We’ve run our annual “girl power” list for seven years now, and tweaked the rules from time to time – originally we had a top ten under 25, and last year we expanded that to a top 20 under 30.
This year we’re compromising on a top 15, in part because heavy-hitters like Natalie Portman and Michelle Williams (and this year’s discovery, Jessica Chastain) no longer qualify, but also because as yet, there is very little room to choose between the likes of Juno Temple, Blake Lively, Emily Browning, Felicity Jones and Zoe Kravitz. All are excellent prospects, but as yet none has really shown us more than flashes of potential. We’ve also sidelined some more established stars, like Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson for example, Abbie Cornish and Ellen Page… excellent actresses who command high salaries, but who haven’t shown us their best work this past year.
Better to consider this list a spot-check; a snapshot of whose careers are in the ascendant right now, based on the reception of their releases over the past 12 months, and on our best guesses about the projects they have lined up for the next year or so. To arrive at our rankings, we do look at the box office, and also at awards and critical reception – but also, less scientifically, we try to take the measure of career momentum by looking at the caliber of these actresses’ projects and collaborators, the kind of roles they they are playing and the buzz they are generating. It’s an inexact science to say the least, but if we have omitted True Grit discovery Hailee Steinfeld, for example, that’s not because she was less than terrific in the movie, it’s just that so far, there is no evidence this is anything more than a one-off, and we will have to wait and see if the planned Romeo And Juliet film she has lined up for 2012 proves otherwise.
01. JENNIFER LAWRENCE
Credits: Winter’s Bone, X-Men: First Class
An Academy Award nominee for Best Actress at the age of 20, Jennifer Lawrence arrived with a bang as the gritty backwoods daughter forced to grow up too fast in Winter’s Bone. Lawrence was a Kentucky gal herself, but has been acting in New York and LA since the age of 14.
Unlike Hailee Steinfeld, the Coen bros discovery who also picked up an Oscar nomination (in the supporting category) this year, Lawrence has lots of momentum, including a substantial role in the latest X-Men and a supporting turn in upcoming Sundance winner Like Crazy. More than that, she has nabbed the starring role in what some are touting as the next Twilight series – or if you prefer, the pre-teen equivalent to the Millennium Trilogy, The Hunger Games. She’s been cast as Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers to participate in the dystopian version of a reality TV show. Part two, Catching Fire, is already in the works. Before that, we’ll see her playing Elizabeth Shue’s daughter in The House at the End of the Street. That line up is why Jennifer Lawrence has come out of nowhere to top our hot list this year.
Source: Love Film