At First Glance: “Joy”

The biographical film is a strange genre. How does one decide that doing a film on someone is worth it? What makes that person, especially if they’ve been virtually forgotten, so special? Why not somebody else? Of course, these questions don’t usually matter when you get the right cast involved in the film.

The upcoming 20th Century Fox film “Joy”, appears to have the right cast, but can this film move you at all and make you feel that this was worth the wait, excitement, and time spent seeing it?

This biographical drama stars Jennifer Lawrence (upcoming film “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2”, “Serena”), Robert De Niro (upcoming “The Intern”, “The Bag Man”), Edgar Ramirez (upcoming “Point Break (2015)”, “Deliver Us From Evil”), Diane Ladd (“I Dream Too Much”, “”Just Before I Go”), Virginia Madsen (upcoming “The Lost Boy”, “Dead Rising: Watchtower”), Isabella Rossellini (“The Blacklist”,Enemy”), Elizabeth Rohm (upcoming “Everlasting”, “Stalker”), and Bradley Cooper (upcoming projects “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp”, “Adam Jones”).

The film is written and directed by David O. Russell (“American Hustle”, “Silver Linings Playbook”).

The film is set to open on Dec. 25, 2015.
  
I feel like I must first say that I’ve been eagerly waiting a first trailer for some time. I first heard of this and was intrigued, it is another film starring Lawrence and that’s all I needed to keep track of it. Then I heard it had begun filming, so I became excited! Then it seemed they’d wrapped and there was a dry spell on news about this film. And now we’re here. Today. With our first trailer for a film that looks promising, especially since I like so many people, probably don’t know who this woman is. Just one fascinating aspect of biopics that get made.

Of course, especially if you did any kind of research after the trailer was finished (for those uninformed), this cast is amazing! The recognizable names tell you as much, but it’s the less known ones that popped up that may surprise people. For me, I’m just surprised to see Ladd in a film like this. I’m excited by it! Same goes for Madsen, and Rossellini. I can’t wait!! Take my word for it.

Now, looking exclusively what was shown in the teaser trailer, there’s a lot that’s going to happen. A lot of fun and dramatic moments. Lawrence certainly has her hands full as Joy Mangano, which is usually where we get the best work from her. Deep, layered characters seem to be something she’s good at.

The rest of the cast came and went numerous times. De Niro and Cooper are instantly recognizable. I think I saw Ramirez, but it was ever so brief. Rohm may have appeared but I’m not sure. See, this is the problem with teaser trailers. Get us all excited and yet give us virtuatlly nothing. Sadly, Madsen, Ladd, and Rossellini I couldn’t tell you if they even appeared in a quick flash. They may have. In fact, I’m banking on the woman’s voice we hear at the beginning as belonging to Ladd, seeing as she’s the oldest person and probably plays Joy’s grandmother.

What makes it difficult to judge any of the moments seen, other than potentially exciting and sad, is because there’s no more than two lines of dialogue spoken. However, they don’t both occur within the context of any given scene.

Even if I’m a bit disappointed by the lack of dialogue in the scenes, to tell me anything about the performances, I’m still glad that there’s finally footage to drool over. For now it does the trick and makes me excited for the inevitable second trailer. Now how long will that be?

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