Career Peak – The point in an actor, actress or director’s career when they have given their best performance, reaching a point they will probably never match again!
The idea is to examine a person’s film or television career and decide when their career peak was; the moment that they gave their best performance or produced their best work. This could be with their first movie; it could also be yet to come.
Jennifer Lawrence’s rise to superstardom seemed to be overnight. Since The Hunger Games and a couple of Oscar nominations (and a win), Lawrence has become an A-lister and an audience draw. Could it be that she has peaked too soon though, having produced the best her career can offer? Not quite…
Jennifer Lawrence: Career Peak – Hasn’t Happened Yet!
You’d argue that Lawrence’s movie career really started with The Winter Bone. A performance which many saw her acting potential within, Lawrence showed real dramatic character and this would lead nicely to some roles which the actress could be proud of.
Every actresses filmography has some random entries, so supporting roles in Like Crazy and The Beaver are no huge surprise, although a quick scan of her movies show that there are very few flaws in her choices. The Hunger Games and X-Men: First Class would cement her mainstream credibility but to her credit, Lawrence never phoned in those performances. Lawrence showed that she could lead a whole film series on her shoulders, being the impressive constant in the Young Adult series.
Lawrence also demonstrated a knack for stealing the movie. X-Men: First Class was an ensemble movie and although her role of Mystique was one of the characters at the forefront, she still had to fight to make the movie more about her and this seemed to pay-off, with more fleshed out parts in both of the sequels which followed.
Lawrence has successfully moved away from both these blockbuster franchises. The Hunger Games has drawn a neat close to it’s story and Lawrence has been clear on moving away from the X-Men franchise and you can see why. Around the time her career was taking off, Lawrence chose a smaller, lesser known movie in Silver Linings Playbook. It was a performance which would impress, being a dramatic role that required her to play someone dealing with depression – as well as dance.
This would be the role which earned her The Oscar win for best actress and would steer her career in a quite definitive direction. Running alongside the franchise movies which made her famous, Lawrence continued to return to the more dramatic, almost Oscar-baiting roles. American Hustle saw her team with Silver linings Playbook director David O Russell to try and steal the movie alongside an impressive ensemble, while she would return to romance Bradley Cooper in rare flop, Serena.
In fact, she clearly saw her best performances involving O’Russell, as she would try for another Oscar in the movie Joy. Although the role proved successful for Lawrence, earning her a deserved Oscar nomination, it didn’t inspire like her earlier roles had done. This feels like the running theme with Lawrence, who still seems to be looking for that defining role.
She has clearly shown her ability as an actress and can choose interesting roles, be it as a leader of a Youth Revolution or as a stranded passenger on a spaceship, but there hasn’t been that one key moment and that one movie which really showed what she can do. It could be round the corner though.
Upcoming, Lawrence has a biopic of Zelda Fitzgerald, as well as a war time drama in It’s What I Do or real-life spy thriller Red Sparrow. These seem to be interesting dramatic roles and could well hold the key to that one defining role which will become the career peak for the accomplished actress.
Overall, we are still waiting for Jennifer Lawrence’s Career Peak but that is no criticism. She has shown some excellent performances, winning as Oscar along the way. It’s a diverse career too, managing to balance the blockbuster franchises while also delivering powerhouse dramatic roles. There still feels like there is more to come though.