Nominated for two Golden Globes: Best Picture - Comedy or Musical and Best Actress!

Joy, David O. Russell’s screwball spin on the rags-to-riches biopic, opens with the line: ‘Inspired by stories of brave women.’ He could just as easily have borrowed the opening line from his last film, American Hustle – ‘Some of this actually happened’.

Poster art for JoyA brilliantly feminist film, Joy is based on the life of Joy Mangano, the single mom who, in the early 1990s, invented the self-wringing Miracle Mop. We first see Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) as a girl, making a fairytale forest kingdom out of paper. ‘All that’s missing is a prince’, says her sister – ‘I don’t need a prince’.

Later, Joy meets Neil (Bradley Cooper), the boss of the QVC shopping channel that will make her a superstar. Both their hearts skip a beat – but Joy doesn’t have time for that. She is too busy building her business, raising her kids and managing her ludicrously misbehaving relatives, amongst them her womanizing dad (Robert De Niro) and his rich Italian girlfriend (Isabella Rossellini).

This is Jennifer Lawrence’s third film with Russell (after Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle) and she is irresistible in this role – gritty, real and totally genuine.  Along with this year’s Brooklyn and Carol, Joy passes the Bechdel Test (for female characters who talk about something other than a man) with flying colours.

– Cath Clarke, Time Out

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