Jennifer Lawrence dazzles in her third collaboration with writer-director David O’Russell as she plays struggling single mother and self-wringing miracle mop inventor, Joy Mangano. Based on a true tale of one woman’s unfailing determination and persistence in becoming a self-made business tycoon in a predominantly male-oriented environment, this film follows an underdog story without the predictability and consistent tugging of heartstrings audiences have come to expect.
Peacekeeper and live-in landlord to her entire family, which spans four generations, Joy acts as the glue that binds everyone in her household together. Continually cleaning up after her family (including her divorced parents and ex-husband), it is the emotional nightmare of starring in her mother’s soap operas and being chloroformed by her loved ones that awakens Joy from her suffocating reality. Acting like a fairy godmother of sorts, it is the brilliant Mimi (Dianne Ladd) whose undying faith in her grandchild propels Joy to soon become the family’s entrepreneurial matriarch.
However, not everything is so straightforward, and the world of fairytales and princes is constantly threatened with an imposing sense of reality. Coming up with a life-changing invention in order to become a self-made millionaire is all well and good in an ideal world, but in Russell’s cinema of the ordinary, success is in the selling. Cue slick, soft-talking, mustard jacket-wearing Bradley Cooper as TV executive producer Neil Walker, who gives Joy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sell her product on the QVC shopping channel. For her whole life, her domestic situation of mopping floors had tied her down – but now it might just be the thing that sets her free.
The exceptional Lawrence-Russell combo does not fail to disappoint, and if you were not convinced already, it might just pick up some nominations – even some wins – during the upcoming awards season. Let us hope so, because personally I would love to see Jennifer Lawrence trip up over her dress once more as she collects a second Best Actress Oscar for what can be seen as another incredible performance.
Image: Bagogames; flickr.com