Tag Archive: jennifer lawrence


Dir. David O. Russell
(2012, R, 122 minutes)

Silver Linings Playbook made a strong impression at the Toronto Film Festival, where it won the People’s Choice Award. I’m markedly less enthusiastic. It’s a generally pleasing but mostly by-the-numbers comedy about a couple whose romance follows a trajectory we expect from the start. Often the characters behave more like players hitting their marks than people in organic relationships. There are few surprises. Many of the plot complications are contrived.

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Dir. Gary Ross
(2012, PG-13, 142 minutes)

How many movies about the systematic murder of children can you think of that are rated PG-13? Now I can name one. The Hunger Games is about a dystopian future where, after an unexplained rebellion, 12 impoverished districts are each forced to send two 12-to-18-year-old “tributes” into a televised death match. When her sister Primrose (Willow Shields) is chosen by lottery, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers in her place to represent district 12.

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Jennifer Lawrence, in 'Winter's Bone'

Dir. Debra Granik
(2010, R, 100 min)
★ ★ ★ ★

From the very beginning, Winter’s Bone gives us a vivid sense of place. Set in rural, backwoods Missouri, it introduces us to Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence), a seventeen-year-old girl raising her younger brother and sister by herself. Her father comes in and out of their lives and in and out of jail, where he is a frequent occupant for cooking crystal meth. Her mother is unable to function on her own; she’s “sick,” Ree explains, but not physically. Director Debra Granik’s camera subtly captures a landscape of dilapidation and neglect, of poverty as a matter of fact. In its unadorned naturalism it bears more than a passing resemblance to Frozen River, another drama about the desperate lives of the hand-to-mouth poor, except this film is even better.

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