One To Watch: Joy

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Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, snow drifting past the windows – the sound of holiday cheer all around you. When the big day comes, you’d all better be ready for Joy.

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are back this winter, again under the genius direction of David O. Russell. Drama-comedy biopic Joy, marks their third collaboration after the critically acclaimed Silver Lining’s Playbook (2012) and American Hustle (2013), both of which scored highly on the big screen and earned Russell two Academy Award nominations for best director.

Based upon the real life story of American inventor and entrepreneur Joy Mangano, the film follows  the Long Island single mother of three as she sweats her way to the top of the family empire after creating and patenting the Miracle Mop. Speaking to Vanity Fair, Russell described his vision for the film as an “examination” of the woman’s life, focusing on her soul and how it develops over the years.

August’s teaser trailer unsurprisingly shows leading lady Lawrence completely at ease as she takes centre stage in yet another Oscar-rumoured biopic, and considering her rather impressive history with Russell, the film is all set to wipe the floor next awards season.

Filmed last winter in the middle of Boston’s heaviest snowfall season, it’s clear that this director/actor partnership will battle through anything in the pursuit of artistic perfection – Lawrence recently joked to Entertainment Weekly, “I still have Snowst Traumatic Stress!” before describing the unpleasant working conditions and the eight feet of snow that had to be navigated around. However, Russell decided to take this in his stride and incorporated the events into the film, allowing him to experiment with Joy’s memories of her young childhood and her love of the snow.

Revealing the film’s icy cool aesthetic as Joy marches down the street in sunglasses, a blonde punky bob and a smart business suit, the teaser trailer has certainly done more than pricked a few ears. Opening with the wise words of Joy’s grandmother (Diane Ladd), and featuring Joy throughout, the only voices we hear in the film’s recent trailer are those of women, a very significant hint that Russell intends to tell Joy’s story from her own point of view as an interesting and complex women.

David O. Russell’s third collaboration with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper is set for release this Christmas time. For now however, the question on everybody’s lips is not ‘Will Joy prove itself against its rivals on the big screen?’ but rather: ‘Can a film directed by Russell fulfill its potential as a feminist piece of cinema?

We await the answers with baited breath.

Joy (2015), directed by David O. Russell, is expected to be released in the UK on 1st January 2016 by 20th Century Fox. Certificate TBC. 

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Third year English Student, enjoys writing and tidying and sunflowers and gentle words of encouragement.

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