Movie Review Revisited: Joy

It has been almost a year since I saw the movie Joy and I thought at the time it was one of the best movies I have ever seen and I still do. Recently this movie has been showing regularly on HBO and I have been reminded of how great a movie this is and in fact how well this film approached the subject of being poor, trying to break out of a bleak existence and how people even in your own family will do and say almost anything to destroy your dreams. There are several scenes in this movie where Joy Mangano, played by Jennifer Lawrence is sabotaged by her own sister, who was jealous of her success. Joy’s sister was so quick to try and knock her down at every opportunity throughout this entire film. When things were not going well, her sister “piled on” over and over again, almost as if she was receiving extreme pleasure from her sister’s setbacks. Even Joy’s own father played by Robert Deniro seemed to derive pleasure when Joy’s business was having problems and at one point was even facing bankruptcy. Her father was the first to point out the mistakes and that it was all her fault that she put her family in financial jeopardy and that it was a mistake for Joy to ever think that she could be anything more than poor, or a failure, like the rest of the family. He even went to the extent of blaming himself for giving Joy the belief that she could be anything more than below average. Clearly, this is not only a disgusting trait in many people, but just as unfortunately, more often something that someone can expect from good number of people they will encounter in their life.

So one of the main questions this movie points out is, why are people like this? Because they believe that if someone is successful and breaks out of the same reality that they are in, that somehow this reflects on them negatively. In other words, how dare someone believe that they can expect something better than I have resolved to accept? In my experience, this is something I have seen so many times, not only in my own personal life but in my working life as well. Joy points out that in order to be successful in life, you not only have to have perseverance, but you also have to ignore and move on when everybody around you wants you to fail.

There is a scene in the movie Joy that is so profound for me that it ranks as one of the most singular movie moments I have ever seen in any film. The combination of Joy’s reaction to a high point with her business and the muted sound of a bell and some subtle emotional background music gives me an extreme reaction no matter how many times I have seen this movie. The movie Joy should have received an Academy Award nomination for best picture last year and in my opinion, should have won, not only for the great quality of the writing, acting and overall production; but for its unique insight into what it takes in life to be successful.

After almost a year and I don’t know why I waited this long to buy one, I recently bought the mopwhich was the first product that changed Joy Mangano’s life. After using it a few days, I highly recommend it.

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