Semi-biographical drama ‘Joy’ tells success story in modern day

The quote on family that says “No family is perfect. We argue, we fight. We even stop talking to each other at times, but in the end, family is family, the love will always be there” is all true in the upcoming modern-day true-to-life telenovela movie “Joy” starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence directed by acclaimed filmmaker David O. Russell that also stars Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Virginia Madsen, Edgar Ramirez, Isabella Rosselini, Diane Ladd and Dascha Polanco.

“Joy” joins a long legacy of films about chasing dreams of success in business and family — but it does so in its own comedic, emotional and inventive ways. The story began with the unlikely but real-life narrative of Joy Mangano, who in the 1990s became a new kind of television star and entrepreneurial powerhouse with a series of household inventions, including the famed, “self-wringing” Miracle Mop, which kicked-off the Long Island single mother’s ongoing business empire.

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The story – with its everyday contours but outsized dreams — grabbed the attention of David O. Russell, always drawn to that very specific mix. He saw in it the blossoming of a gutsy, ingenious woman and an inspiring story of someone taking a chance on long-buried dreams while never losing the sense of duty to family at her core.

Says Russell: “The idea that drew me was how do you tell the story of more than 40 years of a life, from the magic of childhood, through marriage, divorce and single parenthood, to going back to fulfilling on those childhood dreams? How do you tell the story of a person’s soul – and how that soul is comprised of all the people we love, the ideas we have, the things we cherish? “Joy” brings together all these pieces. You have trauma and love. You have a girl who grows up in her father’s metal garage and in her mother’s refuge of soap operas filled with strong women. You have a dreamer ex-husband in the basement who is still a friend and a loving sister who is an envious rival. And you have a cable television station in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that becomes a factory of dreams. In the middle of it all, you see Joy develop a quietly fierce determination that sees her through.”

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Russell also saw “Joy” as the chance to tell a different kind of rise-to-riches story: the story of a business magnate’s emergence from a blue-collar domestic world still oft-ignored in cinematic epics.

“Half or more of the movie is based on Joy Mangano, and the other half is based on daring women I’ve been aware of and read about for many years,” Russell explains. “That includes Lillian Vernon, who started the first big mail order catalogs for household products. It also includes numerous other women I’ve known, who dared to start ventures, some that succeeded and some that failed. I am fascinated by the kind of spirit that drives someone to start a venture out of their home and try to break a new path for themselves and their families. So many women throughout history have felt dead ended and had to carve out their own opportunities.”

Because the film is created as a lived experience of Joy’s up-and-down search for happiness, JOY is also Russell’s most visually inventive film. Joy’s everyday reality – and the constant tug-of-war she faces between necessity and achievement – is punctuated in bursts by hyper-melodramatic soap opera sequences, song-and-dance, surreal daydreams and bewitching snowflakes.

Russell muses. “In the soap opera world all these big, gothic, melodramatic things happen. People are constantly speaking about betrayal, treachery, money and death – so it’s like Gogol, Tolstoy or Dostoevsky. But soap operas are also often about bold women and aspiration, and that’s why they strike a chord.”

“Joy” opens February 17, 2016 in cinemas nationwide as released by 20th Century Fox and to be distributed by Warner Bros.

WATCH: Full trailer of ‘Jane Got a Gun’ starring Natalie Portman

A new full trailer for Jane Got a Gun has just been released by Captive Cinema. The film stars Natalie Portman as the titular character who finds herself in the crosshairs of a notorious gang led by Ewan McGregor, who is out to kill her and her husband. So she seeks help from a former flame (Joel Edgerton) in hopes that they can stop the outlaws together.

‘Jane Got a Gun’ centers on Jane Hammod (Natalie Portman) has built a life on the rugged western plains with her husband Bill “Ham” Hammond (Noah Emmerich) and young daughter. When Ham stumbles home riddled with bullets after a run-in with the relentless John Bishop (Ewan McGregor) and his gang, she knows they will not stop until her family is dead. In desperation, Jane turns to Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton), a man from her past, for help. Haunted by old memories, Jane’s past meets the present in a heart-stopping battle for survival.

The epic love story told amidst the sprawling expanse of the American west, Jane Got a Gun stars Academy Award® -winning actress Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Noah Emmerich, Rodrigo Santoro, Boyd Holbrook, and Ewan McGregor.

“Jane Got A Gun” opens February 3, 2016 in Philippine cinemas as released and distributed by Captive Cinema.

Chloe Grace Moretz fights invaders back in ‘The 5th Wave’

“Cassie Sullivan is a great heroine – but she’d never describe herself that way. She’d say she’s just a girl who has lost her brother, and will do whatever it takes to get back to him,” says Chloë Grace Moretz, who takes on the lead role of Cassie in Columbia Pictures’ adaptation of Rick Yancey’s bestselling novel “The 5th Wave,” the first book in his planned trilogy.

In the film, four waves of increasingly deadly attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Against a backdrop of fear and distrust, Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. As she prepares for the inevitable and lethal 5th wave, Cassie teams up with a young man who may become her final hope – if she can only trust him.

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For the filmmakers, Moretz combined the right combination of talents and traits: she is a seasoned performer (especially needed if the character would be appearing in multiple films), but, like her character, is herself just coming of age. The result was a perfect fit of actress and character – and a match that only became more deeply ingrained for the filmmakers as filming proceeded.

“As an artist and writer I do believe in serendipity,” comments Yancey. “I have the writer’s tendency to become overly emotionally involved with my characters. So it was very important to me when I heard that they will be making a film that they got the right actors, and everyone’s going to agree that they got the right actors. I can’t imagine anyone else but Chloë now in the role. From the very first scenes that were shot I knew that we had found our Cassie.”

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“Chloë became pretty much synonymous with the character because she inhabits Cassie so well,” adds director J Blakeson. “Playing somebody who’s normal in extraordinary circumstances, rather than somebody extraordinary in normal circumstances, gave Chloë the ability to plug into stuff from her own life, and you can really see that coming through in her performance. That allows the viewer to really go there with her and makes it easier to accept the big leaps of the story. Watching your own world slowly evolve into an Orwellian world is more terrifying than if we were just dropped there in the first place.”

“We were very lucky to get Chloë because she’s so proficient at everything,” Blakeson continues. “She’s fantastic at emotional scenes, family scenes, fun scenes, but she’s really good at the tougher action sequences – she’s wildly experienced for somebody so young.”

In fact, despite her age, Moretz has done so many action films that she has a very good sense of the sequences she can handle herself. “I’ve done action since I was 11 years old,” says Moretz. “Action is my second hand… it’s super fun and easy for me. It’s fun when it’s the real thing. The car fight ended up being my favorite sequence to shoot. It was really awesome and it’s exciting to see fighting done in close quarters.”

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The most important thing in Cassie’s life is her brother, Sam – and she’ll do anything to protect him. “Cassie and Sam are the yin and yang of this story – they’re both going through the same issues, in different locations and under different circumstances, that come up over and over again in the movie,” says Blakeson. “By the time they get back together, they’ve both been through a similar experience and are very different people from when they started.”

Opening across the Philippines on January 20, 2016, “The 5th Wave” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.