Lawrence laps up role of ma­jor fem­i­nist icon

Southern Telegraph - - Entertainment - Mark Naglazas Leo (July 23 - Au­gust 23) Virgo (Au­gust 24 - Septem­ber 22)

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.

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