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Jennifer Lawrence: Tumblr Queen

Posted: 05/03/2013 23:00

Jennifer Lawrence is a cool customer. Any actor/actress who can fall over whilst collecting an Academy Award, and elicit empathy rather than malice/cheap giggles from TV audiences, has a bright future ahead of them. Can you imagine the headlines if Brad Pitt or Katherine Heigl had tripped? I can: 'Brad TRIP' and 'Katherine BYEgal!' (This is why no one wants me to write their headlines).

I love a bit of cynicism as much as the next writer, but even I couldn't help but be won over by Lawrence's Oscar acceptance speech. As Catherine Shoard points out over at the Guardian, audiences and members of the film industry alike, posses a huge amount of good will towards Jennifer Lawrence. In an industry where bizarre rants are the norm for this sort of occasion; Lawrence's goofy modesty and genuine excitement is as refreshing as a Dr Pepper in the middle of July.

If you were to search Jennifer Lawrence on Tumblr, your computer would explode due to the sheer volume of hits. This frantic fan boy/girl following is undoubtedly mainly due to Lawrence's breakout lead role in The Hunger Games franchise, the adaption of the latest gazillion-selling young adult novel. The Hunger Games proved hugely popular, specifically amongst the teen demographic, who moonlight as the overlords of Tumblr, bitching about their homework whilst inventing new words like 'pansexual'.

If you're over fifteen or not easily excitable, you might prefer Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale, the film to which the first Hunger Games instalment has been endlessly compared. Battle Royale is arguably a more realistic film, in that its dystopian landscape could, just about maybe, happen one day. It also scores internet points for featuring Japanese schoolgirls. However, The Hunger Games' romantic sub-plot tips it over the edge in the Tumblr popularity stakes.

Despite not featuring decapitations and slutty schoolgirls, Hunger Games is an entertaining film, and a thousand times better than that one about sparkly vampires. (The last film in the Twilight series was just awarded seven Golden Raspberry titles, including worst picture and worst actress for K-Stew).

It's strange that Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence's Twi-hard counterpoint, is viewed with such disdain, by critics and fans alike. While Lawrence is the toast of Tumblr, K-Stew's flat delivery and constant moody demeanour are the butt of numerous hi-lar-i-ous memes. Her 'betrayal' of co-star Robert Pattinson certainly did not help matters. Meanwhile, J-Law is able to sack off boyfriend Nicolas Hoult without so much as a single finger wagging in her direction. Sure, she didn't cheat on Hoult, but he seems like a lovely guy, so it'd be understandable if people were pissed off about it. Instead, Lawrence can do no wrong.

As a Hollywood power-couple, K-Stew and R-Patz were as popular as Brad and Ange, circa 2005. Then, it all went a bit 'Chanel No. 5' and crumbled before our eyes. R-Patz seems to have overtaken K-stew in the acting stakes, carving out a niche for himself in the world of 'respectable indie/art films', most notably in Remember Me, and David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis. Whilst these roles centre on the affectless-yet-moody young man R-Patz perfected in Twilight, he has, at least, shown a bit of versatility, whilst Kristen Stewart's sour face continues to lumber across our screens.

As well as stealing their fans, and the awards that they never had a chance to get hold of anyway, it seems Lawrence has stolen the combined charisma of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Whether it's telling Letterman about her phlegm, asking for food on the red carpet or admitting to having done shots before her post-Oscars press conference Jennifer Lawrence always seems to say the right thing. It's not that she has a list of perfect answers memorised, rather, she seems to have no inner-filter and is not afraid to make a fool out of herself.

In a world where Beyonce's publicist tries to ban less-than-flattering pictures of the singer, it's endearing to see a 22 year-old prepared to pull ridiculous expressions on television.

This self-depreciating sense of humour surely helps boost her credibility with Tumblr kids (seriously, have you seen how self-depreciating Tumblr is?) If it weren't for the glamorous dresses and awards in her hands, you could be forgiven for thinking Jennifer Lawrence had stumbled into these award shows from the catering tent, looking for somewhere to deposit John Goodman's vol au vents.

It's this down-to-earth mentality, this Jenny-from-the-block (sorry) persona that makes us all sad she's not our best mate, or special sex friend (hell, why not both?) Each of these public outbursts of goofiness make J-Law perfect fodder for endless tumblr gifs and memes. There's no doubt that Jennifer Lawrence is the best thing to happen to teenage blogs since cats playing keyboards in space.

Lawrence also does all right for herself in the mainstream blogs and publications, snagging the title of Entertainment Weekly's 'Entertainer of the Year' 2012. She's also appeared on all of the obligatory hottest actress lists and 'elegant' is becoming the adjective of choice for her red carpet attire.

Obviously, J-Law is not just a sense of humour and a pretty face. Her brace of Best Actress Oscar Nominations (now one win) make her the youngest person to ever be nominated for two Best Actress Academy Awards. The fact that she was nominated for the first (for her role in Winter's Bone) at just 20 years-old is enough to make you question how you spend your days eating Doritos and watching Girls on repeat.

Talent like this is undeniable. Whether you're Katniss Everdeen's biggest fan, or just waiting for the whole franchise to fade away, you can't help but be amused when Jennifer Lawrence opens her mouth. If it comes to a choice between watching Angelina Jolie's latest piece of self-important tripe, or watching Jennifer Lawrence talk about her cat for five minutes, I'd go for J-Law every time. Hopefully she'll be falling over on her way to collect awards for decades to come.

 

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