The Road To The Oscars – Joy

Last year I did a blog post series ‘The Road To The Oscars’

I had such a great response to this series & I was told that it was a great guide to the awards given on the night! This year I’m starting off with none other than David O Russell’s adaptation of Joy Mangano’s success story. Joy hit cinemas January 1st 2016 and if you haven’t seen it yet it’s definitely a must see!

Joy (2015) brings us the third collaboration between Director David O’ Russell and Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. The film tells the story of Joy Mangano who is trying to hold together her family in New York. In a struggle to give herself and her family the life she thinks that they deserve, she puts her entire being into the effort of making a successful household product to earn her some big bucks. Joy invents “The Miracle Mop” and we watch her progress from first ideas to full production as well as all the drama along the way.

On paper, it’s almost difficult to get your head around why such big names both cast and director, were drawn to this script. I don’t think the story has initial appeal in terms of Hollywood, but luckily for the cast and crew, and David O’Russells magic, we have ourselves a damn inspirational film.

Does J-Law have a shot of scooping up Best Actress again after her big win in 2012? I really think she might do. She takes the desperation she has felt in her struggle to break into the professional acting world and applied it to the similar knock backs that Joy experienced. Who better to play a determined, ambitious, strong woman than a determined, ambitious, strong woman? For example, a more lets say privileged actor who has sailed through British boarding school to move onto an accredited acting school and plopped nicely at the end in Hollywood, just couldn’t be as authentic as J-Law when playing a character like this. She’s been pretty vocal recentley about the shocking conditions she lived in when she was in NYC trying to break into the acting world amidst rejection after rejection. And after all, as Johnny Depp says
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And who am I to argue with J-Depp?

Despite all her glory, Jen (yes Jen, yes we’re on first name terms) is up against some big names and some even bigger performances so who knows if she’ll make the cut! Either way, she is still bae for life.

In terms of direction, the first 30 minutes is the usual O’Russell ace we know and love. From the longer takes to the background score the movie. By the time Bradley Cooper is introduced at around 50 minutes in, the film seems to have lost some of its original pace and it’s nearly a very different production from the start. Remember the pace in Silver Linings Playbook? It kept me on my toes all movie long! Joy however did take a dip in the middle. This was luckily when the story became a bit more coherent though so attention was re-caught before I could begin to doubt the movie. By the end, Emily (Cousin, BFF, Roommate) and I were up off our chairs rooting away for Joy who had inspired us hugely for the past 2 hours. It’s the perfect film to start your 2016 off to enable you to push through any difficulties you might be facing because you never know the bigger picture until you’ve lived it! This film has really pushed me to focus on my acting and blogging, the inspiration you’ll feel from this picture is endless!

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One of the big not to be missed moments of the movie is Melissa Rivers appearance as her late mother, Joan Rivers. Her portrayal is uncanny and as scene stealing as Joan can be. “You’re never gonna ,make it in a mans world dressed like that.”


Everyone has had a moment in which there family / friends seem to be caving in on you and appear to have lost all hope in everything you promised to be. Their words feel like rocks being thrown at you yet you can’t feel a thing and can do nothing but state. Know that feeling? J-law clearly knows it well! This was one of my favourite scenes when Joys parents are laying in on her saying that she should never have dreamt as big as she did. Imagine this, then imagine your dad being RDN? I loved how beautiful J-Law carried out this pain.

tumblr_o0yrt8EYI91rv2s5wo1_1280The fabulous Dascha Palanco as the perfect best friend!

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  • The infamous red wine brought onto the boat and inspiration for the creation of the Miracle Mop, appears to be the 1975 Mouton Rothshield “Andy Warhol”, (at least in the film). This wine goes for around $400 a bottle in 2015
  • The movie is half fiction, half non-fiction. Mostly Joy’s career side being the real story.
  • David’ O Russell claims to have taken inspiration from The Godfather and sees elements of the film in Jens portrayal of Joy
  • J-Law was born the same year as the miracle mop! 1990.
  • J-law was called by David O’ Russell at 4am with the news she would be playing Joy



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