Synopsis: Read on IMDB
This biopic is loosely based on the story of Joy Mangano, a divorced mother of two’s rise to success with her inventions amidst the difficulties she faces at home. The movie stars Jennifer Lawrence as the title character and other familiar faces from director David O’ Russell’s movies; Bradley Cooper and Robert de Niro. The all-star cast also includes Virginia Madsen, Diane Ladd, Isabella Rossellini, and Edgar Ramirez.
Like this other Oscar contender, the title character’s story is told via a first person narrator, Joy’s grandmother Mimi (played by Diane Ladd). We learn from her how even as a little girl, she was always making things. But since her parents contentious divorce, Joy had to take care of everyone and put her dreams on hold indefinitely. It’s an easy to follow biopic, the usual tale to rags and riches that provides a good backstory and the typical trials and tribulations of the main character. It is, in many ways, an ode to entrepreneurs everywhere; in other ways, this feels like a modern day day fairy tale.
The highlight of this movie is definitely Jennifer Lawrence’s performance. She’s played troubled characters in the past, in sometimes over-the-top kind of performances (think Silver Linings Playbook or American Hustle – David O. Russell films, too) that made her a household name. Her performance in Joy is a lot more nuanced: You can sympathize with her struggles and can’t help it but root for her success. Viewers are not the only ones who’ve noticed as Lawrence has now won a Golden Globe awards for best actress and yet another Oscar nod (Academy Award Nomination for Actress in a Leading role)
The film’s other performances compliment Lawrence’s Joy quite well, and even amidst the chaos they portray, the plot is cohesive. This is probably one of the easiest to watch, and probably most enjoyable, of all David O. Russel films. I would not dare to say it’s the best, but I’m pretty sure this one will appeal to wider audiences.