‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2’ review: Jennifer Lawrence lost in …

21 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Box Office: ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ Looking at Franchise-Low $110M Debut.

Elsewhere in North America, Seth Rogen’s comedy ‘The Night Before’ is hoping for $11 million-$12 million, while ‘The Secret in Their Eyes’ is on course for $8 million despite an all-star cast that includes Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman. In the final installment in the Hunger Games film series, Katniss Everdeen fights for more than just her sister—she fights for the freedom of her country, Panem that is currently ruled by the totalitarian President Snow.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is doing sizeable business at the Friday box office, although it could see the lowest North American debut of any film in Lionsgate’s YA film franchise, starring Jennifer Lawrence as the invincible Katniss Everdeen. Released more than three years after the debut of the first film, Mockingjay — Part 2 features Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson together on the big screen for the last time. So just how much have the three leads and their costars changed since they first made their debuts as Katniss Everdeen, Gale Hawthorne, and Peeta Mellark, respectively? She’s been with the character of Katniss Everdeen for so many years, it’s hard for her to figure out just how she feels about the role coming to an end. “I don’t really feel like I said goodbye to her,” Lawrence says. “What we do on every movie is we play these characters and then two months later we never see them again. For his part, Josh Hutcherson’s Peta is scrambled and confused after being tortured in the capital, while Gale – poor Gale (Liam Hemsworth) – sulks in the corner.

Katniss may be sharpening her arrows to take out the evil President Snow, but the biggest villain here is greed and the decision to split Suzanne Collins’s pulse-pounding final novel into two separate films. Being a fan of the book, I can honestly say that the movies in the franchise all interpreted the books well, most especially Mockingjay Part 2, whose beautiful, realistic sets, great storytelling, and outstanding portrayal from the cast turned the book into a visual marvel. A year later, she had to return to the role for an additional scene that has a special place in her heart because she got to work with her two nephews. Wisps of the characters’ personalities are taken and expanded all throughout the movie and not just on the script but also in their actions as well as in the scenes and the sets.

The only actor who seems to be enjoying himself is Donald Sutherland as Snow, the increasingly unhinged leader leering like a jackal at all the blood he’s spilt. Catching Fire helmer Francis Lawrence returns to direct, and the film also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. By blending political concepts such as dictatorship and siege, and putting them together with strong female and male characters, Generation Y learns about societal issues from the film without even realizing that they are learning. Saoirse Ronan transforms from hesitant girl to worldly woman as Eilis in the 1950s-era romantic drama Brooklyn. (Kerry Brown/Fox Searchlight/Associated Press) In 2009, Nick Hornby helped the world discover Carey Mulligan with his smart script for An Education: her portrayal of a self-possessed teenager kickstarted her career. Some box-office observers are questioning whether it was wise to break the final book into two movies, both of which have received lukewarm reviews compared to the first two installments (audiences liked Mockingjay 2 better than critics, giving it an A- CinemaScore).

Though Irish actress Saoirse Ronan has starred in some gems (Hannah and Atonement for starters), could have whole new legion of fans learning to pronounce her name (tip: It rhymes with “inertia”). And yet, I find that a part of me is rejoicing at how the movie has made an impact on my generation and how it has contributed to the rise in popularity of young adult books and films.

After Sony Pictures was hacked, it was revealed that Lawrence made less than what Cooper made for starring in “Silver Linings Playbook.” Lawrence wrote an essay for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter — an online site for discussing politics, style, feminism, etc. — that revealed how angry the actress was at herself for allowing such an imbalance of pay to happen. “It was about how did I get in my own way and not fight just as hard as the men to get a better deal. That’s the only point of view I have,” Lawrence says. “There was definitely no foul play on Sony’s part because they are not going to give someone more money if they don’t ask for it.” Through the letter, Lawrence did a self-evaluation of how her own fears of asking for more money would make her look. From the minute she appeared in my mind as a character from a beloved book series, she has inspired me to never settle for what is the norm even though I disagree with it and has given me the courage to stand up for what is right and just.

She has been a great teacher and I hope that with this movie franchise and the book, she will continue to teach future generations how to have courage even if the odds are not always in their favor. After Lawrence wrote the opinion piece, there was a backlash from some who called it “Jennifer’s bratty display.” To her, those kinds of comments just helped make her point. Director Jonathan Levine reteams with the actors from 50/50 – Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt – while adding Anthony Mackie for this tale of friends heading out for one final wild night. Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt’s By the Sea, expanding into a total of 126 theaters in its second weekend, is faring miserably for a projected $200,000 weekend gross, if that. The Weinstein Co. is opening Carol, a lesbian drama set in the 1950s, in four theaters in New York and Los Angles this weekend, and so far, it’s doing stellar business.

To round out this Christmas punch bowl of debauchery, Levine cast performers who give fresh riffs on a holiday tale, including Broad City’s Ilana Glazer as a certain Seuss-inspired villain and Michael Shannon (!) as local weed dealer Mr. The movie, from Studio Canal, Working Title Films and Cross Creek Pictures, is being released by Universal in the U.S. and stars Tom Hardy in a double turn as two of London’s most notorious gangsters, Reggie and Ronnie Kray.

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Finding the ‘Joy’ in Jennifer Lawrence

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Joy’ review: Jennifer Lawrence cleans up in enjoyable biopic.

Writer-director David O. Their latest collaboration — following in the footsteps of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle — is a biographical picture about the life and times of Joy Mangano.Jennifer Lawrence groans when she’s asked about singing the classic Nancy and Frank Sinatra duet Something Stupid with co-star Edgar Ramirez in her new film Joy. “David [O Russell, the movie’s director] texted me last night to ask if he could put it on the soundtrack and this is what I texted him back,” the actor says as she digs around for her mobile phone and reads out her response verbatim. “‘David, no!!!’ and it is three exclamation marks.In a very abbreviated nutshell, that actually happened to Joy Mangano, 59, the fabulously successful Long Island entrepreneur/inventor and HSN pitchwoman whose rags-to-riches journey started with the invention of a mop.

Russell has made three kinds of movies: offbeat romances (“Flirting With Disaster”), surreal comedies (“I Heart Huckabees”) and dramas about dysfunctional yet appealing families (“The Fighter”). In real life, Mangano is the Long Island housewife and inventor who became famous and eventually rich after bouts of near-bankruptcy, by creating and marketing her Miracle Mop. Out Boxing Day in Australia, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence in the fictionalised life story of Joy Mangano, a single mum from Long Island who made her fortune selling a mop. On Christmas Day, “Joy,” a movie inspired by her struggles as a divorced, single mother turned mogul by way of that mop, will open at movie theaters across America.

This was before she hooked up with the giant Home Shopping Network, becoming their most effective pitch person and eventually selling her parent company, Ingenious Designs, to HSN. Gross, I can’t listen to it; I have to go to bed.’ And I said yes, but it’s a groaning, reluctant yes.” It’s the kind of unfiltered moment you come to expect when interviewing Lawrence, who may now be one of the most famous actors on the planet but still blurts out whatever she’s thinking with such self-deprecating charm it’s impossible not to be, well, charmed.

Jennifer Lawrence’s performance as Miracle Mop inventor and QVC pitchwoman Joy Mangano glues the movie together, but it threatens to unravel at any time. Lawrence, 25, looks genuinely surprised when complimented about how unchanged she seems from our earlier interviews before the fame and Oscars. “But there would be no reason to change,” she says with a shrug. “I just have a job and I love my job. In the film, Lawrence’s Mangano is a colourful character, a single mom with a unique relationship and friendship with her ex-husband, and an enterprising woman who parlays her creativity into an incredibly successful business.

Mom (Virginia Madsen) stays in her bedroom and watches soap operas, until she falls for a Haitian plumber (Jimmy Jean-Louis) who fixes a hole in her bedroom floor. She landed minor roles on TV shows such as Monk, Cold Case and Medium before her 2010 indie film Winter’s Bone led to her becoming the second youngest best actress Oscar nominee in history. This is true even when the film tilts off its rocker with a bit of Russell-esque madness built into the screenplay, and with the director failing to always keep the energy going. That resulted in not only a string of critically acclaimed films, an Academy Award and another Oscar nomination, but also her very own mega-franchise as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.

Joy’s grandma (endearing Diane Ladd) delivers messages of empowerment and smooths over constant fights, but she’s opposed by the money-grubbing rich woman (Isabella Rossellini) who dates Joy’s dad and sends negative messages about her. Lawrence’s endearing habit of speaking her mind resulted in a controversial essay she penned on Lena Dunham’s website about her discovery during the Sony hacks that she was being paid less “than the lucky people with dicks” on her recent films, including American Hustle. “I completely understand when people say actors shouldn’t talk about politics and things they don’t know about, but this was my gender at stake and it was being threatened with unfairness and I thought, ‘What is the point of having this voice if it’s not to speak out for myself and for everyone else who can’t?’,” she says unapologetically.

Upon learning that Lawrence would be playing her mom, Miranne says, “I braced myself so I wouldn’t fall on the floor.” As for Mangano, she says Lawrence playing her “made me feel old, number one. Lawrence hangs out with a posse of celebrity girlfriends, including Amy Schumer and singer Adele, but the reason is simple. “The friendship gets expedited a lot when you meet someone you know beyond a shadow of a doubt has no agenda,” she says. Draining her savings and taking out loans, she started off small, selling her mops to local boat owners. “She persuaded QVC to take a thousand, but sales were poor and they tried to send them back,” says Mason. “She suggested letting her demonstrate it herself, and the channel agreed.” Sales skyrocketed and Mangano’s career as a QVC pitch woman was launched. That’s so amazing there aren’t even words.” Mangano and her three children didn’t view “Joy” until the Dec. 13 premiere in Manhattan, though a family outing to see “Trainwreck” included a trailer.

This is, after all, the self-confessed reality-show junkie who confessed in a recent Vogue interview that on the night of her 25th birthday party, friends surprised her with a visit from reality queen Kris Jenner, who presented her with a cake inscribed, ‘Happy Birthday, you piece of shit!’ The only time she seems tongue-tied is when asked about her relationship status, after a four-year stint with X-Men: First Class co-star Nicholas Hoult and a year with Coldplay singer Chris Martin before their breakup earlier this year. “Next!” Lawrence says in a no-nonsense voice, pausing as she decides if she’ll continue that thought. For one thing, Mangano’s childhood is not that interesting for a film, despite some flashbacks to her as a youngster (when she is played by 10-year-old Isabella Cramp, who does actually look like we imagine Lawrence could have at the same age). A satire on the acquisitiveness of the public? (Here, QVC foists unnecessary things on gullible viewers who could better save their money.) Russell doesn’t seem to know. And, of course, the grave ending would be a lie: Mangano is very much alive at the age of 59, still inventing, still pitching products, still a superstar of the American home shopping universe. There’s the Clothes It All luggage system, essentially a rolling suitcase with a removable garment bag, and the Super Chic vacuum, which releases fragrance into the air.

If I even casually say something to a reporter, that quote haunts me for the rest of my life,” she says, “so I am never, ever, ever talking about boys again!” I don’t think any of us brought enough tissues!” A good portion of the film was shot last winter in Boston, and though the always-busy Mangano was twice scheduled to visit the set, snowstorms made travel impossible. He has mixed genres successfully before, as in the anti-war comedy-drama “Three Kings,” but the blender often grinds to a halt in “Joy.” Just as we’re getting used to the realism of Mangano’s fight for respect, Russell photographs Rossellini as if she were a gargoyle.

One of her creations, the thin and velvet-covered Huggable Hanger, remains a bestseller for HSN, at more than 300 million sold, and was endorsed by Oprah Winfrey. Yet in “Silver Linings Playbook,” Cooper, De Niro and Russell all supported her with fine work; here they lay back and make the movie a one-ring circus where she has to be acrobat, bareback rider and clown.

He had a presence all of his own.” At one point, Miranne says, “Jennifer grabbed Joy’s hand and said to David, ‘Look at the nails, a French manicure.’ ” (That manicure is a Mangano signature.) Lawrence revealed that in studying for her part as Joy, she watched recordings of the inventor’s early pitches on HSN, including ones for “Huggable Hangers” and found her so compelling that she wanted to buy them on the spot. There is something special when creative people get together.” Mangano’s take on Lawrence? “She’s beyond her years, so brilliant, hysterical and so talented.

Critically, Russell’s sense of wonder and beauty turns elegiac moments — especially when Joy Mangano becomes fully realized as a woman and as a business executive — into scenes of great beauty. Lawrence recently said on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” that the movie was “half Joy Mangano’s story and half [Russell’s] imagination and other powerful, strong women who inspired him.” The director mined much of his Mangano material by phone.

The cast includes Edgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini, Susan Lucci (in a mock TV soap opera that gives Joy some of its silliness) and even Melissa Rivers as her late mother Joan Rivers. There’s no situation Joy cannot overcome or circumvent.” At a Newsday photo shoot at Mangano’s luxurious but serene 42,000-square-foot mansion on 11 acres in St. As for parting advice for the ambitious? “If this movie inspires even just one more person to believe in themselves and to go after their dreams, then it’s made a very special impact in this world.

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