Craig's Movie Reviews

I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.

Joy

It would be interesting if, while appearing in this movie that has a broad theme of female empowerment, Jennifer Lawrence still wasn’t being paid the same as her male co-stars.

Joy is the latest movie by David O’Russell, starring O’Russell regulars Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro and Bradley Cooper. It tells the story of a woman who invents a new product and attempts to get that product onto the market, while supporting her kids.

Lawrence in the Snow.jpg

Jennifer didn’t you see “The Revenant”? Wrap yourself up warmer. If you don’t have a bear skin, get the closest equivalent.

Whether it works or not, this movie hits all the marks of a David O’Russell picture, not just in its casting. The characters are mostly American suburbanites, they talk in a way that ranges from good writing to something I can’t quite put my finger on, hit and miss humour, and it follows a rags to riches narrative.

When I say that the writing fluctuates in quality, I don’t know if I’m being fair. I honestly do like the style, but like with Tarantino at times, one can see that there is a particular pattern to the way that people speak.

The humour in movies like The FighterSilver Lining’s Playbook and American Hustle does go from inspired to a bit awkward and this movie is no exception. These films can generally be described as dramadies (thanks to movie reviewer Jeremy Jahns for coining the word) where one can tell from the editing style and the timing of the acting, that it’s a comedy, but where most of the lines and moments aren’t jokes. A good example would be Punch Drunk Love.

While I can make excuses for what I’ve already mentioned, I can’t make an excuse for one flaw I have with this movie, I didn’t feel anything for most of the first act. There’s something about the way that the first act is told that meant I felt oddly distanced. I don’t think it’s the oddness of the characters, more that the way the narration (this film is narrated by the protagonist’s inspiring Grandmother) tells the story just didn’t gel with what I was seeing. It was only once the second act started, I started to like this movie.

So, what? Do I hate Joy? No, I think it’s a pretty good movie.

First of all, the acting is very good from most everyone involved, particularly from Lawrence and De Niro. Robert De Niro definitely looks happy in the various comedies I see him popping up in, but, not to prejudge, I feel that he’s better spent in a movie like this than in Dirty Grandpa.

Secondly, the story did make me feel good once it got going. I am a sucker for a film about someone who goes after the american dream. A nice man sitting next to me in the cinema was pumping the air, in front of him when things were going good and I have to admit, I was almost covering my eyes when things were going bad.

So, this movie is flawed, no question, all movies have flaws (except The Lord of the Rings). Yet if one takes into account what it made me feel by the end, it’s actually rather good.

Recommended Scenario: If you need a pick me up in January.

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This entry was posted on January 25, 2016 by in Film Review, Released in 2016.
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