Television is all about the limited series right now, and David O. Russell is cashing in on the trend.
David O Russell
Jennifer Lawrence’s newest starring vehicle, the Joy Mangano sorta-biopic, sorta-a-bunch-of-other-movies-smashed-together Joy, went into wide release over this past weekend only to meet with a spate of middling reviews. Lawrence’s unquestioning and absolute allegiance to director David O. Russell would appear to suggest that audiences can look forward to lots more pictures in the vein of the not-quite-there Joy, the not-quite-there American Hustle, and the not-quite-there Silver Linings Playbook. But hop one parallel dimension over, and Lawrence is currently being showered with praise for one of her most memorable, risky roles in a film that’s generated quite a bit of awards buzz.
Jennifer Lawrence was 24 when she shot Joy. Her character, Joy Mangano, was 34 when she invented the Miracle Mop and became one of the first stars of the QVC network. This fact remains inescapable throughout Joy. Lawrence remains watchable in Joy because, as one of our best young actors, she can’t help but be watchable. But she’s totally miscast as a divorced mother of two who’s been repeatedly beaten down by life’s disappointments. This part was meant for the Jennifer Lawrence of a 2025, not the one of 2015.
Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell are the best thing to happen to one another, making up two halves of a winning formula that’s created a handful of engaging and distinctive films popular with Oscar voters and neighborhood moviegoers alike.
Joy is not only the third consecutive film director David O. Russell has made with Jennifer Lawrence, but the fourth film in which Lawrence has appeared opposite Bradley Cooper. A new clip from the upcoming drama features Lawrence invoking the name of famed producer David O. Selznick and flexing her Oscar season muscles.
Whatever you do, never speak on behalf of Jennifer Lawrence. Seriously, don’t do it. Girl’s got a shotgun. In the latest trailer for David O. Russell’s Joy, we get a longer look at the Lawrence-led family drama, and a really great line courtesy of Robert De Niro.
The first time Jennifer Lawrence teamed with writer/director David O. Russell, they made Silver Linings Playbook, and she won an Oscar. The second time they teamed together they made American Hustle, and she was nominated for another Oscar. Now they’ve got Joy, yet another prestige drama coming out in December. Looks like they’re going for the trifecta.
In the last couple of years, David O. Russell has reinvigorated his career with a trio of high-end awards movies: ‘The Fighter,’ ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ and ‘American Hustle.’ Before his rebound, though, Russell faced a rough couple years and hit his lowest pointed with ‘Nailed,’ a dark comedy starring Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal that he shot but never finished. After some problems with the film’s financing, unions shut down production over crew members not getting paid, and Russell himself finally walked away from the movie in 2010. For years, the conventional wisdom said ‘Nailed’ would never see the light of day.
Things are looking pretty good for 'American Hustle' director David O. Russell, who has spent the past five years reinventing himself. The man who was once known more for being a pain in the ass on the set of 'I Heart Huckabees' and getting in a fistfight with George Clooney while shooting 'Three Kings' has emerged as the modern master of the crowd-pleaser, crafting straightforward entertainments that make big bucks at the box office and get a bunch of Oscar attention. That's the kind of combination that keeps you making movies and convinces every actor in Hollywood to get in line to work with you. And that's probably why Robert De Niro is in talks to join the cast of 'Joy,' which will be his third collaboration with Russell in three years.
Comparing anything that isn't actual slavery to slavery is pretty tasteless and generally a really bad idea. Comparing a rich and successful actor's career to slavery is, well, a really bad idea. But, that's exactly what director David O. Russell did, saying Jennifer Lawrence's 'Hunger Games' contract is just like "slavery."