Writer/Director David O. Russell is back with yet another light-hearted-but-still-heavy-hitting film in the form of ‘Joy.’ Detailing the rise of real-world Miracle Mopster Joy Mangano, ‘Joy’ delves into a single mother’s struggle to juggle her dreams alongside her hard-to-handle family. Jennifer Lawrence phenomenally plays Joy herself while O. Russell-favorites like Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro star alongside to believably flesh out the dreary world Mangano lives in.
While a movie about a fledgling mop inventor doesn’t exactly sound like the most enticing thing to see this holiday season, ‘Joy’ actually brings quite a lot to appreciate if you’ve already seen the new Star Wars movie a time or two. The cast all deliver fantastic performances and you can’t help but love how much O. Russell gives J-Law to work with in comparison to her ‘Hunger Games’ roles. And as with his David O. Russell’s other recent films (‘American Hustle,’ ‘Silver Linings Playbook, and ‘The Fighter’), ‘Joy’ will no doubt garner at least a couple of Oscar nods come Academy Awards season.
That said, though, the movie does have some problems. The pacing is – at times – uneven to say the least, especially as the tone of the film shifts from scene to scene. The transition can be a bit a jarring, though the performances serve well to tie things together and keep them from straying too far into the unbelievable. ‘Joy’ could also benefit from pairing down the number of characters we need to remember, though seeing smaller-roles being filled by the likes of Diane Ladd and Donna Mills is still quite enjoyable even so.
‘Joy’ is out now in wide-release. Be sure to catch it before the Oscars air later on this winter! And for a full review of ‘Joy’ (as well as ‘Carol’ starring Cate Blanchett), be sure to check out the latest episode of the Movie Bears Podcast embedded below.