Lawrence laps up role of major feminist icon
When the first Hunger Games movie was released in 2012, audiences were themselves hungry for a new fantasy franchise to take over from Harry Potter, which had ended the year before, and, more importantly, to cleanse the palate of Twilight.
In other words, they were ready for The Hunger Games, an adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ celebrated dystopian fantasy trilogy about an intrepid young woman named Katniss Everdeen who survives a hideously brutal reality TV show to become a Joan of Arc-like figurehead in a revolutionary uprising against the post-apocalyptic fascist state.
Women have been at the heart of many Hollywood action movies — Sigourney Weaver in the Alien series, Linda Hamilton in the Terminator flicks and Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Mr and Mrs Smith.
However, what made Katniss so fresh and appealing was that she was no mere wannabe guy butt-kicker but a fully rounded character — a loving daughter concerned with her family, her boyfriend and her oppressed community; a ferocious warrior and skilful archer still racked with fear and self-doubt; a revolutionary who comes to understand the duplicity and hypocrisy of the adult world.
It was an edgy new franchise whose heroine was an exhilarating new role model for young women.
The producers also struck gold when they cast Jennifer Lawrence in the role of Katniss.
They’d not only found an actress who looked physically capable — she had height and natural athleticism — but possessed the acting chops (she’d already been nominated for an Oscar).
More importantly, Lawrence’s fast-evolving off-screen persona melded nicely with her fearless on-screen alter ego to make her one of the most widely admired young women of her generation.
Lawrence’s increasing profile will ensure the second of the two-part adaptation of Mockingjay, the final book in the series, will be a huge hit, pushing the series past the $US3 billion ($4.25 billion) mark at the global box office.
Lawrence is now a major feminist icon.
Lawrence is so much the focus of Hunger Games that her co-stars Josh Hutcherson, who plays her love interest Peeta, and Liam Hemsworth have not felt the impact in the same way as the casts of Harry Potter and Twilight.
Like their characters in the movie, they’re there just to give Lawrence/Katniss support.
Nonetheless, the Hunger Games experience hasn’t hindered the career of Hemsworth, 25, who is lighting up the Australian box office in The Dressmaker while Hutcherson, 23, appears destined to forge a career behind the camera. The more you give, the less grateful others become. Finally, your patience starts to runs thin. This week’s task: reflection and correction. It’s not the time for pushing on blindly, especially as important decisions need to be made. If your love nest isn’t feeling very cosy, try warming it. If trouble flares, act with diplomacy. The trick lies in distancing yourself from this week’s emotional inferno. As soon as Virgos buy into any over-hyped sensationalism, you lose your earthy pragmatism. OK Pisces, you’ve had some bad luck — but life can turn in an instant. For the ever-imaginative Pisces, this need only be an inspirational idea.
Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence in a scene from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.