JOY Hooray! Jennifer Lawrence saves Christmas!
  • JOY Hooray! Jennifer Lawrence saves Christmas!

"History is a commentary on the various and continuing incapabilities of men. What is history? History is women following behind with a bucket."

That's from Alan Bennett's play The History Boys, not David O. Russell's new movie, Joy. Russell's opening epigraph is decidedly more optimistic and banal (it helpfully explains that a movie about a daring woman was inspired by other, actual daring women), but I couldn't get the Bennett line out of my head while watching Joy—in part because Joy's protagonist (guess what her name is), played by Jennifer Lawrence, invents a self-wringing mop (surprise!). That's right: Joy's invention is a tool designed to make cleaning up other people's literal messes easier for women like her.