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Typically when a story is told about the realization of the American dream protagonist is a man born in relative poverty manages to use his ingenuity to become exceptionally successful. The latest movie written and directed by filmmaker David O. Russell cast the more feminine look at the old American success story. Joy’. The third time he goes to what seems to be his favorite actress to work with, Jennifer Lawrence worked with Mr. Russell on both ‘American Hustle’ and ‘Silver Linings Playbook’. This timeout the film is a biography chronicling the life of Joy Mangano, the struggling divorced mother of three who in the 1990s began building a financial empire that would make her a multimillionaire. As I do with any film claiming to be "based on true events", a considerable amount dramatic license was taken here in order to present the story in a reasonable amount of time and maintain a cohesive narrative throughout. There is a caveat going into watching this film especially if you’re fan to previously mentioned. It does just for short of the overall quality of its predecessors. Some of this has to do with the fact that it is a biography it is necessary storytelling perspective portray the mundane life that preceded the spark that led to success. Mr. Russell was far better at storage with more kinetic nature rather than dealing with the portion of the film that requires a certain amount of exposition necessary to show why this young woman became so driven in the business world.

Joy’s home life is initially shown as something that is all too common in American homes. Her father, Rudy (Robert de Niro) is overly concerned with showing off his younger girlfriend, Trudy (Isabella Rossellini). Joy’s mother, Terry (Virginia Madsen) only rarely leaves her room where her time is spent almost exclusively watching her stories. Despite being divorced Joy’s ex-husband, Tony (Édgar Ramirez), seems to be always present in their Long Island home. He ostensibly Tony is a singer and although they are divorced Tony is still one of Joy’s closest friends that she feels comfortable confiding in. Ed and the children you have quite a menagerie the joy has to constantly clean up after. This led to her inventing a new type of mop that makes cleaning the floors easier. This invention of hers would soon be widely known in houses across the nation as the ‘Miracle Mop’.

The spark that would ignite a new life for Joy occurs when her invention comes to the attention of Neil Walker (Bradley Cooper), an executive at the QVC shopping channel. Is anyone who is ever spent any time channel shopping, particularly in the wee hours of the night you’ve inevitably come across this network. Personable host display an eclectic assortment of goods ranging from jewelry and collectibles to clothing and household aids. Walker finds something intriguing in her invention convinced that it is stroke of brilliance there would be a fast and steady seller. Joy is always dreamt of finding a way to have a very comfortable living by developing and marketing them. A family is less than enthusiastic about her aspirations. Fathers a blue-collar worker employed in a sheet-metal factory cannot imagine life that doesn’t extend from one paycheck to the next. Her sister, Peggy (Elisabeth Röhm) does have business ambitions lacks the visionary drive of possessed by Joy. There’s only one glimmer of encouragement in Joy’s life, her grandmother, Mimi (Diane Ladd). She sees in Joy a hope for the family break from its customary settling for dead-end jobs. Grandmother is the only one who recognizes Joy’s potential. Seems between these two women are incredible some of the best within the film. It is an opportunity to watch to Academy Award caliber actresses create an on-screen relationship that is emotionally powerful in its tenderness. This is a meeting of two generations of exceptional actresses and adds considerably to the film. Due in large part to her grandmother loves encouragement Joy finds the courage of her convictions sufficient for her to pack up invention and head off to Pennsylvania to sell the idea to QVC.

Now that Ms. Lawrence has completed her wildly popular action franchise, ‘The Hunger Games’ and she is apparently is moving on from being painted blue for the ‘X-Men’ films you can continue with expanding her scope of the abilities by playing more emotionally complex women. In certain surveys this is getting back to her roots as an actress since her first Academy award nomination was for her role in ‘Winter Bone’. Big-budget high-octane films are great at getting a young actor’ s name widely known the lasting career such as this actress deserves well-crafted from roles that they can explore the emotional and psychological complexities of their character. In this rags to riches story Ms. Lawrence does an exceptional job at showing how Joy has to remain responsible to her children while overcoming the laissez-faire attitude most of her family. She also handles the transition from the very slow-paced first act that establishes a family life to the explosively manic world of QVC.

Mr. Russell is very much an actor’s director as evident by the somber pastor seems to have surrounded himself with. Both large and small roles on filled by people that you have seen time and again is all the films. There is a decided advantage to this as it does the rapport between director and actor and also as is taught as a screenwriter Mr. Russell taken structure parts with various actors in mind while being reasonably sure they will accept the to play the part them been a certain amount of negative comments about this film portion of the objections are valid. As mentioned it does have a slow start and more importantly Mr. Russell uncharacteristically fails to generate a proper chemistry between his actors that is had said synergistic results his other films. It does help when a biography is about a real person who is not exceptionally prominent in the media. Few if any in the audience would go into the film with any expectations of how Joy Mangano should be portrayed. This did allow degree of freedom in the screenplay and Ms. Lawrence’s interpretation of her character. When you watch the beginning of the movie you might want to keep in mind that the objective of the first act requires that it is plotting and slow. It has to convey to the viewers that Joy was intelligent young woman trapped by circumstances with the family with little if any imagination. This is necessary to enhance the contrast between the life and Long Island and that of a rising star in the shopping network.

Posted 04/21/2016

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