Movie Review: JOY
STAR RATING (out of 5): **
JOY is a bio-pic starring Jennifer Lawrence in the titular role, as she struggles to enact her dreams while dealing with her extremely dysfunctional family. Going by how this movie made me feel, it should rather have been titled “Pity”.
Jennifer Lawrence’s performance is pretty much the only feature that consistently works here. You see her successfully transcend from a depressed family member to a strong, independent woman. The script has its funny moments, so you’ll find yourself laughing a couple of times over some lines and interactions.
For a good amount of time, the direction in this film is very unclear. It goes from “this feels like a ridiculously dysfunctional and strange comedy” to “this is a drama now, I guess?”. The supporting cast doesn’t work as well as one might expect. De Niro basically plays De Niro here, which unfortunately is too much. Bradley Cooper plays a slick business dude with dreamy eyes. There’s a whole lot of others, but they really don’t fit together. Overall, the biggest question you will be left with is, “Why on earth did they call this Joy?”
Review by SAM SILBER