By Helen Lalonde (Detroit, MI)joy-2


Loosely based on the life of Joy Mangano, who invented the self-ringing Miracle Mop. A story of one remarkable woman facing all adversity just for a chance to share her invention with the world. She is a broke single mother, not only supporting her kids but her parents and ex-husband as well. While being at the center of a non-traditional home life she struggles to hold everything in balance. In an epiphany Joy has a realization of her hidden talents and goes to work creating something very special.

With a beautiful cast including Isabella Rossellini, Edgar Ramirez, Virginia Madsen and Robert De Niro. We follow Joy as a young girl through the narration by her grandmother, played by Diane Ladd. Her life in pieces streams together in front of us like we are watching one of our own memories, with every moment having something special to give. We follow Joy as she gets older and attempts to keep the household a float. With little help from her ex-husband or dad living in the basement or her mother who does nothing but watch soap operas all day. These little details truly make the story come to life.

Written and Directed by David O. Russell, who has also done movies like I Heart Huckabees, The Fighter and American Hustle. He has a masterful almost chef like ability to create an experience that you want to savor, and also stays with you. David has something to say with his films, this is very clear. As he mentioned in an interview; he wanted to tell a story that he hasn’t seen before. A story of a heroin, without a prince, and the magic she possesses are her own creations.

As Joy’s invention finds an investor, the stakes get higher. Everything gets more complicated as she finds herself in the world of T.V. Advertising. There is a magic behind the curtain, as we see it through Joy’s eyes for the first time. Through extreme highs and lows Joy must fight for a chance to redeem herself again and again. She is not going to take no for an answer. Jennifer Lawrence plays Joy brilliantly, with such passion and focus. She makes Joy’s character immediately accessible to the audience through a very human yet powerful performance.

Jennifer won her first Oscar for the role of Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook, screenplay also written and directed by David O. Russell, as well as being nominated for best supporting actress in American Hustle, another O. Russell picture. Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro have also been in all three movies. It’s a buzz all over that these two are a great team, producing their best work together. Time and time again we see this with great artists like Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, John Ford and John Wayne, Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson. I think some people just get it, and if you’re lucky enough to find someone like that in your life, you hold on to them and you don’t let go. I look forward to seeing what else they will do together.

If you want to be inspired, and go through something, you will find personal meaning in this film. I would compare the experience to one of my favorite classics; It’s A Wonderful Life. As it tells a human story that all can relate to, and uses snow in a momentous and enchanting way.



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