This is the third time David O. Russell has directed a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert De Niro. Of Course this fact is not a bad thing, however does make you wonder whether this quartet have some kind of trick they pull in creating an incredible movie – Silver Linings Playbook was flawless, American Hustle was another fantastic success and Joy is within that same realm of brilliance.
The story is led by the narration of Mimi (Diane Ladd), Joy’s grandmother. Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) is a busy “leader” of the house, she mothers her two children, looks after her Mother, Terry (Virginia Madsen), who spends all her time watching soaps and is too afraid to leave the house, her Father, Rudy (Robert De Niro), lives in the basement while running an auto shop and shares said basement with Tony (Édgar Ramírez), Joy’s ex-husband. Joy’s Grandmother, who is probably the least of a burden on Joy, lives in the same house also. Joy runs this busy household, juggling all their needs with a job.
In this movie we see the kind of person Joy was before thinking up the miracle mop and the obstacles she faced to creating it. Joy was always a creator, we see her at a young age, played by Isabella Crovetti-Cramp, imagining what life will be like, creating scenes out of paper. As she grew up she created some more things, she created a dog collar that wouldn’t tighten and strangle a dog. Then we see her think up the miracle mop. Joy is cleaning up a bottle of red wine that has been dropped and cuts her hands with the broken glass while ringing out the mop. This leads to a desire to create a mop that doesn’t need to be handled while ringing it out, soaks up a large amount of liquid and most importantly has a removable and washable head to it.
The idea of a movie about the creation of a mop does seem a bit odd, especially when pitching it to someone, however does become a story about Joy and her strength and confidence as a businesswoman. Jennifer Lawrence’s incredible portrayal of Joy makes it easy to be pulled into this character’s world – You become a fan of Joy and want to urge her on through the challenges we see her face.
The cinematography we see is quite magical also, we see scenes from angles that you wouldn’t always think of, but it works so well. The writing is brilliant also, the little quirks, the way in which the story is told the phrasing that is used is perfect. “You know what you are Terry? You’re like a gas leak. We don’t see you, we don’t smell you, but you’re silently killing us all” – How David O. Russell comes up with this kind of genius I don’t know.
Overall, this is an incredibly gripping and very interesting movie, one that I would encourage anyone to go and see.