Another year, another film by David O. Russell that stars Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert de Niro.
I recently rewatched both films and while the performances are strong, Russell’s narrative now seems unwieldy. American Hustle, in particular, indulges in all sorts of 1970s fetishism and wallows in the excess of the period. Did I really give it 5 out of 5?!?
I think I wrote that he encourages improvisation in his cast, and that can be a good thing, but maybe he needs to rein it in.
And cut back on the Scorcese-isms.
Oh, what’s this, a Rolling Stone song?
Joy tells the story of Joy Mangano, the woman who invented the Miracle Mop. A single mother of three, Mangano struggled to make it as an inventor before hitting the big time.
Based on the trailer, this looks to be yet another of David O. Russell’s loose, shaggy period dramas about the American Dream. Expect lots of shrieking and cursing, loud clothes, shabby homes, and a tone pitched somewhere between satirical black farce and sentimental feel-good story about sticking to your goals.
Lawrence’s character appears to be widowed at some point (interestingly, she was also a widow in Silver Linings Playbook, and that film got her the Oscar: perhaps this is a ploy to tug at Academy voters’ heartstrings).
Joy opens at Christmas, just in time for Oscars season.