Joy reviews

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Re: Joy reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Fri Dec 25, 2015 3:45 pm

The Original BJ wrote:In honor of you, Italiano, I will watch my screener of Joy again today! :D

Merry Christmas!!!!!



I'd say Merry Christmas to you - but how merry can it be if you watch Joy AGAIN? :wink:

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Re: Joy reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Fri Dec 25, 2015 3:39 pm

In honor of you, Italiano, I will watch my screener of Joy again today! :D

Merry Christmas!!!!!

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Re: Joy reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Fri Dec 25, 2015 2:19 pm

Sabin wrote:This film cost $60 mil and I think it's going to be a giant flop.


Guess why :) I mean, this is a movie about the woman who invented the MIRACLE MOP! What could they hope? (For those here who, like me, don't speak English well and have no idea about what the Miracle Mop is, I will just say that it's not the cure for cancer). Even if it had been a great movie, it would have still been a flop.

But Joy isn't a great movie. Joy is a mess. It's true that it's not much worse than the much-praised Silver Linings Playbook (American Hustle is definitely better), but it's still worse, badly-told, with an exhausting gallery of "eccentric" characters who are now the director's trademark but are really getting more and more irritating (and distracting). And so fake! (The usually reliable and balanced Original B.J., in his love letter of a review, call them "deeply human"... I must have lived all my life among Blade Runner replicants then!). Bizarre isn't always endearing, and some devices - like having a secondary character narrate the story, which can be only partly explained by a (convenient but dreadful) flash-forward at the end - are really useless. Americans love success stories , but this is one I don't think needed to be told, I'm sorry.

As I've written before in other threads, Americans have this need - which I undertand and respect, and comes I guess from a lack of roots and too many ethnical backgrounds - to "agree", simply agree, on some issues that seem indisputable. I'm not sure that deep inside they really believe that it's true - it works more like a mantra, which they repeat over and over, and probably makes them feel safer, more united. One of these mantras is: Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress. She obviously isn't - maybe she's been good (for example in American Hustle), but in Joy - a movie which she really has to carry, playing a character over decades, though like the movie stars of the past she never seems to age - she's painfully inadequate. Pretty, of course, but when I read detailed comments on her performance in this movie ("look how she answers the phone", etc) I wonder if they are serious or a sort-of parody. And the worst thing is - if two leading actresses are finally nominated in the Supporting category by the Academy, she could get a totally undeserved nomination as Best Actress this year.
Last edited by ITALIANO on Fri Dec 25, 2015 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Joy reviews

Postby Sabin » Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:16 pm

I thought Jennifer Lawrence's efforts were consistently undercut by the fact that I don't think Russell really found the movie he was trying to tell and compensated with tangents like voice-over or time spent developing superfluous characters. I think David O. Russell wants to understand Joy as a character but the way he does it is by coming up with enough characters so that in every scene somebody can be arguing with her. I think he's so interested in locking into her struggle that I never felt close to her as a person. But there are numerous scenes where Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic. The scene where she cries and tells her daughter not to build anything, that the world only exists to take it away from you is very good. Part of it comes from this being the first role quite like this that she's taken (to my knowledge) but it felt like she was giving us something different in that scene. I loved how quiet she was on the phone call to Neil after the first disastrous QVC show and then how she pitches herself as the salesperson. Her yelling match with Ramirez in flashback. I liked her passing Rossellini's test, tossing off one of her questions with "That's a weird question." Um...I could go on.

Going to work. More later. This is the third time working with David O. Russell where she is playing a woman who categorically should be older but this is the first time where I didn't mind.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Joy reviews

Postby flipp525 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 9:19 am

Sabin wrote:
I think Jennifer Lawrence has a better handle on Joy than Russell does. I'm not sure this is one of her best performances but there are scenes with some of her best acting.

Can you elaborate here? Which scenes?
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Re: Joy reviews

Postby Sabin » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:03 am

The Original BJ wrote
I have to say, I really think the trailers for this movie have done a terrible job marketing it -- they make the movie seem like an oddball curio, with emphasis on Jennifer Lawrence wielding a gun, when in actuality, the film is a total crowd-pleaser that I imagine could have pretty wide appeal.

This film cost $60 mil and I think it's going to be a giant flop. Then again, I also thought Steve Jobs and Sleeping with Other People would be big hits so what do I know?

I think the reason that people are having a difficult time connecting with Joy (well, critics; very few people have seen the movie) is that it just explodes on the screen with plot-lines, fantasies, voice-over narration, and chaos. Joy begins with flashbacks, home movie-style while her grandmother narrates, so we can't help but start the film off by viewing Joy from afar. She's in motion, reacting to the world around her before we're even given a chance to settle in and register her as our protagonist. Silver Linings Playbook begins with Pat's monologue and a solid understanding of his quest for composure. Even American Hustle begins with Irving spraying his hair down. I only gradually felt locked into Joy. Russell spends an inordinate amount of time setting up a world that does very little to advance the plot beyond the first act. I like Russell's dedication to fleshing out dysfunctional families as breeding grounds for deserved success but this one could have used a little pruning. There are so many points of conflict that none of them feel primary or even secondary. Tomorrow is reserved for reading the Annie Mumolo draft.

I think Jennifer Lawrence has a better handle on Joy than Russell does. I'm not sure this is one of her best performances but there are scenes with some of her best acting. As the film goes on, I was reminded of The Master in that it felt like a collection of moments Russell fell in love with that he wanted to tie together. This is the first David O. Russell film since his "return" with The Fighter that I didn't like and yet for a good stretch of the film I found myself thinking that this is going to end up being a track on the B-Side of his career that invites revisitation.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Joy reviews

Postby Bog » Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:00 pm

HarryGoldfarb wrote:C-
Joy: EW review
Rated PG-13
Runtime 123 minutes

in a season rich with cinematic options—Star Wars, Sisters, The Revenant—this is not the joy you’re looking for. C–


This stanza should have been posted first...those of us not having seen Joy yet would have known to put zero stock in a word of this review

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Re: Joy reviews

Postby flipp525 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:04 pm

The Original BJ wrote:Thank you, flipp, for confirming that I'm not completely insane for finding a lot to admire here.

You're not insane at all; the movie was lovely and very fun. I'd say it was a better overall effort than American Hustle (which I liked). Also, BJ, I didn't read your review before I wrote mine, but I think it's funny how many similarities we found, especially what I wrote in my first paragraph. We clearly saw the same film.

Too bad Jennifer Lawrence will probably be passed up this year because of the surfeit of candidates in lead because I think she definitely gave a nomination-worthy performance. Why isn't Isabella Rossellini being talked up in that moribund supporting actress category? She's just hysterical (I loved her going on about the sailboat with the teak wood).
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Re: Joy reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:10 pm

Thank you, flipp, for confirming that I'm not completely insane for finding a lot to admire here.

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Re: Joy reviews

Postby flipp525 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:59 am

I went in with lowered expectations for Joy because of the poor reviews, but I really liked it! So fun, inventive at times, assured — it had a lot of touches that I thought really made the movie stand out from your ordinary rags-to-riches success story. Yes, this is the story of the creation of the Miracle Mop, but it really seemed to me a story about how much it takes to realize your dreams and how, more often than not, the dream you had as a child is the one thing you were truly meant to pursue. I related a lot to that as someone pursuing my own dreams and finally seeing some momentum this year on fulfilling them.

And, really, this is the ensemble that should be getting recognized in year-end awards. They all work perfectly together and many of the actors were doing some just wonderful character work. Isabella Rossellini is absolutely hysterical and steals every scene she's in. Virginia Madsen is funny and even touching later on in the film. Elisabeth Rohm (almost unrecognizable from her role in American Hustle) plays Joy's adversary well and really nails that half-sibling relationship. Robert DeNiro is funny and Edgar Ramierez is sexy and realistic as a kind of hapless lothario. Diane Ladd seemed fairly unused in the main storyline but I thought her perspective was a nice way to ground the film. (By the way, loved Melissa Rivers' cameo as Joan Rivers!)

And I loved how the soap-opera-within-the-movie acted as a sort of through-line and also a mirror reflecting the crazy antics taking place on-screen. People will probably recognize Susan Lucci because she's such an icon, but all of those people are soap actors (from either "General Hospital" or "All My Children"). It was hilarious how years would go by and they were basically doing the same scene over and over again (which is definitely how soaps work!)

It seems like Best Actress is too crowded this year for Jennifer Lawrence to slip in, but I think this is absolutely some of her best work. She shows such an easy flair, such grit and gusto. Too young - yet again - for the part, but she subsumes herself into the role with such ease and confidence, you barely even notice. I thought some of her strongest scenes were at QVC when she's fighting for her product. Her on-air sales debut moment is delightful. And, it's almost redundant to say at this point, but her chemistry with Bradley Cooper is very palpable and electric (as a sidenote, I wanted every single blazer that Cooper wore throughout the film including that beautiful houndstooth). I thought Joy's Dallas showdown was a little out-of-nowhere (how did she even afford a plane ticket at that point to get to Dallas?) but Lawrence somehow makes it work. Random aside, but thought she was styled too much like a lesbian in her final scene. That whole coda was a bit strange actually.

Another great performance from Lawrence with strong ensemble support make this an unusual biopic well worth seeing.
Last edited by flipp525 on Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:28 pm, edited 6 times in total.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Re: Joy reviews

Postby HarryGoldfarb » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:17 pm

C-
Joy: EW review
Rated PG-13
Runtime 123 minutes

David O. Russell’s films are filled with seekers and strivers and lovable misfits—American hustlers working hard to carve out their own oddball corner of the dream. Even for them though, a movie about a mop might feel a little quixotic.

Working once again with muse Jennifer Lawrence, Russell aims to adapt the real-life tale of Joy Mangano, a plucky but overwhelmed single mother whose falling-down house can barely contain her dysfunctional family. Her curdled Casanova of a father (Robert DeNiro) grudgingly shares the basement with her unemployed ex (Edgar Ramirez), while her catatonic mother (Virginia Madsen) loses herself in daytime soaps and her hostile half-sister (Elisabeth Rohm) seethes in various corners. But Joy has ideas, you see; she’s always been a smart girl, and a messy incident on the sailboat belonging to her father’s latest paramour leads to a Eureka moment: A highly absorbent, hands-free Miracle Mop designed to liberate housewives like her from linoleum drudgery. Cue the rocky but triumphant climb from double-mortgage penury to TV stardom on the then-nascent QVC. (That’s where Bradley Cooper fairly uselessly comes in.)

If only Russell trusted Mangano’s true story. Instead, he’s turned her life into a over-staged mess of awkward exposition, contrived dialogue, and characters so willfully unreal they feel acrylic. Lawrence is, once again, ridiculously young for the role (Mangano was nearly a decade older at the time) but also much better and more natural than the noteless part she’s forced to play. She can’t save a turkey though; in a season rich with cinematic options—Star Wars, Sisters, The Revenant—this is not the joy you’re looking for. C–
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Re: Joy reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:57 pm

Big Magilla wrote:Joy is running 53% on Rotten Tomatoes and 63% on Metacritic. Maybe it's time to forget about a fourth nomination for Jennifer Lawrence.


Yeah, it's becoming more evident that my opinion of the movie is not going to be the consensus. And if people just aren't liking the movie overall, it could be easy to see Lawrence dumped from Best Actress contention given the plethora of other options from better-liked movies.

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Re: Joy reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:45 pm

Joy is running 53% on Rotten Tomatoes and 63% on Metacritic. Maybe it's time to forget about a fourth nomination for Jennifer Lawrence.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: Joy reviews

Postby flipp525 » Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:23 pm

Greg wrote:
flipp525 wrote:Also, if Mark Rylance does manage to win as Reza has been predicting, he better not do one of those very annoying little Tony speeches he does because that ain't gonna play with this crowd.


What makes his Tony speeches annoying?

They're just a bit to showy for me. They always have to have a shtick. Your mileage may vary, but I find them tedious and rather annoying. He's an excellent actor though, don't get me wrong. I loved his performance on stage in "Boeing-Boeing" several years ago.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Re: Joy reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:11 pm

Sabin wrote:Thanks, man. This is now officially the movie I'm most looking forward to again. Where do you rank this in his canon?

Also, do you think Cooper and Rossellini can get nominated? I don't know why I started to think Diane Ladd had a chance. Does she?


I think Joy is at the level of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, my favorite Russell films, and two movies with which it shares clear similarities in terms of style/tone and (obviously) cast. So, if you hate those movies, adjust your expectations accordingly.

I'm iffy on the supporting cast's prospects, but wouldn't rule them out. Cooper's first few scenes are so full of dominant monologues at first I thought he actually would be a likely nominee...until he disappeared from much of the second half of the movie, and I wondered if his earlier impression would be enough. Rossellini definitely has the kookiest character, with a lot of funny lines, but she isn't foregrounded in all that many scenes; then again, Jacki Weaver managed to pull off a nod with even less of a profile. Ladd mostly serves as the narrator -- she doesn't have all that much to do within the story proper, and I'd be surprised if she gained any traction.


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