Joy is based on the true story of Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence), the woman who invented the miracle mop and many other things for that matter, but this film is about the struggles she has keeping all the rights to her products, getting her products made and getting them sold.
As with The Martian there is one notable performance in this film, that is of course Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence provides an emotional, connected (to the character) and down right incredible performance. Playing the role of Joy Mangano she really showed off her great acting abilities. Considering how many great actors are in this film it is quite worrying that only one stands out, although the story is about Joy it still feels like the supporting characters should have been developed a lot more than they were. Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper felt somewhat wasted as their characters didn’t have any room to breath. In short you only get to know one character.
David O’Russell has a very disjointed way of storytelling making his films quite difficult to follow or connect to, this worked really well in Silver Linings Playbook because the characters were mentally ill, but in his other films it just feels a little off. In a sense you could put down his storytelling technique as a sort of trademark because you know when you’re watching one of his films – like Wes Anderson, but it just doesn’t work with every single story and this, unfortunately, was one of the times that a more generic approach should have been taken.
One thing that has to be praised is the raw emotion shown in the film, Joy is shown as an emotional person but not because she’s a woman, because she is human whereas other films would have taken a more sexist approach to the scenario. Joy is portrayed as a hard working, confident woman who isn’t afraid to show her emotions and humanity.
As with every O’Russell film it looked great, some nice cinematography and inventive scenes, really great setting of the time which he also did a great job of in American Hustle. The setting was very clear, we knew the family was poor, we knew the family was dysfunctional and we knew Joy was worn out.
The story is great, the woman behind the story is great, but I feel like someone else could have told this story better. This was a great role for Jennifer Lawrence who really shined, but there really isn’t much else I can say about this film.