David O. Russell has taken what could’ve been a standard biopic and taken to the level that you’d expect from his collaborations with Jennifer Lawrence. Evoking “I Heart Huckabees” more than any of this other work, Russell has created a story that isn’t concerned with details, but the overall thrust of the main character. Joy is larger than the grime that mires her life.
Mixing soap opera style fantasy master shots with the cramped confines of business dealings, “Joy” wants to live in both worlds. While that is rather schizo, we get to see how nothing made sense for a young woman that was never meant to achieve this much. Her family cheats her out of college, her mother tries to steal her life and her half-sister won’t stop talking for her. When does Joy get to be Joy? Well, when she’s busting heads and mopping them up with her latest invention.
Bradley Cooper is barely in it and Melissa Rivers’ brief role as her own mother upstages him throughout the film. Jennifer Lawrence carries the film on her back, but she gets ample help from Robert De Niro and Isabella Rossellini. De Niro during the wedding sequence was worth the price of admission. The guy must’ve tapped into some sort of douchebag aura to hit the perfect notes of a deadbeat relative trying to make a wedding reception about himself. While later scenes never matched what he did there, it’s amazing to see De Niro bringing it again.
There are going to be multitudes of people that hate this film. It’s weird, it’s unapologetic and it takes place in that wide swath of time between 1975 and 1998. Russell makes no attempts to give you a roadmap, but you’re expected to enjoy the ride.
A/V QUALITY STATS
- 1.85:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track
RELEASE DATE: 5/3/16
The Plot Thus Far
JOY is the wild story of a family across four generations, and centers on the girl who becomes the woman who founds a business dynasty and becomes a matriarch in her own right. Betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love pave the road in this intense emotional and human comedy about becoming a true boss of family and enterprise facing a world of unforgiving commerce. Allies become adversaries and adversaries become allies, both inside and outside the family, as Joy s inner life and fierce imagination carry her through the storm she faces. Oscar® Winner JENNIFER LAWRENCE* stars with fellow Oscar® Winner ROBERT DE NIRO,** BRADLEY COOPER, EDGAR RAMIREZ, ISABELLA ROSSELLINI, DIANE LADD, VIRGINIA MADSEN, ELISABETH RÖHM and DASCHA POLANCO. Like David O. Russell s previous films, Joy defies genre to tell a story of family, loyalty, and love.