Joy is based on the true story of Joy Mongano, a determined single mother who overcomes the pain of domestic troubles and the trappings of the business world to make a success out of herself.
In the titular role of David O Russel’s comedy-drama is frequent collaborator Jennifer Lawrence, who is easily the world’s biggest actress at the moment. The 25-year-old already has a BAFTA, two Golden Globes and an Academy Award, and there’ll be no doubt many more awards sitting on J-Law’s shelf in the future.
The loveable Lawrence’s blend of incredible acting ability, girl-next-door-looks and down-to-Earth personality have made her one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. While I wait for her to respond to the mountain of fan mail I’ve sent her, have a read of this a countdown of J-Law’s best performances.
5. Raven Darkholme/Mystique – The X-Men prequels
We were already used to Rebecca Romijn’s Mystique in the original X-Men trilogy, but in the recent prequels Lawrence gave us a fresh take on the blue shape-shifting mutant. J-Law’s Mystique straddles the line between the light and the dark side as she’s torn between the opposing mutant rights causes of James McAvoy’s Charles/Professor X and Michael Fassbender’s Erik/Magneto.
Lawrence shares brilliant chemistry with Fassbender and McAvoy which makes the troubled dynamic between the three characters thrilling viewing. First Class and Days of Future Past have both been X-cellent (sorry) with Lawrence being a fairly big part of what made them great. There’s been speculation over whether or not she’ll sign or for more X-Men films after 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse and hopefully Fox will shell out the necessary dough for her as J-Law shines in absolutely anything she stars in.
4. Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games series
After X-Men: First Class, Lawrence already had experience of starring in a popular franchise but it was her leading role in The Hunger Games that rocket-launched Lawrence into global superstardom as her portrayal of Katniss proved to be catnip to audiences worldwide. Lawrence’s Katniss takes part in the brutal fight to the death known as the ‘Hunger Games’ and becomes an heroic figure to a society oppressed by a cruel government.
Lawrence effortlessly embodies the heroine role as she plays the tough-but-caring archer Katniss with impressive ease. She handles the explosive action and the emotional moments so well that you can’t help but root for Katniss. Lawrence’s performances helped the films reach monstrous success which led her to win the 2015 Guinness World Record for highest-grossing action heroine. In a poll of the 100 Greatest Movie Characters, Empire magazine readers voted Katniss as 57, which shows just how much everyone loved J-Law’s work.
3. Rosalyn Rosenfeld – American Hustle (2013)
In David O.Russel’s slick 70’s set crime caper, Lawrence plays Rosalyn ‘Ros’ Rosenfeld – the estranged wife to Christian Bale’s smooth con-man Irving. She’s an unhinged young housewife whose unpredictable nature causes even trouble for the already-in-hot-water Irving.
Starring in an ensemble cast jam-packed with talent, including Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, Lawrence more than holds her own and gives a truly scene-stealing performance. The scene where she mimes to “Live and Let Die” is hilarious and her kiss with her husband’s mistress Amy Adams is unforgettable. Lawrence’s extremely entertaining performance earned her a third Oscar Nomination and won her a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.
2. Tiffany Maxwell – Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Before the release of David. O Russel’s Oscar nominated romantic comedy drama, the world already knew J-Law was a supremely talented actress but her performance in Silver Linings Playbook showcased her undeniable ability in a whole new light. She plays Tiffany – a widower who for the most part seems to have overcome her grief and depression but flashes of her trauma still appear.
The impulsive Tiffany is played with heart and sincerity by Lawrence who wowed audiences with a performance very unique to her previous other roles. Her dynamic chemistry with co-star Bradley Cooper made for a riveting watch and spawned two other collaborations between the stars with Joy being their fourth film together. Lawrence’s outstanding work in Silver Linings Playbook rightfully earned her an Oscar nomination and firmly cemented her as a star for the ages.
1. Ree Dolly – Winter’s Bone
J-Law gave a gutsy turn in her breakout role as 17 year old farm girl Ree, who goes on a solo mission to find her missing father in order to save her mentally ill mother and her younger brother and sister from being evicted from their house.
In only her second leading role, the then-20-year-old Lawrence carried the weight of the film on her shoulders like a veteran actress. Her natural charisma lit up Debra Granik’s gloomy drama as her display of fierce determination was totally compelling. This subtle, steely performance instantly cemented her as Hollywood’s go-to-girl to play strong young women roles and forced the world take notice of her. For her tremendous work, Lawrence became the second youngest person to be nominated by the Oscars for Best Actress as she received her first Academy Award nomination. A must-see performance for all Jennifer Lawrence fans.
Joy is out now in US cinemas and is released in the UK on January 1 2016.
Check out the trailer here:
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