Film Posts 35: Joy – 14th Jan, 2016

I rather like David O. Russell as a Director, even if he is inclined to quirkiness. Silver Linings Playbook was a surprise to me (I knew nothing about it, other than that it had been acclaimed) and I really enjoyed American Hustle. So I was keen to see Joy when it came out.

joy de niro cooper lawrence

De Niro, Cooper and Lawrence

And it’s another, really enjoyable film. Russell clearly likes this group of actors – Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert de Niro – and they seem to enjoy what he gives them to do.

The story of the downtrodden housewife who invents the Miracle Mop and then appears on the fledgling QVC to sell it is interesting, potentially inspiring, as Joy tackles the many challenges in her way. We follow her through moments of pain, despair, revelation and exhilaration, and Jennifer Lawrence is completely convincing throughout.

Bradley Cooper’s arrival in the movie is brilliantly handled – we’re waiting for him to appear (we know he’s in it, his name’s in the credits) but Russell holds him back. And then he takes over the film for the next 30 minutes (or at least, splits the screen ownership with Lawrence).

joy ensemble

These people are watching a shopping channel

Like many films it feels a little too long – I would say that maybe it’s my age, but I quite happily sat through three hours of The Hateful Eight (which won’t be getting a write-up here – I’m only covering films I see at Cineworld, and Cineworld irritatingly fell out with the distributors and refused to screen it).

But Joy was a lot of fun.

 

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4 Responses to Film Posts 35: Joy – 14th Jan, 2016

  1. calensariel says:

    I thought it was an ok movie. Not meaty enough for my taste, though. And for some reason I think I felt as bad at the end of the movie as I did at the beginning. Now that’s a first. I think maybe it was just the way Jennifer Lawrence interpreted Joy’s character? Even after she was finally successful she seemed so downtrodden. The best part for me was when she confronted the guy at the hotel. So the jury is still out for me on this one.

    Like

    • Did you not like the way she overcame her background, her “programming” and the attitude of those around her who were telling her she couldn’t do it? I agree about the hotel showdown, and I liked the Dallas confrontation over the tools too – people consistently underestimating how smart Joy was, judging her without knowing her. I’m not saying “inspirational”, but I thought it was somewhat uplifting, especially when the sales started up on QVC – who’d have thought there could so much tension in watching a shopping channel?

      Liked by 1 person

      • calensariel says:

        It was incredibly interesting to see how all that QVC stuff worked, wasn’t it? I’ve never even watched any of those channels. Had no idea there was more than one. I did like the way she kept going and going. But Lawrence just did the whole part (it felt like) in this monotone voice that made me want to scream for some emotion from her as an actress.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m trying to remember other David O Russell films, but I think he tends to go for underplaying from his actors – I seem to remember Silver Linings Playbook was like that. Always interesting to get different takes on movies, how we can see different things and have different reactions.

        Liked by 1 person

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