When critics, film fans, people in general, discuss the potential Oscar winners, they seem to forget that it’s a game. Much like, say, a school election, or even a political one, it’s never just about the actual quality of the work but how it benefits everyone involved. The campaign element to the Oscars is very real. A few months back, Michael Fassbender was quoted in GQ saying he wants one, sure, but he refuses to campaign. That statement is a campaign motive in itself, a terrible one, but if he had followed it up with lots of press, an apology, or what not, he could very much be a contender.
Cate Blanchett is currently the front-runner to win Best Actress. To most of us, it seems like she is barely campaigning. Which is true. She really isn’t; she’s succeeding on the fact of the work being legitimate enough and on her name, but also, like Sandra Bullock a few years ago, have you ever heard anyone in the business or general say something negative about Cate Blanchett? No. So her history, her being beloved within and outside of the industry, is still a campaign – intentional or not. Which leads me to Jennifer Lawrence.
To many, Jennifer Lawrence is the closest thing we’ve had to Julia Roberts since Julia Roberts. Remember when Julia Roberts owned the world for a few years back in the 90s and her and that laugh defined what being America’s Sweetheart means? Jennifer Lawrence is her successor. For many, she can do no wrong. For me, I’m well over her shit by now. This week in “What Jennifer Lawrence Said” she claims she tripped at the Oscars because she was thinking “about cake”. Um? Okay, imagine that shit coming out of Anne Hathaway. You would’ve thrown your cat at the wall out of rage. Honest or not (I’m not believing this is contrived because at some point, you know what you’re doing & what works) it’s just a bit much. The reaction towards everything she says, is a bit much. Like, I’d rather we fawn over Anna Kendrick’s amazing tweets, but I digress. What does this all mean? Well, Jennifer Lawrence, the girl so lovable she tripped on the biggest night of her career (so far) because she was thinking about cake (help me get my eyes from the back of my head), is running the best campaign I’ve seen in forever.
She was absent for a lot of American Hustles‘s promotional efforts because, wisely, she knew she had exhausted the general public with Catching Fire‘s promotion. So, she let the rest of the cast do more of the major press. A great move on her part, something Emma Stone did back with The Help. But she’s following it up by being absent but not really: the other night she won the award for Best Supporting Actress at the NYFCC. She wasn’t there to accept it but had Bradley Cooper say a speech in her honor, where she *brilliantly* poked fun at the House At The End of The Street. Like, YOU cannot make up this kind of brilliant campaign. Though she wasn’t at the ceremony, her speech, by way of Cooper, made more headlines than anyone elses. Again, there but not really there.
Does Jennifer Lawrence deserve her second, consecutive, Oscar? No. She didn’t deserve her first, but that’s just me. Her role in Hustle reminds me a lot of Jennifer Hudson’s; maybe not amazing or the best of the year but sensational enough to earn the votes. I think the Academy is still hard for her. She is still so well liked. A second win will benefit everyone instead of 90% of the population who has not seen 12 Years A Slave and don’t know who Lupita Nyong’o is (the actress who I think deserves BSA). So, well played, Jennifer Lawrence. Well played.