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Joy review – Jennifer Lawrence wipes the floor with all comers in mop boss biopic | Joy | The Guardian

Movie joy review

david o russell’s joy is an intriguing but strangely subdued and stylized film starring jennifer lawrence, a commanding beauty and a graceful fashion figure. it hypnotizes russell’s camera, and the director gives him some non-dialogue scenes that can be seen but strangely without content, like pop videos. joy has divided opinion and I find myself agnostic.

The film unfolds in a level tone of ironic reverie, like an extended pre-credits sequence or a 120-minute voice-over montage. It’s about real-life inventor and single mom Joy Mangano, who struck it rich in the 1990s selling her own revolutionary self-wringing mop on home shopping channel QVC, while battling condescending male corporate types and various members. of its broad mass dysfunction. family.

Clearly, Russell and co-writer Annie Mumolo weren’t going to tell this story clearly, like Erin Brockovich. But it can’t just be shipped or laughed at, like the twisted antics of her previous comedy, American Hustle, although there are certainly echoes, as joy emanates from the way she’s let down and ripped off. The joy never quite comes from—or, to be fair, points to—the laughter or sheer argumentative madness that I’ve come to associate with Russell. it’s more of a lynchian daydream, especially with its extraordinary opening scene.

this seems to be a master take of a group of actors in a cheesy daytime novel, directing forced lines not at each other but somewhere to the left and right, a dreamy composition that won’t make sense until the angles of the camera are revealed later. It could be a karmic combination of the kind of daytime soap opera adored by Joy’s bedridden mother with the slightly surreal world of home shopping TV, often hosted by soap opera stars. joy has floated between the worlds. the lynchian flavor may also be due to the presence of isabella rossellini, who starred in the famous blue velvet, in a small role.

Lawrence’s joy is struggling to combine motherhood and work, and living with her invalid mother, Terry (Virginia Madsen), and her grandmother, Mimi (Diane Ladd), who is the only one who remembers how talented and creative It was joy as a little girl. in her basement lives tony (Édgar ramírez), joy’s lazy ex-husband, and rudy (robert de niro), her hopeless divorced father, to whom the film grants a superficial scene of “rage” at the beginning, in which he breaks up a few vases. before shrugging placidly again. Infuriated by all this mediocrity and mess, and inspired by the fiasco of having to mop up wine in a boat belonging to Rudy’s new girlfriend, Trudy (Isabella Rossellini), Joy is inspired to invent her new mop and effectively reinvent herself, as a success.

It’s an interesting situation. To be inspired by the story of an underdog entrepreneur, the audience must be assured and reassured from the beginning of the reality of the story. however, this film often feels quite unreal, an unreality that is both unnerving and entertaining, though never quite as unreal as its jaw-dropping opening scene. it is a deliberate unreality; the experience may well have felt illusory for joy at the time. Russell and Mumolo deftly craft the story of Joy’s clueless introduction to the world of TV shopping so that the audience and the heroine are equally unsure at first of what exactly is going on.

It also feels like we’ve been promised an almost dynastic story of joy’s long-term success as the matriarch of a trading empire, but this ends very briefly at the end. Specifically, the film seems to present the idea that Joy’s fate will be excitingly intertwined with that of the head of QVC, played by Bradley Cooper. This doesn’t quite materialize either, and Cooper’s role is a bit bland, with little for Lawrence to play against.

lawrence certainly delivers a strong lead performance, with an inscrutable and engaging quality – a character take on strength, though i did miss the comic craziness and vulnerability of his appearances in american hustle and silver linings playbook. joy is what keeps him together, because everyone around her is lazy or clumsy or a loser. i loved that she stormed out of her dad’s auto repair shop to the soundtrack of slightly less elvis conversation and then soothed her feelings by shooting someone’s pump shotgun at the gun range next to. and she really does look sensational in a cool pair of sunglasses. But I couldn’t help but wonder if there was more to say about Joy Mangano, and more to give about Jennifer Lawrence.

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