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Red Sparrow (2018)

How Jennifer Lawrence Reclaims Power in Red Sparrow?

Power, that’s what he wants, observes Jennifer Lawrence’s Dominika Egorova in Red Sparrow as she stands confidently bare before her Sparrow trainees. She’s just humiliated an aggressive male in the group and her former would-be rapist. Soon after foiling the attempted assault in a shower, Dominika disrobes at the front of the class and goads her assailant to finish his deed consensually. Try as he might, the classmate can’t get it up. With her unabashed preening, Dominika reveals the impotency of those who attempt to corral her sexuality for their own pleasure – not unlike Lawrence herself these days.

Love her or loathe her, Jennifer Lawrence is a millennial icon and trailblazer – among the first of her contemporaries to win an Oscar as well as carry a major Hollywood franchise on her shoulders. She’s a truly unique cultural creation: combining a beguiling screen presence with a guarded private life, but exuding accessibility and authenticity rather than mystery and artifice. Lawrence is not a star because she’s better than us. She’s a star because she’s one of us, a fitting reflection for the ethos of a generation that grew up self-actualizing on screens and now must figure out how to transition into adulthood.

As Red Sparrow Full Movie opens, it’s instructive to observe yet another chapter of her career as she both navigates and rewrites modern stardom. From her unique position having conquered the commercial and prestige corners of the film industry, Lawrence has the ability to reflect our society’s values while also helping to shape them. This applies to an even greater extent in matters regarding gender, sexuality and self-presentation. In the midst of an unfinished gender revolution, Lawrence confronts an amplified version of the dilemmas presented to many women in America and across the developed world. How much can a patriarchal society bend before it breaks? At what point does female strength become threatening to men? How do we gender traits like assertiveness and confidence? How do women exude sexuality for self-empowerment, not merely to feed a male gaze?

This tension has been evident for Lawrence from the very beginning, both in her on-screen appearances and the publicity surrounding them. Take, for example, her 2010 Esquire profile, an introduction the budding starlet for the vast majority of people who did not see her critically acclaimed – and soon to be Oscar-nominated – turn in the low-budget indie Winter’s Bone. That’s not just conjecture, by the way; Lawrence has publicly credited the steamy spread with helping her land the role in the X-Men franchise. In an article to accompany her suggestive shoot, journalist David Katz notes that her publicist in the room is actively selling Lawrence as someone who can sell a flashy pictorial spread, not just a line reading. (The advice of publicists, with Lawrence usually running in the complete opposite direction, is a regular occurrence in her profiles.) I’m excited to be seen as sexy, Lawrence told Katz. But not slutty.

Where is that line between the suggestion of sexuality and the outright flaunting of it? Lawrence explored the boundaries on the two parallel tracks of her career. On one, she became a muse for writer/director David O. Russell playing sexually developed adult women. A defining facet of her Oscar-winning role as Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook is her sleeping with everyone in her office after becoming widowed, while her scene-stealing Rosalyn in American Hustle regularly uses seduction as a cudgel to get her way with her husband.

On the other track, Lawrence starred as the teenage protagonist of The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen. Though she looked much older than her character’s 16, the choices Katniss faced resembled Lawrence’s own as a public figure – how to use a platform to make the powerful quake, how dressing and performing for the camera could shift opinion, how the fate of her body was ultimately in the hands of others who understand that by consuming images of it, they had become partial owners of it.

The relevance of the latter became especially apparent for Lawrence in the fall of 2014, when hackers posted nude images of her online that were intended for her then-boyfriend Nicholas Hoult. She later described the experience as akin to being gangbanged by the f—ing planet. The violation she suffered is one of the digital era’s most extreme cases of privacy violation, a moment shattering any illusions that the most intimate content could not at once become private without the permission of the people it concerned. In her 2014 Vanity Fair cover story, Lawrence described the conflicting reactions she had to the incident. I started to write an apology, she confessed to journalist Sam Kashner, but I don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for. She knew that society expected her to respond in shame, yet Lawrence’s gut told her to reject the conventional wisdom of considering herself an unwitting accomplice in the scandal.

The cover shoot accompanying the article, appropriately titled Both Huntress and Prey, features a topless Lawrence with her private parts submerged under water. Perhaps the shoot occurred before the hacking incident – the interview process for the profile began prior – but Lawrence’s insistence on keeping it projects an image of defiance. She confidently owns her body and shows no shame in its nudity, yet she chooses to conceal the portions shown without her permission. She owns the distribution of images of her body once again. She decides how she will be portrayed.

Red Sparrow (2018)

Welcome, one and all, to the latest installment of The Film Stage Show! Today, Michael Snydel, Bill Graham, and I discuss the spy thriller Red Sparrow starring Jennifer Lawrence. The Film Stage is supported by MUBI, a curated online cinema streaming a selection of exceptional independent, classic, and award-winning films from around the world. Each day, MUBI hand-picks a new gem and you have one month to watch it. Try it for free at mubi.com/filmstage.

6 Years After Hunger Games, Is Jennifer Lawrence Still a Box Office Draw?

It was six years ago when Jennifer Lawrence transformed from the indie darling from Winter’s Bone to the next big thing in Hollywood with The Hunger Games, where her performance as Katniss Everdeen earned her a reputation as a bankable star.

But that reputation is now being thrown into question after the disappointing start of her latest film, Red Sparrow, which has only made $17 million in its domestic opening weekend against a $69 million budget. Outside of the Hunger Games films and the rebooted X-Men series, where she plays the shapeshifter Mystique, very few of Lawrence’s films have been noteworthy at the box office.

According to data from Box Office Mojo, the Hunger Games and X-Men films combine to make up approximately 81 percent of Lawrence’s $5.67 billion career worldwide gross, and all of them outperform her indie and prestige films on the global charts.

Black Panther is 10th biggest North American release ever on $502m (update)

Adding a confirmed $66.3m for the third best third weekend of all time behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avatar, Black Panther leaped to $501.7m and became the joint fastest release to reach the milestone in 17 days, alongside Jurassic World.

Fox’s spy thriller Red Sparrow starring Jennifer Lawrence arrived in second place on a lacklustre $15.9m from 3,056 theatres, while crime thriller remake Death Wish starring Bruce Willis and directed by Eli Roth – the first film to open under MGM’s revived distribution apparatus – opened at number three on $13m in 2,847, a reasonable effort given the stated $30m price tag.

Sony’s Peter Rabbit ranks fifth on $84.1m after four weekends and has crossed $100m worldwide, while Paramount’s Annihilation slipped 49.3% in its second session and two slots to number six on $5.7m for $206m. It launches internationally on Netflix 17 days after North American release.

In limited release, SPC opened the acclaimed Israeli drama Foxtrot at number 50 on $31,629 in four sites.

Box office for the top 12 amounted to $137.2m in a typically sluggish Oscars weekend (with the exception of Black Panther), down 23.6% on last weekend and down 20.8% on the comparable session in 2017, which was not an Oscar weekend. The 2017 ceremony took place on February 26.

This week’s wide releases are: Nash Edgerton’s comedy Gringo through STX Entertainment starring Joel Edgerton, Thandie Newton, David Oyelowo and Charlize Theron; action thriller The Hurricane Heistdirected by Rob Cohen and starring Toby Kebbell and Maggie Grace via Entertainment Studios; and horror Strangers: Prey At Night with Christina Hendricks, through Aviron.

Confirmed top 10 North America March 2-4, 2018
Film (Dist) / Conf wkd gross / Conf total to date

1. Black Panther: $66.3m $501.7m

2. Red Sparrow: $16.9m –

3. Death Wish: $13m –

4. Game Night: $10.4m $33.2m

5. Peter Rabbit: $10m $84.1m

6. Annihilation: $5.6m $20.6m

7. Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle: $4.4m $393.1m

8. Fifty Shades Freed: $3.4m $95.7m

9. The Greatest Showman: $2.7m $164.6m

10. Every Day: $1.5m $5.2m

Red Sparrow (2018)

The Jennifer Lawrence-starring Russian spy film Red Sparrow, currently in theaters, has arrived at a time when U.S.-Russia relations are constantly in the news, with the ongoing investigation into possible interference in the 2016 presidential election still making headlines.

But the stars and director Francis Lawrence say the timeliness of the film — about a former ballerina who becomes a Russian spy and learns how to use her body as a weapon, embarking on a complicated relationship with a CIA agent played by Joel Edgerton — is merely a coincidence.

I didn’t intend on making a political film. When we started three years ago, the politics that are in the movie were pretty irrelevant, actually, Francis Lawrence told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of Red Sparrow‘s New York premiere. We used to have conversations about that like, ‘Oh this modern Cold War thing, it doesn’t feel that relevant.’ But we were interested in the characters and the journey of Dominika, Jen’s character, and then as time went on, the election happened and things started to come up and the movie just started to feel more and more relevant.

Red Sparrow (2018)

Game Night spoilers: The directors talk about that celebrity look a like, Game Night has been the comedy to see this month. It’s held up with blockbusters like Black PantherRed SparrowDeath Wish and Annihilation, giving viewers a good laugh.

One of the film’s big jokes is when Michelle (Kylie Bunbury) reveals to her husband Kevin (Lamorne Morris) the celebrity with whom she’s had an affair. Spoilers for Game Night below.

Michelle and Kevin were high school sweethearts, and the only relationship either has ever had. So when Michelle reveals she has slept with a celebrity during a game of Never Have I Ever, Kevin has to know who it is.

By the time Michelle spills the beans that it was Denzel Washington, her story falls apart. Recounting her night with Denzel, it becomes clear this was just some random guy who looks a whole lot like the Oscar-winner.

Red Sparrow Team on Timeliness of Russian Spy Movie: The Relevancy Fell in Our Laps. Although the Jennifer Lawrence starrer is in theaters at a time in which Russia-U.S. relations have received heightened scrutiny, director Francis Lawrence said, he didn’t intend on making a political film.