Let’s keep this short and blunt.
Jennifer Lawrence is a good actress. No doubt there. However, she should not win Best Supporting Actress this year. Why? She is playing a role which has been described as a “bored, New Jersey housewife.” Her character is unstable and spunky. This is not a challenge for J-Law. She just recently played a character (directed by the same filmmaker, David O. Russell) who is also mentally unstable, for which she won Best Actress. This role has been criticized as not portraying people with mental issues very compassionately, and Jennifer Lawrence herself as described issues like OCD as “awesome,” even telling Jessie Eisenberg who has OCD, that “…you are the most interesting person. I was in the dressing room going, ‘I want weird quirks!’ …That’s so cool! He can’t step on the floor.” Regarding her recent Oscar-nominated role, Lawrence said that a challenging part of the role for her was having to kiss Christian Bale, who she nicknamed “Fatman” in a parody of his buffer role as Batman. Seriously.
In her first major role and only a year after graduating from the Yale School of Drama, Lupita Nyong’o is nominated for playing Patsey, a slave working on the cotton plantation of Edwin Epps, an extremely cruel master. In addition to scenes involving rape, Nyong’o had to prepare herself mentally and physically for a scene in which she is whipped. She said that she had insomnia for the whole time she was filming and anxiety the night before she was to film that particular scene. “What I recognized in preparing for Patsey was that abuse was her norm and I couldn’t afford to sentimentalize it. That this was her reality and that her pain was something that she was always working through, not wallowing in.”
Do we really need to award Jennifer Lawrence for playing a character whose story has been told countless times already? Nyong’o has won several awards, including the Critic’s Choice and the SAG Award, and it seems only fitting that she should add a gold statute to her shelf. Patsey’s story is one that has been lost to history for so many years, and it is one we don’t even know the ending to, as Patsey’s ultimate fate is still a mystery. Through Nyong’o, we are allowed just a small glimpse into America’s cruelty and are reminded that racism still lives, and that is our responsibility as a nation and as individuals to fight against it. This award isn’t just for Lupita Nyong’o. It’s for Patsey.
Also, look at this headline:
“Jennifer Lawrence Had The Best Reaction To Seeing Lupita Nyong’o At The SAG Awards”
Really? Way to turn this around and compliment J-Law for how good Lupita looked. That takes skill.