ironic that Hollywood usually makes unhealthy demands on young actresses, generally forcing them to be bone thin, but when there's a movie about starvation, they suddenly cast Jennifer Lawrence, who's not skeletal at all!

But some psychologists are chewing out critics who've brought up Lawrence's shape, calling their reviews "toxic."

The New York Times wrote:

"A few years ago, Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission."

I don't think that's such a damaging review, actually.

It's referring to a specific role in a movie that's from hunger.

And in the process, it's actually saying nice things about Lawrence's physique, merely commenting that her parts are not quite right for the part.

After all, actors lose and gain weight for roles all the time, since the screen captures a certain verisimilitude that other media don't, necessarily.

To console Lawrence, she's a good actress who can play just about anything, and having someone talk about your "seductive, womanly figure" isn't exactly upsetting per se.

But let's hope she doesn't take the write-ups to heart and become a Winter's Bone.


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13 comments
mornex1
mornex1

To console Lawrence, she's a good actress who can play just about anything, and having someone talk about your "seductive, womanly figure" isn't exactly upsetting per se  http://livestrip99.com/

Barfer
Barfer

"An emaciated, dying prostitute"? Why didn't they just get Angelina?

CMG
CMG

 I suppose they wanted somebody who could "sing".

CMG
CMG

Honestly, she had the look for Winter's Bone which is what I think helped her get the role in addition to the fact she was great in it.  She had since basically looked a lot healthier in her other roles in between, none that were really that physically demanding aside from X-Men: First Class.

I actually heard Les Miserables producers are putting Anne Hathaway on a crash diet as Fantine since you know she has to look like an emaciated, dying prostitute (so I suppose on one hand they want to make it physically realistic but I doubt anybody in the cast will even try an affected French accent, much less know French for their roles).   I can already imagine the body-snarking on Hathaway looking deadly thin in Les Miz, it always seems to cut both ways. 

Rogie
Rogie

Is it just me or is she this year's Scarlett Johansson - an earnest but middling performer that critics love to lionize just because there are so few other genuine talents around?

And BTW, MM - your line "The screen captures a certain verisimilitude that other media don't" indicates that you might have taken some advanced film courses while preparing for your journalism gig. That plus your keen takes on Broadway shows suggest you could do a late-career swerve into pop-culture criticism. (Which I half-hope never happens, of course. No one else can write "gossip" as wonderfully as youse.)

Gregorama
Gregorama

While you're clearly not meaning to (I hope), you're rather damning him with your praise by saying that suddenly, Michael is starting to take on "pop-culture criticism".  If you read either/both of his books ("Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back" and "La Dolce Musto") you'll see that his style and his take on EVERYTHING "pop-culture" has remained constant for over 30 years, and there is nothing "new' about it.  To pigeon-hole him into the category of "gossip columnist" is short-sighted and patronizing.  His writing is the very definition of current-culture observations, right along with Proust, Dickens, Dorothy Parker, et. al., in my opinion. 

Rogie
Rogie

Yup, I got both his books (3 of them - I downloaded another copy on Kindle), and he HAS been consistent, and I also respect what he does, unfortunate label and all, than the entire gang of columnists on, say, NY Times. Which is why we're here more than anywhere else, right? And there's nothing particularly special to me about cultural criticism, but mostly it's not being done well elsewhere anymore, even here in the Voice. That's why I'll always be grateful for what MM puts out there, is all.

Musto
Musto

Thank you, Gregorama. And thank you, Rogie, as well. I didn't take any offense. I love all my readers.

MDM4
MDM4

I think the whole thing is ridiculous (LOL!)...The Hunger Games made a153.5 million last weekend and will make a killing this weekend.  The backlash regarding the critiques about Lawrence's body has been swift and angry.  The fans are the ones who will embrace Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen and (remember the part about 153.5 and counting?) as well as the sequels? the fans have collectively spoken now enough of this bullshit.  Over 40 (!) actresses auditioned for therole and not one of them had what it took to play the part...perhaps all this is a result of some bitchy actress/agent, etc., or whatever who's just pissed they didn't get the role and they are calling EVERY trashy mainstream news/gossip outlet they can and paying them to write as many bitchy things that they can.  It serves as a distraction; Lawrence gave a wonderful performance so, let's put the emphasis on...her body type!, yeah, that's the ticket!.  Bullshit.  One thing is for sure, the film was great, Lawrence gave an excellent performance and now bring on the next installments.

Matthew Phillp
Matthew Phillp

 Ok, you sound like you're describing a political campaign.  This is (just!) a film adaptation of a book.  People who have read the book will have criticisms of the film because the book is the primary text.  Film adaptations almost always fall short of recreating the story with exactly the same amount of depth as the primary text so this type of discourse is both inevitable and justified.

The character of Katniss in the book IS extremely thin because she's existed on the brink of starvation her entire life.  She's described this way repeatedly and her thin body is another way of illustrating the tyranny of the Capitol.  Jennifer Lawrence was not starvation thin.  There's no way around that. 

Having said that, Jennifer Lawrence, with her healthy body, did a pretty good job of playing a character that, because of the nature of almost all film adaptations of books, was always going to fall short anyway.   

It's also important to remember that just because a film makes 153.5 million dollars in a weekend doesn't mean it is beyond criticism and interpretation. 

Bejesus
Bejesus

Thanks for the comment, Warner Brothers publicist.

Whompers
Whompers

Clearly this was a part for the Olsen twins or for Angelina's leg.

Parvenu
Parvenu

I also thought it was weird that she's so fleshy looking!

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