Is Brie Larson the New, Lower-Key Jennifer Lawrence?

Lest I be accused of pitting women against one another, just know, I really don’t care about your opinion. Also, these two actresses are both blonde-ish, tall, white, and immensely talented, so the comparison really isn’t much of a stretch. Why point out this parallel now? Lawrence, of course, is best known for her blockbuster Hunger Games roles, while Larson is a quieter come-up who’s cut her teeth on charming secondary parts in flicks like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and 21 Jump Street. Plus, it was just reported that Larson will be replacing Lawrence in The Glass Castle, a movie adaptation of the best-selling memoir.


While Lawrence soars in nearly every disparately flashy role she’s assigned, whether it be a fiercely independent backwoods girl or a bored 70’s housewife, Larson is much more willing to gleam insistently just off-center. She’s no wallflower, but hers is a subtle art. Everything about Jennifer Lawrence, from her beauty to her sense of humor to her intensely natural skill as an actress, is obvious.

Be that as it may, 2016 might be Brie Larson’s year. Her star turn in the film Room, “a $13 million closely observed picture about a young woman imprisoned by a sexual predator in a garden shed, along with the young son she bore in captivity,” bears all the familiar markers of a movie bound to be rewarded by the male-dominated Academy.

I hate to be cynical, because the prospect of a well made movie starring an exciting young actress should bring me the purest kind of glee. But it’s deeply unsettling to see actresses being rewarded, over and over again, for playing victims of sexual trauma. These are the stories that studios assume we want to see. Is that really true?

Contact the author at



I’m just gonna take this opportunity to remind everyone to watch “United States of Tara.” So, so good. So much excellent Brie Larson-ing.