Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Film Review: "Joy" (2015).

"Based on a true story of inspirational women. One in Particular"
, and it is exactly that with Joy. This biographical comedy-drama film written and directed by David O. Russell about the title character, Joy, a self-made millionaire who rose to become a powerful matriarch and created her own family business empire / dynasty. The film is a semi-fictional and inspirational portrayal of Joy Mangano and how she overcame personal and professional obstacles to rise to the top.

In January 2014, it was announced that David O. Russell's upcoming project would entail rewriting and directing a drama film about American inventor and entrepreneur Joy Mangano. The original script was written by Annie Mumolo. Mumolo's original script featured the story of the Miracle Mop and Mangano. It would have served as a more accurate and faithful interpretation of her life. However when Russell came onto the project, he added much more supporting characters and interwove Mangano's original biography with stories of other women daring to change their lives so much that only the basic plot outline still resembles Mangano's story (from working mother to business woman). Therefore, despite earlier reports about the film, this is not a biographical film about Mangano. Furthermore, Russell even admitted he was in no hurry to meet Mangano in real-life during the filming process, because he wanted to make the movie his own way, only speaking to her on the phone. Also, Joy's last name in the film is never given, the Miracle Mop remains unnamed in the film and movie Joy is not from Mangano's native Smithtown, on the North Shore of Long Island, New York.

The film stars Jennifer Lawrence as Joy, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Édgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini and Elisabeth Röhm. The cast gave terrific performances, especially to Lawrence. But the cast, and their counterparts, can talk all they want, but nothing the characters say alters the simplistic melodramatic mechanism.

Joy is an utter mess. This feverish feminist rags-to-riches address finds Russell tossing everything that doesn't matter - and more - into the pot, and producing a pretty indigestible and very messy stew. Despite an outstanding cast of actors and some notable moments, I never cared enough to believe that this movie was anything other than pretentious. While Russell may have ambition to admire and career-risking courage to respect, the sad truth is his new movie has almost nothing to heart. In this chaotic style of Hollywood moviemaking, plot resolutions are thrown at you as if someone is spoon-feeding you throughout the entire film. I have no idea what Russell was trying to accomplish with this messy movie. I liked some moments, but I can't say that I loved the film as a whole. If you get the impression that this is all too precious and contrived for a Hollywood film, you're not far from the mark. The film gets crazy and seems unconnected. By the end, it never binds into a satisfying whole and it mostly left me cold. Go see it and judge for yourself. But then again, I can't recommend it wholeheartedly.

Simon says Joy receives

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