Up against some serious competition, Jennifer Lawrence was something of a surprise winner at the British Academy Film and Television Awards Sunday, where she took home a Best Supporting Actress award.
Could it be a harbinger of an Oscar on March 2?
Jennifer Lawrence won the BAFTA for her role as Rosalyn Rosenfeld in American Hustle. The film also won a BAFTA for Best Screenplay. In The Los Angeles Times, scriptwriter Eric Warren Singer describes his motivation and moral direction in penning the film:
William Burroughs once said, "Hustlers of the world, there's one mark you cannot beat: the mark inside."
That quote was taped to my desk while I wrote "American Hustle," and it served as my North Star for these characters. As the lies consume their lives, they throttle toward an inevitable reckoning with the truth and themselves.
Though they are on the extreme side of the spectrum, I think this is something everyone can relate to. We all hustle ourselves and other people, even if it's in small ways. It's a fact of life. For some, the inevitable moment of clarity transforms them in a positive way. For others, it cripples them.
And for me, this reckoning cuts to the heart of the journey that Irving, Sydney, Richie, Carmine and Rosalyn are all on. Like it or not, you can never beat the truth — never. It always catches up with you eventually.
Here's how John Serba of Michigan Live describes the film and Lawrence's character:
The film is about four people who are endearingly funny messes, and Lawrence’s character is the funniest and messiest. She has less screen time than principals Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper, but still leaves a significant impression...
Although Lawrence is swamped in makeup, clad in swishy ’70s fashions, coiffed with a floppy up-do and brandishing a thick Lawng Eyeland accent, she delivers Rosalyn’s convoluted manipulations with great conviction. The comedy she generates is broad, but also reveals the psychological intricacies of the character:
Last month, Lawrence won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress, too. The BAFTA ceremony, coming two weeks before Hollywood's Academy Awards, is watched as an indicator of likely Oscars success.
Last year, Lawrence won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Silver Linings Playbook. At the 86th Annual Academy Awards on March 2 she's schedule to be a presenter. But she's also been nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for American Hustle.
Who else is Lawrence competing against?
Blue Jasmine's Sally Hawkins, 12 Years a Slave's Lupita Nyong'o, August: Osage County's Julia Roberts and Nebraska's June Squibb - almost the same lineup of contenders at the BAFTA.
We'll see if the Academy agrees with the British assessment of Lawrence's performance.