It’s funny how some filmmakers can be loved by some people, and reviled by others. Then again, that goes for anyone when it comes to the arts I guess. David O. Russell is one of those filmmakers that tends to split people, where on one hand he’s seen as a genius, but on the other he’s a bit of a hack. For me, I tend to lean towards the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed his films, like The Fighter and Three Kings, but he’s also made ones I’ve really disliked, such as American Hustle.
With his latest offering, Joy, he’s teamed up once again with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, who starred in his last two films as well. I do like it when filmmakers team up with talent like that, as it reminds us that despite how much we expect films and other entertainment to satisfy our selfish needs, at the end of the day these are projects where creative’s have come together to make art. When they keep working together on back to back projects, it reminds me of an acting troupe putting out a stage show every year at the local theatre, which is a cool idea.
With his last two films not exactly high in my good books, with Silver Linings Playbook being enjoyable for the first two thirds and then just getting odd for the last third, and American Hustle being plain annoying, meant Joy had some work to do to step above or away from those. Well, it kind of did. This time around it was the first third which was odd and annoying, but once the meat of the story kicked in, then I was hooked. Though I think the interesting nature of the true story, and the performance of Lawrence, was what kept me going, as the actual filmmaking was still just ok.
7.5 out of 10 from me!!!