Fans flooded in droves into movie theaters this weekend to see “The Hunger Games.” In the wake of the highly anticipated release, much of the criticism surrounding the movie has been not about the young stars’ performances, but their appearances.
Most recently there has been criticism of Jennifer Lawrence’s weight, with some sighting that as Katniss, a girl who grew up in a famine-stricken district of a dystopian society, she should have been thinner.
New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis wrote, “A few years ago Ms. Lawrence might have looked hungry enough to play Katniss, but now, at 21, her seductive, womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission.”
The statement is receiving much backlash, considering Lawrence is now a certified movie star that countless young women look up to. Putting aside the negative body-image issues the comment suggests, one wonders whether Dargis is accurate in her assessment of the actress/character disparity? MTV News asked expert “Hunger Games” fans to weigh in. Most had the same message: They loved what Lawrence brought to her character and that the scrutiny is misguided.
“Katniss may not have been as thin or small in stature as depicted in the book, but it’s not unfathomable that her hunting prowess would have allowed her to have some meat on her bones,” TheHob.org’s Gabby Vittoria responded. She went on to point out that “Peeta wasn’t tall in the movie; Clove wasn’t big and brawny; Katniss wasn’t smaller than most of the Tributes. These physical changes certainly didn’t take away from the story and messages in the movie. Besides, for me, Jennifer’s acting and the quality of the film makes her weight a non-issue.”
Many fans not only disagreed with the film critic but were affronted by these reviews of Lawrence. “I’m offended by this critique on so many levels, and honestly, I was shocked that it was ever an issue and that a professional critic would bring it up in the film’s review,” Sara Gundell from the Hunger Games Examiner fan site stated.
This backlash about Lawrence’s weight comes in the wake of the questioning of Rue’s race in the film. The pre-teen is played by Amandla Stenberg, who is African American. In recent days her casting was the subject of racially fueled criticism by a handful of moviegoers who have suffered their own backlash.
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