Jennifer Lawrence's Third David O. Russell Film Might Be Oscar Bait But Guarantees Fatigue
A few months back one of Jennifer Lawrence's charming anecdotes included one time that American Hustle director David O. Russell texted her in the middle of the night with a new idea for movie. "He recently texted me at, I think, 4 in the morning," she told the hosts and audience at Live With Kelly and Michael, "and was like, 'I think I want to make a movie about the woman who invented the [Miracle] Mop. You want to do it?' And I was like, yeah." And now that movie is definitely happening: Russell and Lawrence's Joy will come out December 2015. It sounds like another guaranteed wonderful performance by Lawrence — but it also brings up questions of whether it's the best possible next move for her.
Now, we don't know Lawrence in either a friend-like of professional capacity, so obviously we have literally zero say in what she does with her life or her career — and that's how it should be, really. But we're also people with a lot of opinions about things like movies and pop culture and Oscar campaigns (albeit not that many about mops), and this movie's shaping up to cover all of those bases. So we're just thinking out loud here: Is this really the next guaranteed Lawrence Oscar nom, or is it just ensuring another Oscar season of people growing more and more fatigued with the Russell-Lawrence Oscar machine?
The anti-Lawrence bandwagon that picked up steam this past Oscar season was, in our opinion, rather reactionary — not that solidly based in Lawrence herself, rather, and mainly a response to the overwhelming hype she'd been subject to since the first Hunger Games movie. But unfounded though it might have been, it was still a very active presence in her interactions with the media and the public in late 2013 and early 2014 — and it was only exacerbated by the accompanying presence of Russell, who has an opposition whose reactions are founded much more in fact that Lawrence's.
Another go-round at the Oscar table — which seems to be what this film's already lining itself up for if that December release date's any indication — just seems like it'll be exhausting for everyone.
Lawrence herself could very easily care less — we're not in her brain — but this film's setting itself up for some interesting politics on top of some attempts at Oscars: Following Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle this has Lawrence pretty solidly in the "muse" realm with Russell, and that's a weird place to be. Lawrence has proved through everything from Winter's Bone to Hustle to Hunger Games that she's an adept actor, but audiences might respond better if she actually let her range out to play. In other words, if she let herself stray a little further from this one director.
Like we said, we don't make Lawrence's decisions for her, nor should we. And Joy, following a suburban Long Island woman's rise to QVC star, sounds like it could be damn delightful. But we're also worriers, and we don't want Lawrence set up for another season of haters.