After a colourful introduction to Hollywood with high profile bust-ups on previous sets, David O. Russell has developed into one of the most dependable and Oscar-friendly directors on the planet.

His streak, though, ends here with the meandering Joy, a film with all the right parts assembled in a slightly jumbled configuration. Its script is somewhat disjointed, its tone skewed, and its direction lacks the confident attitude our titular heroine so desires.

Needless to say, Jennifer Lawrence is wonderful and Robert De Niro continues to do his best work with Russell, both very almost worth the admission fee alone.

Sitting stylistically between the moving Silver Linings Playbook and the quirky I Heart Huckabees, though never quite giving enough of either, Joy fails to give much – far less than what its title would have you believe.



CAST: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Édgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini

DIRECTOR: David O. Russell

WRITERS: David O. Russell and Annie Mumolo

SYNOPSIS: Joy is the story of the title character, who rose to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.