1. The Bill Engvall Show (2007-09)
The Bill Engvall Show was Jennifer Lawrence’s first big break in Hollywood, a program whose tone and audience is markedly different than what became of her later career. Watching clips of Lawrence on the show — in which she played Engvall’s daughter, Lauren Pearson — is like peering into another universe. However, what’s fascinating is seeing her already deft timing blend with the broad comedy dictates of network family sitcoms. The writing isn’t always there, but Lawrence sells it.
2. The Poker House (2008)
The Poker House was a big test for Lawrence. An independent drama directed by Lori Petty (of Tank Girl), Jennifer Lawrence anchors the film in a challenging dramatic role, playing a girl charged with taking care of her family while her unstable mother tries to support them through sex work. Selma Blair overacts the roof off as Lawrence’s mother…
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