Jennifer Lawrence is getting ready for superstardom. It may seem odd to say that of an actress who's already earned an Oscar nomination in her young career, but there is no denying that Lawrence's Academy Award-nominated work in "Winter's Bone" is a far cry from her soon to be blockbuster turn in "The Hunger Games."
With "The Hunger Games" on the verge of its red carpet premiere, there is no turning back for Jennifer Lawrence, whose career is unfolding in a most unique fashion.
Lawrence arrived in Hollywood by taking on this gritty, nasty little independent film. Her performance as the daughter of a missing, and likely murdered, drug dealer was fearless and breathtaking. Few actresses could have matched Lawrence's hills-bred grit mixed with the sensitivity of a teenager forced to grow up way too fast.
Lawrence followed up "Winter's Bone" with another independent movie -- the romance "Like Crazy." Here the actress stretched believability by losing out on star Anton Yelchin's affections as he pined for costar Felicity Jones.
Nothing against Ms. Jones, but Lawrence is radiant in the role of Sam, stealing every scene from the star-crossed lovers. When Sam is left behind, "Like Crazy" is at a loss to recapture her charismatic presence.
The up-and-comer sparked so well with Anton Yelchin in "Like Crazy" it became a no-brainer for director Jodie Foster to reunite them for her Mel Gibson vehicle "The Beaver." As terrific an actress as Lawrence is, she could not emerge from a movie in which Mel Gibson parades about with a Beaver puppet on his arm. Relegated to what is barely above a cameo, Lawrence gets to be beautiful and elusive, but "The Beaver" is by far the least interesting film of her burgeoning career.
Until she took the role of Katniss in "The Hunger Games," Lawrence's biggest role was playing Mystique in the blockbuster prequel "X-Men: First Class." While the film built Lawrence's blockbuster credentials, the role required Lawrence to be covered in head-to-toe blue makeup for far too much of the film, the novelty limiting her performance. Lawrence did manage to spark romantic chemistry with costar Michael Fassbender -- even while blue -- but the role remains her least interesting.
"The Hunger Games"
No body makeup needed for "The Hunger Games." For the first time in her young career, Lawrence will get to combine the grit that made her "Winter's Bone" performance so outstanding with the glamor and excitement of a blockbuster.
While the quality of "The Hunger Games" is still to be determined, Lawrence's starring role offers hope the movie will be far greater than the hype comparing it so often to the "Twilight" series.
Check out the "The Hunger Games" live red carpet premiere on March 12 only on Yahoo! Movies.