In 1990 Joy Mangano invented the Miracle Mop.
It was a complete flop and nearly bankrupt her and her family in the process.
The US shopping channel’s top sales on screen sales people couldn’t work it and so her ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to make her millions turned into standing on the cusp of losing them instead.
So she took matters into her own hands. She asked QVC to let her sell her mops herself on screen explaining “I’m just like everybody else out there. I’m a mom, I work, I have a house to clean, things to organize. We all have certain similar needs, and I address them.” This came across in a very real and engaging way on QVC and the rest was history. She is now a $3 x billionaire.
In Joy, Jennifer Lawrence puts in a performance that not only captures this spectacular rags to riches story but breaks your heart along the way.
There really only is one Jennifer Lawrence with her myriad looks, faces and delightfully subtle intonations. JLaw is a force of nature.
So too is David O. Russell, her doting director, who has now cast her in his last three excellent movies, including Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle (and, in all three, he places the brilliant Bradley Cooper alongside her).
Always, the effect is cinematic magic.
No less so here despite the relatively lukewarm reaction from IMDB voters and critics alike. (How can this be so?)
The script appears to takes many liberties with the true life story for both comic and dramatic effect, but who cares it’s a movie.
The ensemble gathered around J Law’s star vehicle performance also include a rejuvenated Robert De Niro as her morally dubious father, Isabella Rossellini (no really), Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen and Elisabeth Rohm (as her rather hateful half sister).
Three, maybe four, times this movie made me completely fill up, not because of the fantastic human story but because of the remarkable performance by Jennifer Lawrence and the stunning direction of her by Russell.
Ignore the critics.
Just, not this one.
You’ll thank me.