Jennifer Lawrence battles with trauma in the new psychological drama, Causeway.
Jennifer Lawrence, or J-Law as she’s fondly called by her avid fans, is back in the acting scene following 2021’s much-talked about Don’t Look Up. And this time, she gives us the psychological drama film, Causeway. In the film’s somber official trailer, J-Law is a war verteran who battles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and struggles to adjust to her life after coming back to her hometown.
Causeway follows the story of Linsey (Lawrence), a military engineer who had a brain-injuring accident after her stint in Afghanistan as part of the US Army Corps of Engineers. She goes back to her hometown in New Orleans, takes a job cleaning pools, while waiting to redeploy. There, he meets James (played by Brian Tyree Henry), a good-natured mechanic who, like her, is also struggling to recover from physical and emotional wounds. She finds solace in their newly forged friendship as she’s faced with the dilemma of whether or not she’s ready to give and accept love.
“Hey look, if it gets dark now, you just ride it, okay?” James reassures, “Yeah, how do I do that?” Linsey asks in Causeway’s subdued official trailer that is contemplative and filled with an air of malaise.
While the divisive disaster dramedy Don’t Look Up marked J-Law’s (who was then pregnant) comeback to the big screen after a two-year hiatus from acting, Causeway marks her return to her indie drama roots. More than a decade ago, before she became Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games franchise and Mystique in the X-Men movies, Jennifer played her breakout role as Ree Dolly in Debra Granik’s coming-of-age mystery drama, Winter’s Bone. She portrays a poverty-stricken 17-year-old, living in the rural Ozarks, who has to stand up for her family against lies and eviction threats; a character that has earned J-Law her first Oscar nomination.
Asked about why she chose to return to his kind of role and story, J-Law said, “At first I didn’t know. I think I was just off-the-bat drawn to the rhythm. I like a fast-paced Marvel movie as much as the next person. But I do miss the slow melody of a character-driven story.” J-Law was pregnant and engaged when she shot the film in 2019. Now, she’s married and a mother of a baby boy. “Her untenable home, her inability to commit to one thing or another because of these internal injuries that are completely invisible but huge—I think I connected with that at that specific time in my life,” the Oscar-winning actress reflected. “So much was going on with me at that time that I didn’t realize. Until I was back, pregnant, married, making it. And I was just like, Oh, this is a woman who is scared to commit.”
Causeway is the debut feature of theater director Lila Neugebauer, who recently directed Broadway’s revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s play The Waverly Gallery, and an episode from Netflix’s miniseries, Maid. It’s written by Ottessa Moshfegh, Luke Goebel, and Elizabeth Sanders. It premiered in the recent Toronto International Film Festival to critical acclaim, especially of J-Law’s heart-rending performance. It is also the first movie that Jennifer has produced with her production company, Excellent Cadaver, which she launched in 2018. “When I read [the script] and I met Lila, that’s the entire reason why we started the company. It’s to be able to make movies like this and to be able to empower people who deserve it and work with first-time directors,” shared the actress.
“It’s impossible not to connect with this movie because it’s rooted into surreal human emotion,” J-Law said about Causeway that is also backed up by A24 and Apple Original Films. And when she was asked what she wanted the audience to take away from the film, she said, “Just feeling understood. That’s how I felt while we were making it.”
You can catch Jennifer Lawrence in Causeway when it hits theaters and Apple TV+ on November 4.
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