Jennifer Lawrence was at the Santa Barbara Film Festival this weekend where she received the award for Most Outstanding Performer of the Year. It’s been a big year. She owned the box office as Katniss in The Hunger Games. And now of course she’s on the awards circuit and nominated for the second time for Best Actress for her role in Silver Linings Playbook. At the event, she was as she always is: fun and funny and self-deprecating, seemingly without guile. Sasha Stone at Awards Daily observed too that she seems completely unaffected by what’s happening to her. That her reactions are genuine. That she seems totally authentic, uncalculated, and if she’s campaigning, she’s delivering one of the best, best, best runs in recent years.

Think about it: how is it that Anne Hathaway is so polarising, and seems to be either annoying you or making you feel sorry for her, while Jennifer Lawrence, at just 22, who could very easily be the target of all kinds of hate, appears to be navigating the landscape relatively unscathed?

Will she win?

The “Emmanuelle Riva steal” seems to be picking up momentum as experts still seem unconvinced that Academy voters will actually go with either Lawrence or Jessica Chastain. And if that’s the case, as much as I love Jennifer Lawrence, and as much as I’d love to throw her win in Lindsay Lohan’s face, and I do, so much, it might not be a bad thing. Her fanbase -- which has demonstrated its own lunacy -- will object and rage over Twitter, naturally, but, again, at 22, it might be too soon, non? We’ve already seen how there’s a generation of people who are incapable of waiting, who cannot cope with waiting, who need instant gratification, and have no use for the benefits acquired through patience. This is not to say that Jennifer Lawrence would for sure be spoiled by early achievement but there’s also an upside to her not winning.

One of those upsides would be an avoidance of backlash. You know it’s inevitable. As likable as she is, there would be backlash. Especially when she is so young, and in a year where many feel like Zero Dark Thirty is getting unfairly shafted over the torture issue, and when Emmanuelle Riva, in the final act of her career, threw down such a moving and memorable performance in Amour.

I guess then, in that sense, it’s a win-win. If she wins, she wins. If she doesn’t, the consensus seems to be she’ll win eventually, kinda like Kate Winslet. There’s no rush.

PS. Love her in this Stella McCartney pantsuit.

PPS. It’s almost a relief that she and Nicholas Hoult aren’t together anymore. Warm Bodies topped the box office this weekend. They’d be calling them the new “power couple”, and all the bullsh-t and pressure that accompanies that title...