With so much Oscar buzz it makes you curious what Silver Linings Playbook is all about especially since it doesn’t seem like the normal contender. With David O. Russell’s history including The Fighter though you know he has already given the Academy something they liked before. The actors are what make this story shine, and a story that uplifts instead of bringing you down as you walk in expecting.
Pat’s mom bails him from the mental institution hoping he is prepared to come back into the world and live his life apart from his former wife. As soon as he arrives home though it’s apparent he is denial still about the situation between him and his wife as he sets out to communicate her and reconcile. At his friend’s dinner he bumps into a woman, Tiffany, and she has her own sets of problems that strike up an unique friendship between the two. In the hopes that Tiffany can help him though with working things out with his wife he agrees to be her partner for a dance competition. Some unexpected complications arrive though that may cause Pat and Tiffany to both relapse further into their old ways.
The showcasing of actors is what really gets you about this movie. They are all so unique, and almost all seem like they have been side actors for much of their lives by this point, except the two leads, but in this movie it really shows the best of all their abilities to act. Bradley Cooper is given a chance to show pretty much everyone that he really can act, and as a complex guy at that. One where you feel angry at one moment, and the next you feel for him. He is able to capture many layers of a man who is struggling with Bi-Polar disorder.
Jennifer Lawrence only proves again that she has a huge career in acting. She’s already gotten positive critical attention for her work in Winter’s Bone, and The Hunger Games got her some credentials, but she sort of further shows how diverse she can be by portraying a woman who has some serious issues yet at the same time seems way beyond her young years. A lot of people want to bash it because she is so much younger than the main character, Pat, honestly Bradley Cooper doesn’t look 37, and even Lawrence doesn’t look only 22. Plus, we have a thing invented called makeup, so in the land of movies you can almost be any age you want, except for extremely young. Aging someone has proven no problem though.
Robert DeNiro also has one of his finest movie showings in a long time. He is the dad who is obsessed with sports, and it’s how he wants to connect with his son. He seems like a real person. Jacki Weaver is Pat’s mom, and while not as stand out there is something sweet, and charming about her. Chris Tucker is also the other notable character in the movie as Danny, and he provides the much needed comedic relief in the movie that makes it all balanced well.
Another positive is that the movie blends comedy, romance, and drama all into one movie. One moment it seems very lighthearted and the next you’re getting a look into two people who have a lot of problems they are trying to overcome. Not only that but the mental disorders seem to have been treated with seriousness that made them seem relatable to people who deal with it in real life.
Silver Linings Playbook is one worth checking out before Oscar night, and after if not before. It doesn’t get lost in any special effects, or over the top scenarios, but just plays out as a simple story that feels like it is trying to tell a story about people. You walk away from it feeling good, and that is a great thing especially when so many dramas seem to aim for the negatively emotional nowadays.
Rating 9 of 10.