An uneven approach from director David O. Russell (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle), but thanks to another star-studded performance from Jennifer Lawrence; Joy is able to make it through those rough patches.
Anchor by a fantastic Lawrence, Joy glides on its fascinating fact-based tale. With now three Golden Globes (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and Joy) underneath her belt, is there anything Mrs. Lawrence can’t do? She’s becoming the next Meryl Streep and is off to a grand and promising career in acting. Joy is the third collaboration between director O. Russell and actors; Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.
O. Russell has found his go-to team and I am excited to see more future films from all of them together. However, when comparing Joy to Silver Linings and American Hustle it comes up a bit short. As O. Russell guides his camera through the film he hits highs and lows all the way through. This uncertain direction of an intriguing story had moments of wonderful out bursts that sparked the audience's attention. These bursts hit both emotional and comedic trigger points, as do all O. Russell films.
What makes Joy still a fun ride until the very end is Lawrence’s ability to put on her acting chops on and off the screen. Joy is a messy story of a woman, Joy Mangano (Lawrence), on a search for the perfect invention that will lead her to a business dynasty. This invention is own as the “Miracle Mop.” Going through a dysfunctional family, multiple jobs and the heart to strive made Joy’s ability to achieve even greater.
Cooper and De Niro help lead the pack as Lawrence makes her way to the top. Through family, betrayal and heartache, Joy learns the importance of living in this dog-eat-dog world. Joy found its silver lining and sprinkled them in throughout the film. In the end, those single out bursts of light will stick with you even after the show is over.
Joy is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned). For brief strong language.
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