The name, the legend, the 22 year old, shot-slinging Academy Award winner and this week’s SPOTLIGHT: Jennifer Lawrence.  Or, as we like to call her, J-Law.  And before you ask, yes, we are most certainly on a nickname basis with the star.  How could you not be?

Besides being the most talked about girl in Hollywood right now, Jennifer Lawrence also happens to be an independent film actress.  We all know how phenomenal she was in Silver Linings Playbook, earning her the Oscar for Best Actress, therefore making her the youngest person ever to be nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Leading Actress.  But before co-starring alongside Bradley Cooper, J-Law appeared in two huge independent films, The Burning Plain and Winter’s Bone.

Winter’s Bone, directed by Debra Granik, marked the beginning of Lawrence’s worldwide recognition as a serious dramatic actor.  The film adaptation circles around Ree Dolly (Lawrence’s character), a teenage girl thrust into adulthood when she is forced to take care of her mentally ill mother and two younger siblings.

 

Things get (even more) complicated when she learns that her family will lose their house if her father jumped his bail, like the
bondsman assumes. In order to save her poverty stricken family and their home, Ree begins the manhunt for her methamphetamine manufacturing father.  The journey reconnects her with her drug addled uncle, but pulls her further and further into a dangerous world of drugs and violence.

Despite opening in limited release, the hauntingly beautiful movie received exceptional reviews.  The unforgettable performances, especially Lawrence’s, were met with awe and acclaim.  Lawrence’s work in Winter’s Bone secured her first Oscar nod, and in addition the film was nominated for another three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.  The power of indie holds no bounds!

With that being said, the current It Girl definitely has a flair for the dramatic, both on screen and off.  While walking up the stairs to accept her 2013 Oscar this past February, she took a slight tumble after tripping on her custom Dior gown. Hugh Jackman and Mr. Cooper ran to her rescue, but our darling indie girl didn’t even need their help- part of the reason why we love her so much.  Her comical, relatively self-deprecating speech that followed only made us fall more in love with her.  Who doesn’t love a girl who can make fun of herself?

 

 

Her candidness and witty comments are quickly making her a favorite for everyone of all ages.  Discussing how she was starving on the Red Carpet, taking a shot before completing her official speech for the Oscars, flipping cameramen the bird…J-Law just seems a little more like us than she does Hollywood.  So much like us that if the natural beauty did not have a multi million dollar Dior campaign and an Oscar chilling on the shelf, I might even confuse her for my BFF.  One can dream, right?

By Ally Oberrotman

 

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