Joy (2015) ★★☆☆☆

“The funny thing about hiding…you’re never hidden from yourself.” 

Directed by David O. Russell, the Silver Linings Playbook cast have reunited: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Bradley Cooper for this seasonal flick. From an early age, Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) had taken an interest to making creative things. However, as the years have gone by, life has gotten in the way of her dreams. Though she supports them as much as she can, living in a house with her dysfunctional family can get all too much: her grandmother, two children, agoraphobic mother, ex-husband, and difficult father.

Russell doesn’t quite blend the right amount of humour and drama so the film is neither too dramatic, nor too comedic, resting uncomfortably in the middle. Joy does not shine bright in terms of comedy…at all. Its recent nomination for a Golden Globe in ‘Best Comedy/Musical’ is baffling, as the film is hardly award worthy. As is Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar Nomination; all the more confusing. There is however, good camera work here, and the score radiates a magical feel to the narrative at parts. On a technical level, David O.Russell shot the film well, but as we all know, a pretty film doesn’t make a solid, nor good film. Jennifer Lawrence does a good job as Joy, but her role is forgettable. It may as well have been a one-man show as the other characters are so one-dimensional, making one lose interest. Therefore, the film does not deliver on an emotional level. Her high maintenance father, Rudy, is played by Robert De Niro, while Dianne Ladd portrays her supportive grandmother, Mimi. Bradley Cooper takes on the powerful role of Neil Walker, but hardly engages. For such an impressive supporting cast, you would think a film like this would break the box office, right?

Though it covers the theme of empowerment well; a woman who never gives up, no matter how difficult things can be, Joy doesn’t bring much else to the table. Not for children, as they will not understand. This will most likely be a hit for teenagers, who could possibly gain inspiration from this. It is not the best film you will see, and is utterly forgettable.

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