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February 24, 2013

Oscars 2013: Can Jennifer Lawrence be stopped?

Posted in: Fans,Movies

Jennifer Lawrence, "X-Men" and "Hunger Games" star, is up for a best actress Oscar for "Silver Linings Playbook." (AFP / Getty Images)

Fresh off her "Hunger Games" success, Jennifer Lawrence has been collecting trophies this awards season, culminating in an Oscar nomination. Here, she attends the 85th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in early February. (AFP/Getty Images)

Jennifer Lawrence helped turn "The Hunger Games" into a box-office success. (Associated Press)

In "Silver Linings Playbook," Jennifer Lawrence, portraying a young widow, stars opposite Bradley Cooper. (Weinstein Co.)

Jennifer Lawrence accepts the award for best female lead at the 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards. (Getty Images)

Best actress honors went to Lawrence at this year's Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. Awards. (Getty Images)

Back-to-back hits have made Jennifer Lawrence, holding aloft her People's Choice Awards trophy, the belle of the ball this awards season. (AFP/Getty Images)

The Screen Actors Guild honored Lawrence for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role for "Silver Linings Playbook." (Paul Buck / European Pressphoto Agency)

Jennifer Lawrence won the Golden Globe for best performance by an actress in a motion picture (musical or comedy) for "Silver Linings Playbook." (AFP/Getty Images)

Lawrence was nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts honor for "Silver Linings Playbook." (Getty Images)

Jennifer Lawrence attends the AFI Awards, where she was among those being recognized for movie of the year honors for "Silver Linings Playbook." (Getty Images)

Jennifer Lawrence has gone from being “the girl on fire” in “The Hunger Games” to Hollywood’s golden girl for her turn as a neurotic young widow in “Silver Linings Playbook.”

She’s considered by many a front-runner for the best-actress Oscar when the 85th annual Academy Awards get underway Sunday night, capping an awards season that has seen Lawrence dominate the top honors — including the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild and Critics Choice awards.

Saturday afternoon, she added one more trophy to her collection, picking up top actress honors at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica.

Oscars 2013: Complete coverage

But the Academy Awards voters aren’t swayed by the masses, of course. And Lawrence has plenty of competition heading into the ceremony being held tonight at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Lawrence is competing with Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty,” Emmanuelle Riva for “Amour,” Quvenzhané Wallis for “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” and Naomi Watts for “The Impossible.”

In the wake of the Oscar nominations last month, many pundits predicted the race would come down to Lawrence versus Chastain.

But in the days and weeks since then, the conventional thinking has shifted to Lawrence and Riva.

As noted recently in the Los Angeles Times, an appreciation for Riva’s career as well as her performance as a woman confronting her mortality after a debilitating stroke could make Riva the one to beat.

If Lawrence goes home empty-handed, she’ll have this for solace: The 22-year-old has built one of the most enviable careers in Hollywood. She’s balanced big box-office fare such as “The Hunger Games” and “X-Men” franchises with more dramatic roles such as “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Lawrence reunites with her “Silver Linings” costar Bradley Cooper for “Serena,” slated for a September release. And the second “Hunger Games” installment, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” is due in theaters Nov. 22.

What do you think? Does Lawrence deserve the lead-actress Oscar?

– Rene Lynch

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