Through most of David O. Russell’s latest film, Joy Mangano is a hot mess. So too is the movie recounting her admittedly impressive story. O. Russell’s mop drama, which tells of the meteoric rise of an enterprising, low-income single mom, reprises the director’s almost voyeuristic fascination with lower-class dysfunctional families. This narrative thread was accomplished to great effect with The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook (don’t forget the wide-eyed Tiffany lived in a makeshift hodunk studio in the later) and, if Joy is any indication, this recurring thematic motif has run itself dry as menopause with O. Russell. The once-great director, known for culling Academy Award worthy performances one after another, is left floundering with little but the awesome starring power of Jennifer Lawrence to revive this spark-less, cluttered trainwreck of soapy family melodrama. Read More
Sleigh bells be damned. All we want for Christmas is movies! With cold weather driving us indoors and holidays meaning family time galore – which in turns means escape from family time galore – the movie theater becomes a quiet solace in which to bask in the creativity of other people. We’re cut through the stacks of Holiday offerings to give you the 10 December films we positively cannot wait for. Amongst them are big (and we mean big) blockbusters, a few little indie flicks, an adult stop-motion drama, new films from Alejandro González Iñárritu, David O. Russell and Quentin Tarantino and even a holiday horror for the scary movie fans. And of course, Star Wars. If all of them are as good as we’re hoping, it’ll be a Christmas miracle.