Joy(David O. Russel) 2015 *** 12/28/2015

Joy(Jennifer Lawrence) invents the miracle mop, and this slightly saccharine movie details the travails of her making it sell on QVC, with the help of businessman Neil Walker(Bradley Cooper more engaging than I have seen him in some time, and masculine in a way that ‘Serena’ would have been greatly served by) and her dysfunctional family.  Joy is an engaging character, and Lawrence fleshes out her fragility and strength in eye-watering and thrilling ways.  De Niro gives a strong performance as Joy’s father.  Édgar Ramírez is cloying and out of key as her husband.  The movie grates sometimes as a paean to American capitalism of the anyone-can-make-it blend, the performances of the child actors were insipid, and here today gone tomorrow narration from Joy’s ‘Mimi'(Diane Ladd) is platitudinous and unfulfilling.  I can’t stand narration from a character who is dead, and don’t care for this character’s perspective.  Joy’s perspective is the most interesting part of the film, and is the film.  Jennifer Lawrence delivers it in an inspired way, and to see her up on the big screen is a real pleasure.

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