Director David O. Russell taps his company of regulars — Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper — to tell the real-life uplifting story of Joy Mangano, a divorced mother with three children in the early 1990s who decided to strike out on her own and invented the Miracle Mop, becoming a millionaire in the process. But first she had to overcome doubting and deceitful friends and family members — and persuade the fledgling Home Shopping Network to give her a spot. As with most such bio-dramas, the drama is enhanced and semi-fictional, but here — with Jennifer Lawrence as Mangano — it doesn’t matter if the filmmakers play a little loose with the facts; Lawrence is a joy to behold as she takes center stage and struggles to overcome her obstacles. De Niro — as Mangano’s treacherous father — and Isabella Rossellini — as De Niro’s conniving girlfriend — almost steal the show with their nastiness as they try their best to sabotage Mangano. A delightful outing. Vitals: Director: David O. Russell. Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Elisabeth Röhm, Dascha Polanco. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 124 min., Drama, Box office gross: $56.430 million, Fox. Blu-ray extras: “Joy, Strength and Perseverance” featurette, Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell “Times Talk” with Maureen Dowd, photo gallery.
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