Friday, April 12, 2024

Jennifer Lawrence. Hunger Games 2, Catching Fire in Cannes


How do you follow up “The Hunger Games,” a movie that made — are you ready? — $408 million in the U.S. alone? LionsGate- Summit Pictures, which also gave us the “Twilight” series, pulled out most of the stops last night in Cannes. Even though part 2, called “Catching Fire,” doesn’t open until November, the studio wanted to make sure everyone knew a new adventure of Katniss and friends is coming.

The studio took over a beach club on the Croisette and completely redecorated it. This, despite torrential (how many times can I use the word? a lot) rains the likes of which are rare in this sunny beach resort. They supplied gorgeous models made up in “Hunger Games” outfits complete with multi colored cotton candy hair and streaks across their faces.

How do you get into this party, especially with that ever present rain? The invite came in a fancy white box with a padded interior and a Capitol logo embossed on the front. Open the box, the size of a hardcover book, and you find a silver rose pin with an invitation card that reads: “Capitol, in association with Lions Gate. President Snow requires your attendance to celebrate the 75th annual Hunger Games.”

To gain attendance, you wear the pin on your lapel. Clever.

I’ve never seen so many people in the film business follow instructions.

Inside the red velvet draped club, complete with chandeliers: Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, co-stars Liam Hemsworth and Sam Claflin, director Francis Lawrence. My pre-teen nieces will be disappointed learn Josh Hutcherson was off shooting a movie.

Harvey Weinstein, in full formal wear after the red carpet premiere of “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” over at the Palais, managed to cut through the crowd quickly. He came to pay respect to his 23 year old 2013 Oscar winner for “Silver Linings Playbook.”

And there was Jennifer, radiant as always. We sat down on a bench and caught up. Success, I am happy to report, has not changed her. She’s like a breath of fresh air. She tells it like it is.

So where’s she been since the Oscars? “Filming the ABSCAM movie, American Hustle, with David O. Russell in Boston,” she said. “And tI have to get back to Toronto tomorrow to finish the new X Men movie. I have a two month break and then I go back to the third one of the Hunger Games.”

It’s not like she’s busy. I tell her I love it when she blurts out something honest about age or weight or Hollywood on talk shows or in interviews. She’s pretty real for the fakery of the movieland.

“That’s just me,” she says with a hearty laugh. And it’s not going to change, thank goodness.

After a week dealing with “Gatsby” and other mishegos, you can only be thrilled to see a young old pal.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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