Jennifer Lawrence is one of the most talked about Hollywood actresses and has become true box office gold in just a few years.
She is back on the big screen this week as she plays Katniss Everdeen for the final time in The Hunger Games - Mockingjay - Part 2. This was the role that really turned her into a global star and I cannot wait to see what she delivers in this final and highly anticipated instalment.
Lawrence is a big favourite here at FemaleFirst and we look back at her career and some of our favourite performances from the actress. Do you have a favourite?
- Winter's Bone (2010)
It was back in 2010 when Jennifer Lawrence made the world sit up and take notice after a stunning performance in Winter's Bone, which is widely regarded as her breakthrough performance.
While Lawrence was no stranger to acting and the movies at this time, it was to be the film the propelled her fame and gave the chance to land bigger roles. It also saw her pick up her first Best Actress Oscar nomination - she would go on to feature heavily at the Oscars over the next few years.
Winter's Bone was a big screen adaptation of the novel by Daniel Woodrell and saw Lawrence team up with director and writer Debra Granik for the first time - this was only Granik's second feature film. Lawrence took on the central role of Ree, a seventeen year old girl who must set off into the wild to find her father in order to protect her family.
Winter's Bone was one of the highlights of the Sundance Film festival that year and Lawrence's central performance won over all of the critics. She delivers a bold and fearless performance that has just the right amount of vulnerability - she strikes that balance so beautifully.
There's something incredibly gritty and real about Granik's movie and it takes you on a powerful and rather emotional journey as an audience member. While it is gripping and unflinching from start to finish, it is Lawrence that truly shines.
Winter's Bone went on to win the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Film at Sundance and was nominated for four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress for Lawrence, and Best Supporting Actor for John Hawkes. Lawrence lost out to Natalie Portman for Black Swan.
- The Hunger Games Series (2012 - 2015)
The Hunger Games is one of the biggest and most successful film franchises of recent years and it is the character that made Lawrence a global superstar. Of course, many knew her after her Oscar nominated turn in Winter's Bone, but The Hunger Games elevated her star even further.
This was another strong female character for Lawrence as she took on the role of literary heroine Katniss Everdeen. The movies are based on the books of the same name by Suzanne Collins and have been incredibly faithful adaptations that have captured the books and the characters perfectly.
Katniss is one of the greatest female film characters of recent years and it is all thanks to how Lawrence has played her. She is a strong and independent who has battled to survive and keep her mother and sister alive - there really is a wonderful strength that shines through in all of the films.
And yet she is still a young woman who is plagued by insecurities and doubt. She has been given a role of great responsibility and she struggles with the enormity of the position that she finds herself in. She has becomes a symbol of revolution and hope as we go through the films and she must live up to the expectations that the districts have of her. Lawrence finds all of these aspects of Katniss' character, playing and balancing them wonderfully.
As well as great characters, The Hunger Games series is packed with twists and turns as well as plenty of action that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
So far, The Hunger Games film series has grossed in excess of $2.3 billion at the global box office and Mockingjay - Part 2 looks set to be one of the highest grossing films of 2015.
- Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
By the time that Lawrence starred in Silver Linings Playbook, she was a global superstar but this film really did see her move into the A-list of acting elite. For me, it remains the best performance of her career and she thoroughly deserved all of the praise and awards that came her way.
Silver Linings Playbook was based on the book of the same name by Matthew Quick and was the first collaboration between Lawrence and filmmaker David O. Russell; they have gone on to work together on American Hustle and the upcoming Joy.
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany (Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
It is not hard to see why Lawrence and Cooper love working together as the pair really do sizzle from start to finish. I love the connection between these two characters and you really are willing them to overcome their problems and work out that they want to be with each other.
This is a film that looks at the impact of mental illness has on an individual and the people around them. And while this is packed with humour and charm it never belittles mental issues in any way. In fact, director Russell knows only too well the effects that it has being a father of someone with bipolar and he tells this story with a real understanding and respect and that really does come through.
It there were any worries that Jennifer Lawrence was a tad too young to play the role of Tiffany those disappear from the first second that she appears as it is a knockout performance from the actress. Tiffany is probably the most complex and interesting character who is fiery and at times dark and yet under the surface she is a character with a large heart who is looking for companionship in someone. She really is just terrific from start to finish.
The movie was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Cooper, Best Actress for Lawrence, and Best Director for Russell. Lawrence brought home the only gong for the film, seeing off competition from Jessica Chastain, Emmanuelle Riva, Naomi Watts, and Quvenzhané Wallis for Zero Dark Thirty, Amour, The Impossible and Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Other great Jennifer Lawrence performances include the X-Men movies, American Hustle, and Like Crazy.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 is released 19th November.