Have a nice trip: Jen wins. February 25, 2013Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: Academy Awards, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence Oscar dress, Oscars, Silver Linings Playbook, The Hunger Games
Silence Dogood here. Jennifer Lawrence won a Best Actress Oscar last night for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook,” doubtless taking a number of critics, who’d predicted that the award would go to the great 86-year-old French icon Emmanuelle Riva for her heartrending performance in “Amour,” by surprise. Sentiment would have tipped the hat to Ms. Riva, acknowledging a lifetime of iconic performances, or if not, perhaps to 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis for her role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Why Jen, and why now?
The obvious answer would be that Jennifer Lawrence is a great natural actor who has never taken a single acting lesson and who was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar last year for her first starring role, in “Winter’s Bone,” filmed when she was just 19. That her role as a young, troubled widow in “Silver Linings Playbook” blew critics away and had already garnered her Best Actress honors at the Golden Globes and Free Spirit Awards.
All of this is true. But it ignores the elephant in the room: “The Hunger Games.” Like any television show, be it “American Idol” or “Dancing with the Stars” or the Super Bowl or the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, the Oscars depend on ratings. Ratings are based on how many people are watching, and determine the amount and quality of advertizing dollars. And advertizers keep a close eye on not just the number of people watching, but on how old those people are. Do they fall in the admen’s golden demographic of 18 to 30, or are they post-30 fogies who tend to use their paychecks to pay for their mortgages and their kids’ college rather than on designer fragrances and million-dollar watches? Oh, dear.
Even if you’re the Oscars, if you don’t have the admen, you don’t have a show, as Dire Straits’ great founder Mark Knopfler points out in his song “Stand Up Guy.” Call me a cynic, but I’d say the Academy Awards were pretty desperate to grab more viewers in that golden 18-to-30 range and avoid being pinpointed as a tiny clique of irrelevant, elitist insiders pleasing themselves at their would-be core audience’s expense. And they knew the crowd favorite was Jen Lawrence, not for “Silver Linings Playbook” but for “The Hunger Games.”
True, they couldn’t bring themselves to nominate the mega-blockbuster “Hunger Games” for a single award, or acknowledge Jennifer Lawrence’s amazing star turn in it as Katniss Everdeen, or the fantastic supporting roles of Donald Sutherland as President Snow, Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, or Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne. Shame on them! Every one of them deserves an award.
By giving Jennifer Lawrence the nod for “Silver Linings Playbook,” “The Hunger Games” wins by default. Not that Jen didn’t deserve the win for both and for “Winter’s Bone” as well. But Jen, here’s a tip: When you’re wearing an amazing but voluminous dress to receive your award, think of Vivienne Leigh and Olivia De Havilland in “Gone with the Wind” and lift up the front of that skirt as you ascend the steps so you’re not in danger of tripping. I for one think you made a fabulous dress choice for your Oscar win.
‘Til next time,