“Joy” is the latest Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell project in the Oscar hunt

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Between Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, it’s undeniable that Jennifer Lawrence and filmmaker David O. Russell have a tremendous thing going. Their working relationship is as strong as any other in the business. I’m of the opinion that they’ve put forward two Oscar worthy projects, one of which was able to get Lawrence an Academy Award for Best Actress (for Silver Linings Playbook). Both times, Russell found himself nominated for Best Director and in either Best Adapted Screenplay or Best Original Screenplay, while the other time Lawrence was up for Best Supporting Actress. That’s a winning formula if ever there was one. Later this year, they’ll attempt to go three for three with Joy, a biographical dramedy that will also be the third time they’ve worked together with Bradley Cooper (who also has been nominated twice, as well as co-starred with Lawrence in Serena earlier this year) as well as Robert De Niro. Right now, it’s hard to believe this won’t be another big awards juggernaut for them.

The movie is a fictionalized look at Joy Mangano (though the filmmakers have apparently made this more of a composite character and not strictly about her), a successful entrepreneur who hit it big with a special mop. Lawrence will portray Joy as she goes from a young single mother to the founder and matriarch of a powerful family business that will be a dynasty for generations to come. Russell obviously directs and co-writes with Annie Mumolo (who penned the initial script but oddly only receives a Story By credit here), while the supporting cast, in addition to the aforementioned Cooper and De Niro includes Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Edgar Ramirez, Elisabeth Röhm (returning from American Hustle), Isabella Rossellini, and more.

First and foremost, this has to be labeled a contender due to the track record of Lawrence and Russell, especially when paired together. Two of Lawrence’s three nominations are while working with Russell, while he’s been up for the biggest prizes each time since he paired up with her. He’s been on a big run of nominations since The Fighter, without having gotten an Oscar of his own, so he’s a filmmaker who’s very much do for a statue. Could it be this time? Could Lawrence win her second Academy Award? These are distinct possibilities at this point, along with potentially getting Cooper his first prize as well. The potential for this one is pretty much endless…

In terms of its awards prospects, like I just said, the possibilities and potential are almost endless for Joy. You can definitely start off with Best Picture, Best Director (for Russell), Best Actress (for Lawrence), Best Supporting Actor (for Cooper, De Niro, and/or Ramirez), Best Supporting Actress (for Ladd, Madsen, Röhm, and/or Rossellini), and Best Original Screenplay (for Mumolo and Russell) among the big eight categories, with Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, as well as Best Makeup and Hairstyling among the technical fields. Honestly, the techs will be a bit of a crapshoot, but right now you’d be foolish not to predict Lawrence in Actress and Cooper in Supporting Actor. The film itself will reveal its quality in a few months time, but those A-list stars will be in play regardless of Russell. That being said, if the movie is at least solid, expect him to be in play for Director and Original Screenplay as well. Especially if it gets into Picture, watch out.

JOY Jennifer Lawrence headshot w:eyeglasses

Joy is easily one of the biggest contenders that we’ve barely seen anything from right now. There’s a Teaser Trailer (that you can see below) and some images, but that’s it. We’re mostly going off of the track record of late for Russell, particularly in terms of his work with Lawrence. Frankly, that’s enough to keep it in a lot of categories until proven otherwise. The film comes out on December 25th, so unless it surprisingly plays one of the fall film festivals, it’ll be about four months or so until pundits like myself get a look at it. Until then, there’s this Teaser and plenty of Joy related speculation. Sit tight…

Here’s the Teaser Trailer for Joy, in case you haven’t seen it yet:

Stay tuned for much more on Joy between now and its release on Christmas Day!

Joy Poster Jennifer Lawrence

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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