‘Two for Joy’ | Film Review

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: February 1, 2019 (Last updated: January 25, 2024)
Two For Joy Film Review


Two for Joy is a brutally honest look at modern British life that will test you emotionally.

Two for Joy is directed by debutant Tom Beard starring Samantha Morton (Minority Report), Billie Piper (Secret Diary of a Call Girl), Daniel Mays (Rogue One), Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones), Emilia Jones (High-Rise) and Badger Skelton (Doctor Who) that follows the lives of two families on a seaside resort.

Two for Joy follows one family who is dealing with the loss of the father: wife and mother Aisha (Morton), and children Violet, known as Vi (Jones), and Troy (Skelton). Aisha is stuck in deep depression struggling to get through everyday life, leaving Vi to complete household chores. Vi is still trying her hardest to stay on top of her studies at a vital stage of her education. Troy has become a local trouble maker; he enjoys fishing, though he has found himself following a thief who is getting him into trouble. They head to a seaside resort to get away from life where they meet another family, brother and caretaker Lias (Mays), sister Lillah (Piper), and daughter Miranda (Ramsey), who are looking to escape the problems in their lives too. We see how the families are bought together, friendships started and emotions brought out to show just how difficult life has been for everybody involved.

Two for Joy has a story that can easily be compared to The Florida Project and I, Daniel Blake which shows the new levels of poverty in the world, in places not many people would even consider looking. We have the themes of depression, grief and abuse that are all getting dealt with by the characters in their own different ways. The story will be testing the emotions of the audience because we can find it easy to understand the character decisions through the film and you will feel like you want to help each character with their problems. This story will stick with you long after it finishes and could leave you feeling broken.

Two for Joy has an excellent cast: We have three adult performers in Samantha Morton, Billie Piper and Daniel Mays that all shine, but it is the child actors that must get just as much praise, with Emilia Jones, Bella Ramsey and Badger Skelton who just manage to show the innocence being felt by their characters and to show the emotional trauma they are going through.

Two for Joy must get praised for the style of the camerawork because it looks like an older photo, which only brings a new, personal-looking touch to the events of the film. Two for Joy uses the locations to show the housing estate the family lives on, where they can see the kids can be led astray. The secondary location is the caravan park which looks like a run down location which you could see the poor families attending. It does happen to have been filmed in Weymouth, which isn’t too far from me, which is nice to see and makes it easy for me to understand that seaside appeal for the families.

Overall Two for Joy is an emotionally exhausting movie that will stick with you for days, one that needs to be watched because of the power of the performances throughout the film.

Movie Reviews, Movies