By Andrea K. Hammer
According to film lore, the first 7 minutes of a movie determine if viewers will hang on for the ride. In the case of the movie Joy about the self-made millionaire Joy Mangano, pressing beyond this parameter to sort out the chaotic and extended scenes of a Dysfunctional Family delivers an unexpected payoff.
Unique Filmmaking Techniques
From the opening scene, unique filmmaking techniques signal a wild movie experience. With many quick-take shots of numerous characters jumping forward and back in time, effort to identify and hold onto the strands is required. Along with their soap-opera viewing obsession, the family’s own immersion in these clever sequences, flashbacks merging with the present and other distorted dreams often leave viewers wondering what just happened.
Important Example of Mother Pursuing Her Dreams
After showing the whirling personal demands that Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) contends with on an hourly basis, the film gains clarity and focus as she invents and faces the challenges of launching a new product. As she uses her daughter’s crayons to sketch designs for a prototype, the mother sets an important example of finally pursuing her own childhood dreams despite the roadblocks and unforgivable family betrayal.
Cast of Big-Name Actors in Quirky Roles
A cast of big-name and oddly matched actors contribute to the quirky yet ultimately effective quality of the movie Joy. Bradley Cooper plays the CEO who ends up giving Joy a break at QVC–and a second chance after a demo malfunction–with a mixture of drive and compassion. As the divorced father who moves back into Joy’s basement, Robert De Niro‘s character Rudy hooks up with the business-savvy Trudy (Isabella Rossellini) who invests in Joy’s business but is constantly in her face. Playing her soap-opera-fixated mother Terry, Virginia Madsen is unrecognizable under oversized glasses in her lethargic TV-watching position. Diane Ladd, as Joy’s grandmother Mimi who fervently believes in her ability to become a successful business woman, gives the movie tenderness–particularly in a memorable scene at her own funeral.
Emergence of Strong Business Woman Protecting the Rights to Her Own Product
As viewers watch Joy single-handedly deal with ruthless adversaries attempting to steal her designs and patent, Jennifer Lawrence swaggers convincingly after moving from fragility to fierceness. In this inspiring story about Joy Mangano, with Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, viewers cheer as a strong business woman protects the rights to her own business–and refuses to roll over or back down.