It’s Jennifer Lawrence‘s birthday! To mark the occasion, here are five of her overlooked or lesser-known performances. Check some of these out!
Red Sparrow (2018)
After suffering a gruesome injury that ends her career, prima ballerina Dominika Egorova turns to Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people to use their minds and bodies as weapons. After completing the sadistic training, Egorova sets her sight on revenge against the people who stole everything from her. While not exactly a box office smash for Lawrence, she is still captivating as Dominika, her performance so subtle that she keeps us guessing her true allegiance, and motives, until the very end.
A psychological horror written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, Mother! revolves around a couple (Lawrence and Javier Bardem) whose tranquil relationship is tested by the arrival of several uninvited guests. Mother! polarized audiences but also stoked intense discussion about what the hell the movie was actually trying to say. It remains Lawrence’s most divisive role, but also arguably her best.
Like Crazy (2011)
Jennifer Lawrence plays the third wheel in this romantic drama between two people, Anna and Jacob, (Felicity Jones and the late Anton Yelchin) who are forced apart after Anna, a British student, overstays her visa to stay with Jacob and is subsequently banned from the US. It’s an emotional love story that tells the hardships of long-distance romance, and Lawrence delivers plenty of heartache as Samantha, the woman Jacob probably should have ended up with if not for the years and angst he had already devoted to Anna.
The Poker House (2008)
Jennifer Lawrence’s first leading role, The Poker House was also Lori Petty’s directorial debut, a poignantly personal memoir about a teenager who raises her two younger sisters in a brothel. Lawrence is incredibly strong in an emotionally challenging role, which was a sign of things to come in her Oscar-nominated role in Winter’s Bone. For this film, she also walked away with the jury prize at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival.
Based on the true story of Joy Mangano, a single mother who created a self-wringing mop and made millions by selling it on QVC, Lawrence shines in the title role as a woman struggling to hold it all together while surrounded by her dysfunctional family. This is Lawrence’s third time working with director David O’Russell, but Joy is by far the weakest film in the Lawrence, O’Russell, Bradley Cooper trifecta. That being said, the movie is still an inspiring one. Lawrence ditches the quirky zaniness that accompanied her roles in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle to deliver a solid, understated performance that earned her a fourth Oscar nomination in six years.
What are some of your favorite films to feature birthday girl Jennifer Lawrence?