Joy (2015)

Joy_CropIt’s a testament to the strength of his talent and vision that David O’Russell is readily regarded as one of today’s greatest filmmakers, despite the fact that he has made just seven films – discounting the disowned Accidental Love – in the past two decades. With topics ranging from the opportunities of war (Three Kings) to blue-collar boxing (The Fighter) and the exquisite art of the con (American Hustle), O’Russell’s screenplays demonstrate a colour and eloquence that are expertly serviced by his masterful direction. It’s an exemplary body of work that sets a very high bar; one which his latest, screwball drama Joy, struggles to reach.

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Helen (2008)

Hide and seek…

Earnest in intent but shaky in delivery, Helen is a film whose execution just can’t live up to the strong ideas behind it. Intended as a thoughtful treatise on the ideas of identity and destiny, some wooden acting, clunky dialogue and ponderous direction channel it more towards the realm of faltering student experimenta.

 

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