“I don’t need a prince”, say a determined and imaginative young Joy at the beginning of this inspirational and fascinating film. That is certainly the case by the end of it.
Based loosely on the story of Joy Mangano, who became a self-made millionaire by inventing the Miracle Mop, the film follows her journey from struggling to look after her family and a job she didn’t enjoy to becoming a hugely successful business woman.
Directed by David O Russell, Joy’s style is basic, but features wonderfully developed characters, whose story draws in the audience from beginning to end. At the heart of the film is Jennifer Lawrence as the titular role, putting in an excellent performance that is both confident and natural, aptly showing her character’s development from a naive woman with an idea to a confident business woman. The most convincing moments of her performance are when her character is struggling to keep going due to failing faith and confidence, which are raw and at times painful to watch.
Furthermore, the rest of the cast work well around her, with strong support from Robert De Niro as Rudy and Édgar Ramírez as Tony. Each has great chemistry with Lawrence, making this film believable.
Joy is a slow-burner of a film that flows along with energy, managing to grab the audience’s attention and hold it for the duration. Although the pace slows slightly towards the end, there is still a great build up to the climax of the film, which reveals plenty of surprises and ties everything up neatly.
David O Russell hasn’t created a film that is overly complicated, but it is nonetheless feisty and filled with positivity and hope, proving that people are capable of doing anything that they put their minds to – if they have the determination.
Joy is released nationwide on 1st January 2016.
Watch the trailer for Joy here: