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Joy (2015 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid O. Russell
Screenplay byDavid O. Russell
Story by
Produced by
CinematographyLinus Sandgren
Edited by
Music by
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • December 13, 2015 (2015-12-13) (New York City)
  • December 25, 2015 (2015-12-25) (United States)
Running time
124 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$60 million[2]
Box office$101.1 million[3]

Joy is a 2015 American biographical comedy-drama film written and directed by David O. Russell and starring Jennifer Lawrence as Joy Mangano, a self-made millionaire who created her own business empire.

Joy received a theatrical release on December 25, 2015, by 20th Century Fox. The film grossed $101 million worldwide, and received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for Lawrence's performance, but criticism for the writing and pacing of the film.

Joy earned Lawrence the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, in addition to nominations for the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actress and the Academy Award for Best Actress, with the latter making the 25-year-old the youngest person in history to receive four Academy Award nominations.[4] The film also received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.



In 1990, Joy Mangano, an airline booking agent residing in Peconic, New York, struggles financially while juggling a complicated family life. Living with Joy are her two children and her single mother, Terri, who spends all day in bed watching soap operas, her maternal grandmother, Mimi, and her under-employed ex-husband, Tony, a wannabe singer who sleeps in the basement.

Joy's overachieving paternal half-sister, Peggy, constantly humiliates her in front of her children for her failed marriage. Joy's father, Rudy, further complicates matters when he also moves into the basement after his third divorce.

Mimi and Joy's best friend, Jackie, encourage Joy to pursue her inventing ambitions. Frustrated when using a conventional mop, she designs and builds an innovative self-wringing type. Trudy, a wealthy Italian widow Rudy is dating, agrees to invest in Joy's product. They contract a California company to manufacture the mop's parts at a low price.

To avoid a potential patent lawsuit, the company advises Joy to pay $50,000 in royalties to a man in Hong Kong who has a similar product. When the manufacturer repeatedly bills Joy to remake their faulty parts, she refuses to pay.

Joy meets QVC executive Neil Walker, who agrees to sell her mops on TV. To manufacture 50,000 additional units, she takes out a second home mortgage. When the first TV attempt fails after the celebrity pitchman improperly demonstrates the product, Joy demands she be allowed to do a second infomercial. The mop sells out, earning thousands of dollars; her success is soon tempered by Mimi's sudden death.

Joy's fledgling business is financially jeopardized after Peggy pays the manufacturer's excessive overcharges without Joy's approval. The manufacturer refuses to refund the money, and a contract loophole allows them to fraudulently patent Joy's mop design as their own.

Shortly after filing for bankruptcy, Joy discovers there never was a similar product in Hong Kong, and the manufacturer has defrauded her. She confronts owner Derek Markham, forcing him to refund the overcharges, pay damages, and relinquish any claim to her patent or else face criminal charges.

Joy becomes a successful independent businesswoman who sponsors other inventors. Jackie and Tony are her most valued advisers. Joy supports her aging father, despite his and Peggy's unsuccessful lawsuit for ownership of her company. Only Terri is independent, having found stability with Toussaint, a Haitian plumber Joy once hired. As Neil predicted, he and Joy became "adversaries in commerce" with her move to HSN, but they remain personal friends.





Writing and casting


In January 2014, it was announced that David O. Russell's upcoming project would entail rewriting and directing a drama film about American inventor and entrepreneur Joy Mangano, a struggling Long Island single mom of three children.[5] Russell set Jennifer Lawrence to play the lead role in the film, which John Davis and John Fox produced for Davis Entertainment, along with Ken Mok, with 20th Century Fox holding the distribution rights.[5] In early November 2014, Russell said it was "a great opportunity to do something neither Jennifer nor I have done [before]". He also stated that he would like to cast Robert De Niro and create a role for Bradley Cooper to star in the film.[18] On November 11, it was reported that De Niro was in final talks to re-team with Russell and Lawrence in the film, to play Mangano's father.[19] They worked together in the 2012 film Silver Linings Playbook, and then De Niro made a cameo in 2013's American Hustle.[7] Russell rewrote the script by Annie Mumolo.[7] On November 17, De Niro confirmed his casting, saying "Yes I am going to do something with them. I am going to play a father."[7] In early December 2014, Cooper was officially set to star along with Lawrence, playing an executive at QVC who helps Joy by giving the Miracle Mop a boost.[8] On December 8, Édgar Ramírez was cast as Tony Miranda, Joy's now ex-husband.[9] Additional cast members, including Isabella Rossellini, Diane Ladd, and Virginia Madsen in unspecified roles, were revealed on February 17, 2015.[10] Isabella Crovetti-Cramp played young Joy.[6] In February, another working title was revealed, which was Kay's Baptism.[20] Elisabeth Röhm's casting as Peggy, sister of Joy Mangano, was revealed on February 27, 2015.[13]



Principal photography began in February 2015, after De Niro completed the shooting of Dirty Grandpa.[7] Filming was originally set to begin on February 9, 2015, in Boston, Massachusetts, making this Russell's third film shot in the area.[21][22] Due to snow in the city, filming was rescheduled to begin on February 19, on Federal Street in Wilmington, Massachusetts, lasting through February 26,[23][24] but principal photography on the film began in Boston on February 16, 2015.[10][25][26]

In Wilmington, filming lasted until February 26, 2015.[27] On February 27, 2015, Lawrence made a Facebook post denying the rumors about her clashes with Russell on the set of the film, saying, "David O. Russell is one of my closest friends and we have an amazing collaborative working relationship. I adore this man and he does not deserve this tabloid malarkey. This movie is going great and I'm having a blast making it!"[28] After wrapping up in Wilmington, the production moved to North Reading, where shooting took place March 2–4, 2015[20] and on March 11 and 12.[29]





The film had its world premiere in New York City on December 13. It was released to theaters in the United States on December 25, 2015.[30]

Home media


Joy was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Ultra HD Blu-ray on May 3, 2016 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Stage musical adaptation


In 2022, a stage musical of the same name titled Joy premiered at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey, starring Erika Henningsen in the title role. Mangano had sold the stage rights to theatrical producer Ken Davenport, and she attended the premiere performance on December 16, 2022.[31][32]



Box office

Jennifer Lawrence's performance received positive reviews from critics. She received her fourth Academy Award nomination for her performance, becoming, at age 25, the youngest person in history to receive four Oscar nominations.[4]

Joy grossed $56.4 million in the U.S. and Canada and $44.7 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $101.1 million against a budget of $60 million.[3]

In the United States and Canada, the film opened on December 25, 2015 alongside Point Break, Daddy's Home, and Concussion, as well as the wide release of The Big Short. In its opening weekend, it was projected to gross $13–15 million from 2,896 theaters.[33] It ended up grossing $17 million, finishing third at the box office behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($149.2 million) and Daddy's Home ($38.7 million).[34]

Critical response


Joy received mixed reviews from critics.[35] On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 61%, based on 274 reviews, with an average rating of 6.3/10. The site's consensus reads, "Joy is anchored by a strong performance from Jennifer Lawrence, although director David O. Russell's uncertain approach to its fascinating fact-based tale only sporadically sparks bursts of the titular emotion."[36] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 56 out of 100, based on 48 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[37] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[34]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result
Academy Awards[38] Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence Nominated
AARP Annual Movies for Grownups Awards Best Picture Nominated
Best Comedy Nominated
Best Time Capsule Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Diane Ladd Won
Best Supporting Actor Robert De Niro Nominated
Best Screenwriter David O. Russell Won
Best Director Nominated
ACE Eddie Awards[39] Best Edited Feature Film – Comedy or Musical Alan Baumgarten, Jay Cassidy, Tom Cross and Christopher Tellefsen Nominated
Art Directors Guild Awards Contemporary Film Judy Becker Nominated
Casting Society of America Big Budget – Comedy Mary Vernieu, Lindsay Graham, Angela Peri Nominated
Costume Designers Guild Awards[40][41] Excellence in Costume Design for a Contemporary Film Michael Wilkinson Nominated
Critics' Choice Awards[42][43] Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence Nominated
Best Comedy Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedy Jennifer Lawrence Nominated
Denver Film Critics Society Best Comedy Nominated
Detroit Film Critics Society Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence Nominated
Best Ensemble Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[44][45] Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical Jennifer Lawrence Won
MTV Movie Awards[46] Best Female Performance Jennifer Lawrence Nominated
True Story Nominated
Teen Choice Awards[47] Choice Movie Actress: Drama Jennifer Lawrence Won


  1. ^ "JOY (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. December 7, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  2. ^ McClintock, Pamela (December 22, 2015). "Making of 'Joy': How Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell Survived Endless Blizzards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Joy (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Bahr, Lindsey (January 10, 2016). "Jennifer Lawrence Wins Golden Globe for Best Comedy Actress". ABC News. Archived from the original on January 11, 2016. Retrieved January 14, 2016."Oscar Nominations: Surprising Factoids About 2016's Contenders". Variety. Archived from the original on April 8, 2016. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Fleming, Mike Jr. (January 30, 2014). "'American Hustle's David O Russell, Jennifer Lawrence Circle Joy Mangano Story At Fox 2000". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Isabella Crovetti-Cramp's going to play Jennifer Lawrence's 'Young Joy'". Twitter. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e Vivarelli, Nick (November 17, 2014). "Robert De Niro Confirms He Will Reteam with Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell on 'Joy'". Variety. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Lloyd, Kenji (December 5, 2014). "Bradley Cooper Confirmed to Reunite with Jennifer Lawrence for David O. Russell's Joy, Melissa Leo in Talks". finalreel.co.uk. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (December 8, 2014). "Edgar Ramirez Joins Jennifer Lawrence in David O. Russell's 'Joy'". Variety. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d e Park, Colleen (February 17, 2015). "'Joy' biopic starring Jennifer Lawrence begins filming". mynewsla.com. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  11. ^ "Joy character breakdown". Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  12. ^ "'Orange Is The New Black's Dascha Polanco Joins Jennifer Lawrence In 'Joy'". Deadline Hollywood. March 5, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  13. ^ a b McNary, Dave (February 27, 2015). "Elisabeth Rohm Joins Jennifer Lawrence in 'Joy'". Variety. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  14. ^ "'First Look! Melissa Rivers Plays Her Late Mom Joan in New Movie Joy". People.com. December 8, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  15. ^ "Reality Bites: Donna Mills Gets "A Little Pushy" (But Not Bitchy!) in Queens of Drama". February 10, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  16. ^ a b c Madison, Ira III (December 10, 2015). "David O. Russell Loves Soap Actors". Vulture. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  17. ^ Ken Cheeseman Gerhardt
  18. ^ Fischbach, Bob (November 9, 2014). "A Q&A with David O. Russell ahead of his Omaha event". omaha.com. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  19. ^ Kit, Borys; Siegel, Tatiana (November 11, 2014). "Robert De Niro in Talks to Reteam With Jennifer Lawrence for Miracle Mop Movie". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
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  21. ^ Goldstein, Meredith (February 6, 2015). "'Joy' begins filming in Mass. on Monday". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  22. ^ "'Joy', starring Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper, will begin filming in Boston in February". onlocationvacations.com. January 31, 2015. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  23. ^ Goldstein, Meredith (February 12, 2015). "David O. Russell project will film in Wilmington". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  24. ^ Feinstein, Chelsea (February 10, 2015). "Wilmington's 'Baptism' into Hollywood". lowellsun.com. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  25. ^ "On The Set For 2/16/15: David O. Russell Starts Lensing 'Joy', 'Maze Runner 2' Wraps & More". ssninsider.com. February 16, 2015. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  26. ^ Goldstein, Meredith (February 16, 2015). "Jennifer Lawrence shops, dines around Boston". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  27. ^ Taurasi, Liz (February 18, 2015). "Movie Filming Starts Thursday, Let the Celebrity Sightings Begin!". patch.com. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  28. ^ Sneider, Jeff (February 27, 2015). "Jennifer Lawrence Denies Bad Blood With David O. Russell on Set of 'Joy'". TheWrap. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  29. ^ "More dates announced for 'Joy', starring Jennifer Lawrence, filming in North Reading, MA". onlocationvacations.com. March 3, 2015. Archived from the original on June 1, 2020. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  30. ^ Busch, Anita (June 6, 2014). "David O. Russell's 'Joy' Gets Christmas 2015 Release Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  31. ^ Playbill Joy Regional Premiere accessed 06/24/2023
  32. ^ Mangano Interview Magic 983 accessed 06/24/2023
  33. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 21, 2015). "'Force Awakens' Will Own Christmas Weekend As Five Wide Releases Join The Fray – Box Office Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  34. ^ a b "'Daddy', 'Joy' & 'Hateful Eight' Reap Fortune As 'Star Wars' Halo Effect Impacts B.O…Can 'Force Awakens' Hit $1 Billion In U.S.?". Deadline Hollywood. December 28, 2015.
  35. ^ "New Movie 'Joy' Celebrates Something We Already Appreciate: Entrepreneurs". entrepreneur.com. December 23, 2015.
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  41. ^ "Nominees for the 18th Costume Designers Guild Awards Announced". Costume Designers Guild. January 7, 2016. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  42. ^ "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'Mad Max' Leads Film; ABC, HBO, FX Networks & 'Fargo' Top TV". Deadline Hollywood. December 14, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  43. ^ Guglielmi, Jodi (December 14, 2015). "Critics' Choice Awards Mad About Mad Max: Fury Road as Nominations Are Announced". people.com. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  44. ^ "The Golden Globes: Full List of Winners and Nominees". NBC News. January 10, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  45. ^ "Golden Globes 2016: DiCaprio, Lawrence, The Martian and The Revenant win top awards – as it happened". Guardian. January 10, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  46. ^ Lovett, Jamie (March 8, 2016). "Deadpool, Avengers, And Star Wars Nominated For MTV Movie Awards". Comicbook.com.
  47. ^ Vulpo, Mike (May 24, 2016). "Teen Choice Awards 2016 Nominations Announced: See the "First Wave" of Potential Winners". E!. Archived from the original on May 26, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2016.

Further reading

  • David O. Russell, Joy, Faber & Faber, 2015.