Saturday, 16 January 2016

REVIEW: JOY

3.5/5

Silver Linings Hustle.

124 Minutes. Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini & Bradley Cooper. Director: David O. Russell. 

'Joy' to the word, Jennifer Lawrence is one of the worlds best. Going once, twice and now three times a Rich lady with modern day leading director David O. Russell and iconic legend Robert De Niro in 'Silver Linings Playbook' and 'American Hustle' and these aforementioned attractions plus the deep south 'Serena' with what chemistry says should be an off screen love interest Bradley Cooper (but its not we're not a gossip column, spreading rumors. They are just good friends). Now add 'Joy' to David O. Russell's big three films with his big three actors. But if in this world 'Trainwreck' basketball Cavalier LeBron James is king...than J-Law is queen. The 'Mockingjay' has finally caught fire and finished 'The Hunger Games'...parts one and two (have you Collins chapter readers?). But even after being the franchisee of a franchise that really ate up everything, she's still famished for more. To catch fire with a Mockingjay again, go set your watch man...its her time. This Lawrence of the Academy has been nominated for an Oscar once again after winning the first time she took to the red carpet and didnt trip over a little stumble...or two. Now with her latest look into the American Playbook she's living the United States dream all the way to the Walk Of Fame in a Hollywood that belongs to her. The young Meryl Streep is on a hot streak that doesnt look to set, but only continue to rise like the California sun. 'X-Mens' magnificent Mystique (make that two leading cult franchises) is adapting her shape shifting chamelonic nature to yet another character. This time a woman who took the shopping networks of QVC by storm and became a self made millionaire by creating inventions for the home like the miracle mop. The same clean sweep this maverick actress is using to wipe away the competition. From 'Carol' to Cate Blanchett and all the other amazing actresses out there. Now if that or her isnt Apple Pie inspiring or a slice of the American dream, than I dont know what is.

Maybe Russell? David O. is really outstanding in his hustle of telling tales of the American dream. Just check the linings of his playbook. That's not silver...its Academy gold Oscar. All that glitz shot in the niched, signature style of gleaming instant vintage cinematics truly glitters, like the snowflakes falling on the aviators of our leading blonde bombshell with her sea eyes to a sky just as beautiful blue. But it's more than the legacy making look that meets the shaded eye of a man that directs a runaway runway cast of young Hollywood stars that throb the hearts and pin up the billboards they post up. There's a heart and soul of substance behind the chic and cool fashioned style. From drama dynamics to dialogue depth these movies are unflinchinhly emotional and unforgivingly funny. Even 'Joy', no matter the emotion...or actor. From rising, sky-diving and surfing 'Point Break' reboot star Edgar Ramirez, who is really having the Swayze of his life and is on point all the time here as one half of the best divorced couple and friends ever. To some real wonder women for our heroic young Mystique to look up to. Like the versatile maestro Virginia Madsen or the legendary Diane Ladd in mothering and grand roles respectively. Even the iconic Isabella Rossellini is here and better than ever in this Russ reunion. Someone call Ross from 'Friends'. Laminate this one when you lament it because if this movie has the characters than the director has the development. And even stunningly set in the winter bones of a small town the texture is much more to the touch of the traditional Russell bill. No matter how many vivid imaginations his dollars could dream up.

All the millions have nothing on the three making all of that and more. The 'Godfather' of 'Goodfella' gangster Robert De Niro has had a 'Casino' of a royal career. Even meeting the parents and re-inventing himself in post retirement from 'Last Vegas' to 'Dirty Grandpa' in maybe a way a classic contemporary like Pacino could not. Still after all the 'Heat' this actor has been in, something felt like it was missing, or lost forever until Russell found a new direction for the legend legacy that mixes his penchant for comedy and tragedy potently. You can laugh at a line where De Niro compares his ex wife to a gas leak, but you can also see the hurt behind it that truly kills him. Only an actor like him could give us that with so much deliverance. Russell just know how to get the best out of his actors...even the best. Just ask Christian Bale...or his bathroom scales. Luckly Russell has been hanging with next pretty boy turned Pitt, Bradley Cooper for some time now. Bringing the anxiety awareness out of him for 'Silver Linings' and the hair curlers for 'Hustle'. Watching him go from the stage of nomination to that of theatre, from Broadway to the West End in 'The Elephant Man' that will be his Oscar if ever adapted and remade in cinemas. Here even in a reduced role as a cable station manager, Cooper owns it, from apologising for his rude colleagues almost laughing Lawrence out of the room after a "long week", to showing beneath the quality, value and convenience suit he wears like the weathered look on his face that it's been one of those years. You can see it in his characters eyes...no matter how hungover or still dreamy you think they are. Nothing looks to Russell's latest laser focussed vision like Lawrence however. After all 'the Oscar nomination goes too'... The best young actor in the world shows everyone everywhere the power of a self-made dream through good old fashioned hard work over plain old ignorant dismissals from those who will never make it like you desire to. This is more than hustle. Its struggle. Its survival. Its a better way. Better days. A better life. And it all starts with the motivation of inspiration. Hope a joyous cousin. Happiness personified. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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