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JOY (2015)

David O. Russell has directed and written one of the finest films of the year, while giving Jennifer Lawrence the best role of her young career. This is a semi-autobiographical dramatic film with some comedic overtones loosely based on the life of Joy Mangano, an entrepreneur who created her own business empire. Joy was a divorced mother of three young children when in the early 1990s she invented the Miracle Mop and became an overnight success, creating patents on about another 100 products that she mostly sold on QVC and the Home Shopping Network. The film has taken liberties with her life, as they say for dramatic license, which has helped in making this film wildly entertaining to watch. It’s filled with memorable characters and is especially meaningful to anyone who has been thrown in the proverbial gutter and yet still has the will to succeed. Tremendous support is lent by Robert DeNiro, Diane Ladd (who as the grandmother not only narrates the story but proves to be Joy’s greatest proponent), Bradley Cooper, Isabella Rossellini (Ingrid Bergman’s daughter), Virginia Madsen, and Edgar Ramirez as Joy’s ex-husband who proves himself to be one of her greatest defenders and friends. I especially liked the way this film ended with Joy showing much compassion to those in the same shoes she was in a few years earlier. ​

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