Lucie Simon

Review: Joy

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Jennifer Lawrence's latest role as JOY has us all determined to succeed. There's obstacles along the way but nothing a bit of hard work and self-confidence won't fix.

Jennifer Lawrence always plays the dominant female in everything she does and that’s why we love her. With her latest film Joy winning a Gloden Globe for Best Motion Picture – musical or comedy it’s her most dominant and feisty performance yet.

It’s a true story and is told through Joy’s grandmother ‘Mimi’ (Diane Ladd). She tells us how the family have a negative outlook on life, apart from Joy, and how she will see the day Joy’s hard work pays off. Her magical idea springs when Joy injures herself on a boat trip while cleaning spilt wine and shattered glass. Her hands are covered in cuts and thus her mind starts to tick. She grabs her daughter’s crayons and paper and starts to design the Miracle Mop, a mop so great that you don’t have to touch it to rinse it, and it goes in the washing machine and comes out looking new. It’s literally a miracle!

Unfortunately, Joy doesn’t have all of the money she needs, living with her divorced husband (Édgar Ramírez), her deluded mother (Virginia Madsen) and two children. She just doesn’t have the fortune for a business adventure, apart from when her father (Robert De Niro) gets on the dating scene again and meets Trudy (Isabella Rosellini), a woman with a lot of money.

Trudy takes up Joy’s offer with the help from best friend Jackie (Dascha Polanco) and helps her on her way, which is where we meet Neil Walker (Bradley Cooper) a buyer for QVC. Ever had your dreams crumble right in front of you? Well, Joy has but her dominant self gets Walker, and the Miracle Mop becomes the best selling product on the market and thus Mimi passes happily, knowing her wonderful granddaughter Joy made it.

However, through success, there always comes failure and for Joy she starts to owe people a lot of money. She takes a second mortgage out on her house and she also gets arrested – jealous step-sister peggy (Elisabeth Röhm) is loving every second of Joys failure, though.

Photo: Jennifer Lawrence poses in the press room with the award for best performance by an actress in a motion picture - musical or comedy for “Joy” at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif/Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP.

Photo: Jennifer Lawrence poses in the press room with the award for best performance by an actress in a motion picture – musical or comedy for “Joy” at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif/Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP.

But don’t underestimate her, with a hair cut and outfit change, we see the dominant Joy that’s always been there somewhere start to unfold. Hard work does pay off.

Allies become adversaries and adversaries become allies for Joy, both inside and outside the family.

Overall, I think you can predict the film and describe it in five minutes, but that’s typical from director David O. Russell, as Silver Linings Playbook was the very same for me. However, I feel the predictability of the film isn’t important, it’s the powerful message that comes across and I don’t think they could have picked a better actress to do it so effortlessly.

Another few things I like are the on-screen relationship that Lawrence and Cooper have and the tribute to the late Joan Rivers. I don’t know if Robert De Niro was the right role to play her father, but maybe having just a few A-listers is better than a lot, right?

I must admit Jennifer Lawrence is like my idol and I did get slightly distracted at some of her close-up shots, she is just amazing!

So if your a massive J-Law fan, like myself, and like to see the deeper meaning behind a film, then you’ll probably love JOY. However, if you like surprises and being on-the-edge of your seat, then it isn’t the one for you. Don’t judge a book by its cover though, you might love it and just might decide to make your dreams a reality.

‘Don’t ever think that the world owes you something, because it doesn’t. The world owes you nothing’

Joy is in cinemas now.

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