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Jennifer Lawrence shines in Joy

Film

As a child, Joy (Jennifer Lawrence) was bright, imaginative and dreamed of a future where her inventions could be celebrated and shared with the world.

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Fast forward 17 years and she is a divorced mother of two working a thankless job, living in a house that is crumbling around her and struggling to deal with her dysfunctional family.

Broken from life’s disappointments, she has all but forgotten the dreams she once had – until one day she has an idea.

Now Joy is risking everything, including her home, to bring her idea to life. But in the cutthroat world of business, not even family can be trusted.

Lawrence delivers a commanding performance as the disenchanted Joy, who undergoes a transformation from housewife to savvy businesswoman. The character is loosely based on the life of inventor/entrepreneur Joy Mangano, creator of The Miracle Mop – the world’s first self-wringing mop.

Robert De Niro stars as Joy’s womanising father, Rudy, while Isabella Rossellini and Elisabeth Rohm play, respectively, his latest love interest Trudy and jealous half-sister Peggy. Together, the three are a toxic burden with their constant efforts to mislead, undermine or sabotage.

Diane Ladd delivers a heart-warming turn as Joy’s grandmother (and only source of encouragement), with Edgar Ramirez as the loyal ex-husband Tony and Bradley Cooper playing business associate Neil.

Directed and written by David O Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Joy represents the third collaboration between Russell and Lawrence, and the fourth between Lawrence and Cooper (both of whom starred in Silver Linings Playbook).

O’Russell has created a strong script, weaving together an intense plot filled with lies, betrayal and hope. The story is an inspirational one, and many women will relate to the lead character.

As we head into a new year, Joy is a timely reminder that anything is possible if you are willing to fight for your dreams.

Joy opens in cinemas on Boxing Day.

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