In the last half a dozen or so years, David O Russell has specialised in a very specific kind of prestige movie. They’re dark but funny, dramatic but silly, gritty but quirky. It’s worked well for him, with The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle all cleaning up at the box office and when it comes to award nominations. It seems like it’s a formula he’s sticking with, because he’s back with another movie that ticks all of those boxes with Joy.
It’s the 80s and Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) is living a pretty shit life. Her house is overrun by her soap opera addicted, shut in mother (Virginia Madsen as Terry), her deadbeat ex husband (Edgar Ramierez as Tony), her grandmother (Diane Ladd as Mimi) and her two young children. Things get even more stressful when her father (Robert De Niro as Rudy) returns to live in the basement after being kicked out by his second wife. (more…)