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Film Review: “Joy” (2015) ★★


Photo by Photo credit: Courtesy Twentieth/Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox - © TM & © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Not for sale or duplication.

Photo by Photo credit: Courtesy Twentieth/Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox – © TM & © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Not for sale or duplication.

Joy is a 36 year old unemployed woman with two children; her ex-husband lives in her basement; her mother watches soap operas day and night; and her father who moves back in to share the basement with his son-in-law. Dreaming to have a more successful life, Joy throws herself into the family business, which surprisingly becomes quite successful and turns into a business dynasty. And that would not have happened if Joy would not have invented a super mop….

The film begins with a soap opera, set in black-and-white, where Danica (Susan Lucci) declares her intention to turn her weakness into strength. This is when the voice of a woman, who introduces herself as Joy’s grandma begins to tell the story of her granddaughter, who according to the narrated voice, always rejoices making a new thing. And that indeed will turn into something big, that will allow a young woman to become a matriarch in her own right. But before she earns that success, money, and power, she needs to learn to overcome the storm that is about to hit her already unstable and full of negativity life.

Unfortunately, despite having a strong plot, and even stronger character behind this story, which is real Joy Mangano, David O. Russell’s film begins slow without being able to develop its proper pace. The feeling that it may take you nowhere does not go anywhere until you pass halfway through, when the events occuring in the film becomes more approachable. The story itself, no doubt, is emotionally charged. However, all those emotions in Joy looks more like forced, like in an unsuccessfully staged play where actors do their best to deliver the part that was not written in screenplay.

Robert De Niro as Rudy, Virginia Madsen as Joy’s Mother, Isabella Rossellini as Trudy is an unfortunate part of the film, who you will find as an absolute miscast. Jennifer Lawrence, who once again portrays a much older woman is not believable, which is pity for an actor with her abilities and opportunities. O. Russell’s film delivers a limited amount of emotions which should have been the main power of the film, where an actor like Lawrence would have nailed it without problems. Again, Joy is not a terrible film, however, it’s not good either, which leaves more the feelings of disappointment rather than joy. But in the end, you as the viewer must decide to agree or disagree with me. After all, watching it will never hurt, as long as you receive your precise answer. After all, joy is joy. And there is nothing we can do about it. And do we?

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About Ulkar Alakbarova (1004 Articles)
My name is Ulkar Alakbarova. A wonderful name, is it not? I come from the exotic land of Azerbaijan but now I live in the hub of Hollywood North – Toronto, Canada. How lucky I am to be able to enjoy and indulge in my favourite avocation of watching movies. Movies of every genre are screened here in Toronto. There are black and white classics, avant garde, independently produced, and of course, newly released movies for all to enjoy. Let me share this treasure of entertainment with you. Read my thoughts and opinions then let me know if you agree.

6 Comments on Film Review: “Joy” (2015) ★★

  1. Oh I wanted to see it! I’m not so sure anymore. Thank you for your review!

  2. absarahmad1989 // January 1, 2016 at 6:48 pm // Reply

    I too was awaiting it, but now I feel I should give it a skip. Thanks a lot for your nice and honest review.

    • Absar, I don’t want to be that person who makes people to skip this or that film. However, I want to be as honest as possible when it comes to review the film. Unfortunately, sometimes having a good story is not enough to make particular film worth watching… and “Joy” is one of them. One of my friend enjoyed this film… but to me, there were no heart or soul, that could have make me to accept this film.

      • absarahmad1989 // January 5, 2016 at 6:12 pm //

        I agree with you, but what i meant was that I can watch some other better movie than this one.

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