How does director David O. Russell want people to react to the new trailer for his film, Joy?
“I want it to be unexpected,” he says. “I want people to see that it’s exciting and that it’s emotional and it’s intense and it’s funny and it’s new. It’s something we’ve never done before.”
The trailer for Joy – in theaters this Christmas – certainly takes a much deeper dive into Russell’s latest film starring Jennifer Lawrence, an epic journey examining one woman’s life from age 10 to age 40 as she becomes the matriarch of her family. “It’s about emotion and about people and humanity and what is ridiculous and ordinary about them but where that becomes extraordinary and magical. That’s that place where we live,” says Russell.
It’s a much more grown-up Lawrence than we’re used to seeing, and in this two-and-a-half minute clip her character laughs, cries, gets married, dances, reloads a shotgun, puts her head down in despair, and gets downright Don Corleone-y when she warns a family member to never speak on her behalf about her business. Returning Russell players Robert De Niro (with an excellent line about a gas leak), Bradley Cooper, and Elisabeth Rohm join Edgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, and Isabella Rossellini in the cast.
And like previous Russell films (and Russell film trailers), music plays an important role. “Music is extremely important,” says Russell. “It makes things happen! It’s the harmonic trifecta of emotion. If it envelops you, you can forget time. It’s part of the process of always trying to make things unexpected.”
Unexpected like… using the Bee Gees? Russell laughs and points out that using “To Love Somebody” in Joy is the third time he’s used the Bee Gees in his films: In 2010’s The Fighter, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo sang “I Started a Joke” together in a car, while 2013’s American Hustle used “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” to great effect.
“The Bee Gees are operatic and fun and poppy but also serious,” says Russell. “They’re not cynical. It takes great courage to be sincere and put your heart out there. That’s what I love about them.”
Joy is out in theaters on Christmas Day. Watch the new trailer above.