Director David O. Russell begins "Joy" humorously with a staged, exaggerated soap opera, an introduction that prepares the viewer for some of the tone and melodrama that follows. Text on the screen announces, "Inspired by true stories of daring women. This is one of them," followed by voiceover narration from Joy's grandmother Mimi describing Joy's complicated, problematic family life.
In "Enemy's" opening minutes," Canadian director Denis Villeneuve signals that his film will pose a conundrum more than a story. Text on screen announces, "Chaos is order yet undeciphered." After a subsequent scene of some vague sexual display, the plot becomes more straightforward while remaining tantalizingly elusive. "Enemy" remains a film for viewers who like intriguing, but puzzling experiences.
Highly stylized and engagingly theatrical, Chicken with Plums relies on the considerable talent of French actor Mathieu Amalric to make his tragedy of lost love appealing. Most of the time, it works, as the story jumps backward and forward in time, visualizes imagined scenarios, and boldly depicts Azraël, Angel of Death.