Words by N.O.W.


On the 1st January the film Joy, directed by David Owen Russell, was released in cinemas. Despite murmurs of people preferring the characters portrayed in American Hustle by Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, Joy has some exceptional moments that entrepreneurs, dreamers and general go getters have to see. There is a certain reaffirming air about the film that reassures that trials and tribulations are never for nothing.

The aptly named Joy is the protagonist of the film who puts her dreams on hold to support her family in various different ways. Throughout the film we see Joy pulled in different directions to house the other members of family and their needs rather than addressing the needs of her own, like following her dream as a Joy, creating products of value for the world at large.

The film stars Robert De Niro who plays Rudy, Joy’s father who adds a barrage of comical moments to the film. Each member of Joy’s family plays an individual to support or hinder her progress.

A reference to the cicada, which in Latin means ‘treehopper’, following a minor accident on Trudy’s boat (a love interest of Rudy’s), Joy wakes up and starts making headway towards the life she has always dreamed of. Cicadas stay buried for up to 17 years in their developmental stage underground. Joy realises the direct parallel between this stage of the cicada’s life and that of her own.

These are some gems by way of words carefully planted within the film to take note of for use in the real world when in close proximity in living out one’s dreams:

  • “You need a handsome Prince”

An archaic view of Peggy’s, Joy’s sister, that in order for a woman to be deemed successful she needs a ‘Prince charming’. While there are many women that have achieved great success with the aid of male chromosomes, a significant amount have prospered without.

  • “You still have a good portion of your life ahead of you”

Mimi who is Joy’s grandmother is that immovable pillar of support from the beginning. Everyone needs someone who is capable and more than willing to instil positivity in even the bleakest of times.

  • “You’re like a gas leak. We don’t smell you, we don’t hear you but you’re killing us all silently”

One of the most epic and laughable quotes from Rudy in the film. How we treat gas leaks is exactly how we should deal with toxic people in our lives. Report it, hope that we can fix the situation and stop the ‘leak’ before severe health damage is experienced.

  • “You can’t let the practical get you down. You’ve got to do what you love”

Anthony is Joy’s ex-husband and is generally ridiculed for following his passion: singing in a local bar with his father. He is the unseeingly practical and thoughtful business advisor as well as friend to Joy in her pursuit of launching her new product. It is true that life is dotted with practicalities but it should never stop us from living the way that we want to live.

  • “When you’re hiding you’re safe because people can’t see you. But the funny thing about hiding is you’re even hidden from yourself”

The most influential lines from the film was when Joy comes face to face in her dream with her younger self who states a profound truth. Being yourself is not only essential to add backbone to an empire but in life. If you’re not you, who are you? There’s a world out there who wants and needs to know who you really are. Life is enriching when we are true to ourselves.

Catch a viewing of Joy at a Picture House cinema before it’s gone: https://www.picturehouses.com/film/joy

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