Wednesday 30 December 2015

Joy - Review by Carleton Rutter

Directed by: David O. Russell
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama

So, in a nutshell?
Joy is the story of a family across four generations and the woman who rises to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty​.

So, what are my thoughts?
​The last time I saw Jennifer Lawrence, she had finally tracked down President Snow in the final lacklustre chapter of The Hunger Games, here the 25 year-old Oscar winner who hails from Louisville, Kentucky is firmly back on solid ground. Joy which is written as well as directed by David O.Russell, marks the third collaboration with Lawrence. The first two projects being Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and American Hustle (2013). The movie also marks the fourth time Lawrence as starred alongside Bradley Cooper.

​I'm very glad to say I thoroughly enjoyed Joy. Going in, I really did not know what to expect. The movie is based on the life of Joy Mangano. A mom and housewife who invented the self-wringing Miracle Mop amongst other inventions. It concentrates on her early years as she struggles to get said "mop" launched into the public eye. She faces many barriers and adversities along the way, but ultimately she triumphs and it's great to join her along for the ride.

Front and centre is Jennifer Lawrence who has rightly received a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal as this gutsy entrepreneur. She will most likely get a nomination for an Oscar next month as well. She is superb in the lead role. Natural and grounded. She is supported by an excellent cast with the likes of Robert De Niro who plays Rudy her Dad and Bradley Cooper as Neil Walker, the TV exec who gives Joy her first break. The movie also features great performances from Diane Ladd as Mimi, Joy's grandmother and stories narrator. Virginia Madsen as Terry, Joy's soap opera obsessed mom and Isabella Rossellini as Trudy, her dad's girlfriend and ultimate investor of Joy's business.

The movie although essentially a drama does have some nice comedic touches to it. It also looks great and has a good soundtrack to it, and I especially liked the use of flashbacks to tell the story of Joy's childhood and how such things as her parents divorce affected who she was and would become.

​Joy is ultimately a story of determination and not taking "no" for an answer. It serves as an inspiring story to budding entrepreneurs and start-up businesses to never give up and if you have a dream, keep going towards it until it becomes your reality. It may not sound the most exciting of movies and at times in the middle act things do drag their feet a little, but if you are looking for an inspirational story to start your new year off, you won't go wrong with Joy.

My Rating 

I found Joy to be an extremely engaging movie and thanks to not only great direction and writing from O.Russell, but a superb lead turn from Lawrence, I was hooked from start to finish. The movie also looks and sounds great and features and experienced cast who are well used. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but for those of you who take the plunge, I'm sure you will be glad you did.

After somewhat of a roller-coaster year, 2015 finishes off on a positive note - oh Joy!

Joy is released in the UK on January 1st

Joy - Review by Carleton Rutter