Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

The good news for J-Law? The caravan has already moved on

For more than one reason, no underserved opprobrium will attach itself to Lawrence and the rest

Tue, Sep 2, 2014, 22:16


There is, of course, no reason that any blame should attach itself to Jennifer Lawrence. She has been guilty of nothing more than a lack of caution. Alas, stars of her magnitude will get snapped by berks if they go to the 7-11 in their dressing gowns. More annoying still, images they would rather remain private will be the subject of digital hunts by the hungry, amoral mobs. Earlier movie stars have been in uglier scandals. Lana Turner’s daughter (still happily with us at 71) stabbed her mother’s mobster boyfriend to death when that thug raised fists to the great star. We could fill the Great Wall of China with graffiti concerning properly illegal outrages by this or that movie star. Lawrence has, in this instance, done nothing much of note and nothing at all immoral.

Nonetheless, chatter does gather and thicken. There’s a weird double standard at work here. If Ms Lawrence took her clothes off for a film then it would gather no publicity to speak of. Screen-shots could be easily obtained and distributed. Indeed, we have Scarlett Johansson’s story as an example. A few years back, Scar-Jo was caught up in her own non-scandal involving the distribution of privately taken unclothed photographs. There was no such viral buzz when she appeared nude in Under the Skin. What excites and appalls the easily excited and easily appalled is people taking their clothes off away from the world of make-believe. What a peculiar, nutty logic. It’s all equally real and equally unreal.

It would require something a great deal more significant than this unpleasantness to disturb Lawrence’s cool. She has established an impressive and deserved reputation as being a darn good egg. The notion that a huge mass of flyover fans will turn against a star because she is revealed to have actual bosoms is, to paraphrase Einstein, not even a myth. Human people can be nosy, intrusive, insensitive and irresponsible. But if the promiscuous sharing of information in the current age has done anything it has offered enough genuinely grim intelligence to put such non-stories in proper perspective.

If she is annoyed then she is right do be so. But the constant buzz of image and counter image is so busy that the carnival has already started to drift on to another distraction. We are like kittens, busily moving from this piece of tinfoil to a passing spider to a fleck of duct. Jennifer Lawrence? Naked pictures? Jesus! I’d forgotten all about that. Didn’t that happen on Sunday. Or 1987. Or before I was born.