Jennifer Lawrence ‘Heart And Soul’ Of New Movie With Oscar Buzz

Jennifer Lawrence is almost ready to finish the Hunger Games chapter of her film career, and with this ending comes the beginning of Oscar buzz with her latest movie, Joy.

Joy marks the third collaboration between Jennifer Lawrence and director David O. Russell, who previously worked together on Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and American Hustle (2013). The collaboration has proven well in the past, as Jennifer Lawrence won an Academy Award for Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for American Hustle.

Joy has undergone a genre rebranding, which has appeared to work in its favor. As Esquire reports, Joy originally began as a biopic of the inventor of the self-wringing Miracle Mop, Joy Mangano, played by Jennifer Lawrence. The trailer for Joy was recently released, and most references to the real life person of Joy Mangano or her invention were not evident. Instead, the trailer focuses on Jennifer Lawrence and the character that she has created: a woman who is smart, driven, and complex. The character of Joy has become someone who transcends memories and dreams, who fights for what she believes in, and becomes a steely businesswoman.

Joy brings to the screen other familiar faces associated with Director David O. Russell. Robert De Niro plays Joy’s father, Rudy, and Bradley Copper plays a Home Shopping Network executive. Because of the appealing trailer and the talented team, Joy is already garnering Oscar buzz. So far, Gold Derby has Jennifer Lawrence as a front-runner for an Academy Award for Best Actress nomination. Joining her in the field is Brie Larson for Room and Cate Blanchett for Carol.

Joy also features Academy Award-nominated actress Virginia Madsen, who plays Joy’s mother, Carrie.

When asked about how she feels playing the mother of Jennifer Lawrence, Virginia Madsen told the Los Angeles Times, “[F]rom when I first saw her I had thought, ‘I should be her mother.’ It was just a really perfect fit.”

'Joy' Virginia Madsen
'Joy' Actress Virginia Madsen [Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]

Virginia Madsen also recounted what she told David O. Russell about playing opposite Jennifer Lawrence.

“And I went on to tell him how much I liked her and how without knowing her I felt motherly toward her and I felt proud of her for what she’s done at such a young age. Well, I didn’t realize that Jennifer was sitting there.”

Director David O. Russell has found his niche in directing: creating movies that involve strong, dynamic characters. Joy is no exception to this. In an interview with the New York Times, David O. Russell comments on having a dynamic woman at the forefront of the story.

“It’s the first story I’ve done that has a woman at the center of it. Jennifer’s usually coming in from the side, like a rogue. She kind of sneaks in and takes over half the movie. But here, she’s in the middle, not with a bow and arrow, but with her heart and soul. That’s a new one for both of us, because I think her renegade nature thrives on the other mode of attack.”

'Joy' David O. Russell
'Joy' Director David O. Russell [Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]

This kind of praise would be a lot for any actor, but for 25-year-old Jennifer Lawrence, the praise has come to be standard. While Jennifer Lawrence was nominated twice and won once for an Academy Award in a David O. Russell film, she was first nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in Winter’s Bone (2010) when she was only 20, making her the second youngest actress to be nominated.

Currently, Jennifer Lawrence is on the road promoting one of the most-anticipated films of 2015: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. Jennifer Lawrence is having fun promoting the movie, and even an ill-timed kiss isn’t slowing down the momentum this young actress currently enjoys.

Viewers will find out if the movie lives up to the trailer and if Jennifer Lawrence lives up to the hype when Joy opens in theaters on Christmas Day.

[Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images]