In recent years, it seems as though awards season isn’t truly here until David O. Russell releases a film. And his most recent offering, Joy, might just be his best.
The trailer introduces us to the titular character, as played by Jennifer Lawrence, a single mother struggling to find her way in a world where others restrain her creativity and independence, by attempting to mould her into the woman she “should” be. The supporting cast is just as stellar, with Isabella Rossellini joining previous Russell collaborators: Robert DeNiro and Bradley Cooper. The latter certainly appears to be refreshingly demure in this trailer, especially when compared to his flamboyant turn in American Hustle.
Despite all of this, Lawrence is definitely the star of this film. Her steely-eyed resolve and determined gait are obvious, but these hide an emotional complexity which is enough to appease any qualms regarding Russell’s continued infatuation for the young actress. In fact, it is easy to notice the similarities between Lawrence herself and Joy Mangano, the entrepreneur whose invention of the Miracle Mop inspired this film. Both emphasize how relatable they are, and use this as a unique selling point – and a very successful one, at that.
Moments of comedy are also promised; this is to be expected from writer Annie Mumolo (nominated for an Academy Award for her work on Bridesmaids). However, an underlying sense of apprehension and vulnerability permeates through. It will be interesting to see how these heavier themes will be handled in contrast to the lighter tone. But if the trailer is anything to go by, this will be a joy to watch.
Joy will be released in the UK on the 1st of January 2016.