Friday, January 1, 2016


That I would go to see this film was never in question.  I've liked to varying degrees all of Director/Writer David O. Russell's previous movies.  I'd watch Jennifer Lawrence read a phone book.  I was certain I would hit the theater for this one, and I did.

What I didn't know was how mixed my feelings about the movie would be.

On the one hand, it's a pretty good story in which Lawrence delivers a very strong performance.  Her character grows and changes during the movie's two hours, and we definitely root for her the whole time.  The other actors also turn in strong efforts, with everyone always in character and convincing.

On the other hand, Russell created here the most appalling family in any of his movies--and that's saying something.  With the exception of Joy's ex-husband, played beautifully by Edgar Ramirez, every other adult in Joy's family is in different ways a basically awful person.  While speaking nicely and acting supportive, DeNiro's Rudy, her father, is one of the more abusive parents to hit the big screen in quite some time.  I deeply disliked spending time with these people.

The way everyone did business in this movie also troubled me; the business logic was as realistic as the science in the first Star Trek reboot.

On balance, I'm glad I went to see Joy, and I recommend it--but know going in that you will be uncomfortable for much of the film.

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