Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Jennifer Lawrence – "The Hanging Tree" (2014)

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree?
Wear a necklace of rope,
Side by side with me

Vanity Fair recently had an article titled "5 Things Jennifer Lawrence Is Looking For in a Boyfriend."  Click here if you missed it.

Jennifer Lawrence in Vanity Fair
I've always considered myself excellent boyfriend material, so I thought I'd go through her list and see how well I do:

#1: A guy who loves reality TV.

Jennifer loves Shark Tank, and so do I.  (A lot of my clients are entrepreneurs like the Shark Tank sharks, and I'm sure my expert commentary on the show would greatly increase Jennifer's enjoyment of the show.)  She's a big fan of all the Real Housewives shows – I've never watched them, but I'm the kind of boyfriend who will do anything to make his girlfriend happy.  

#2:  A guy willing to bare his soul (and bodily functions).

According to Vanity Fair, Jennifer wants a partner who, “you know, isn’t afraid to fart in front of me [rather] than to have big, passionate love. I’d rather have just a peaceful time. [Those relationships] are deeper because you can be your true self with somebody, and somebody can be their true self with you.”  I couldn't agree more!

#3:  A guy willing to really eat.

This is soooo not a problem.  The author of the Vanity Fair piece observed that “Jennifer is the anti-vegan, anti-gluten-free consumer, having just eaten a breakfast of spaghetti and meatballs before the interview.”  My regular breakfast is a slice of leftover pizza, so we are very simpatico when it comes to food.

#4:  A guy like Larry David.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!  I love Larry David and Curb Your Enthusiasm and I'm pretty sure he would love me and 2 or 3 lines if he knew us.  I'm pretty close to Larry David in age and very close to him in temperament (i.e., grumpy and narcissistic).

Larry David
I'm taller and quite a bit better-looking than Larry is, but I'd Jennifer is the kind of girl who believes beauty is only skin-deep.

#5:  A guy who's not up for an argument.

Jennifer told Vanity Fair that “I don't like fighting . . .We should both just move on and watch TV. Basically, what I’m saying is all I need in a relationship is somebody to watch TV with me.”  I am not a fighter either, and I'd be happy to watch TV with Jennifer to her heart's content – preferably naked.

That's five for five, boys and girls!  I can't wait to hook up with Jennifer real soon!

By the way, I'm betting 2 or 3 lines got to the Jennifer Lawrence party earlier than you did.

I first saw her in Winter's Bone, a grim movie set in the Missouri Ozarks.  Lawrence played a 17-year-old girl who takes care of her two young siblings and her mentally ill mother while trying to track down her father, a lowlife meth cooker who has skipped bail and left the family facing eviction at the hands of a bail bondsman.

Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone
I took my kids to see Winter's Bone because it was filmed in Douglas County, Missouri.  My great-great-great-grandfather was one of the founders of Ava, the Douglas County seat.  (Ava has 3000 residents, while the county as a whole has a population of only 15,000.)

The city's official website gives my ancestor credit for choosing the name Ava, which he took from 2 Kings chapter 17, verse 24:

And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.  

Why did he choose Ava from all the town names in the Old Testament?  One theory is that he picked it because it was easy to spell.

I'm not sure how my forebears got out of Douglas County, but they did.  The point I wanted to make to my kids was that we could have easily ended up living like the people in Winter's Bone, eating venison stew and fried squirrel and cooking crystal meth to make a buck.  (Missouri is the biggest meth-producing state in the country, and it's not even close.)

Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle
Jennifer Lawrence killed in Winter's Bone, garnering a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.  She went on to star in Silver Linings Playbook (which brought her another Best Actress nomination), and American Hustle (which brought her a Best Supporting Actress nomination).

But the world knows Jennifer Lawrence best for her portrayal of Katniss Everdeen in three Hunger Games movies that have a total box office of over $2.1 billion to date.  

The most recent installment in the franchise is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  The movie's soundtrack includes a song called "The Hanging Tree," the lyrics for which war written by the author of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins.

Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Games
Here's an excerpt from the third Hunger Games book, Mockingjay, in which Katniss discusses what "The Hanging Tree" means:

We didn't sing it anymore, my father and I, or even speak of it.  After he died, it used to come back to me a lot.  Being older, I began to understand the lyrics.  At the beginning, it sounds like a guy is trying to get his girlfriend to secretly meet up with him at midnight.  But it's an odd place for a tryst, a hanging tree, where a man was hung for murder. . . . [I]t's not until the third verse that "The Hanging Tree" begins to get unnerving. You realize the singer of the song is the dead murderer.  He's still in the hanging tree.  And even though he told his lover to flee, he keeps asking if she's coming to meet him. . . . [Y]ou wonder if he meant for her to run to him. To death.  In the final stanza, it's clear that that's what he's waiting for.  His lover, with her rope necklace, hanging dead next to him in the tree.

Jennifer Lawrence sings "The Hanging Tree," which has become a huge hit.  She reportedly was not happy about singing the song – she doesn't think she's a good singer – and cried the day she recorded it.

Here's "The Hanging Tree":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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