Review: Silver Linings Playbook
Silver Linings Playbook
- Starring: Bradley Cooper (Wedding Crashers), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Robert DeNiro (Meet the Parents) and more.
- Directed by: David O. Russell (The Fighter; Three Kings)
- Synopsis: “Life doesn’t always go according to plan… Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) has lost everything–his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert DeNiro) after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet–and to share their family’s obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. When Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he’ll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.”
- Rated: Rated R for language, nudity and sensuality.
- Must-Watch Trailer:
Nominated for eight Oscars (including “Best Motion Picture of the Year,” “Best Achievement in Directing,” and best performance by actors and actresses in both leading and supporting roles) Silver Linings Playbook already wins the honor of being one of my personal favorites of 2012. Director David O. Russell tells this average/ordinary story about life in an extraordinary way!
Pairing up a fantastic cast with over 140 combined years of acting experience with a wonderfully adapted screenplay from novelist Matthew Quick’s book of the same name, Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook delves into a look at life and one man’s quest to take the negatives and turn them into positives. Through his journey, the people in his life unintentionally embark on similar personal journeys of their own, unawares, and together, they all lean towards finding the silver linings in their own lives, but none more so than Pat (Cooper) and Tiffany (Lawrence).
As impressive as the cast is (which also includes Robert DeNiro, Jacki Weaver, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker) with their extraordinary performances, Silver Linings Playbook is even more impressive because of the characters and how they are portrayed by the cast.
We’ve seen plenty of star-studded films that still disappointed because one half of the two-sided character equation failed (Ocean’s Twelve, Battleship, Cowboys & Aliens). Each of the people in this movie are real, with real relationships and real problems and passions. The genuine authenticity of the story and the portrayal of it all onscreen translates seamlessly and directly to the heart through excellent casting and flawless execution.
This is the story of Pat. Recently released from a court-ordered residency in a mental health institution, Pat re-inserts himself into society while under the watchful eye and provision of his mom and dad. Working on his self-improvement, Pat seeks to reunite himself with his wife and pick up his life where it left off prior to his “incident.” While working to do so, he runs across Tiffany who has her own inner turmoil. Both of them, socially awkward, befriend and help each other though, perhaps unawares, they are also helping themselves. Family, friendship, love, optimism and the value of one’s self are the themes that permeate this beautiful story that I can finally say I had the pleasure of seeing.
Far from a standard “happy Hollywood” flick, Silver Linings Playbook demands investment into the passions of the people and their invitation into your circle of friends and family as so many of their personalities, traits, and minor ticks are identifiable in our own selves or in those close to us in life. Much like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I wondered (perhaps in a silly way), what might have been going on in Pat and Tiffany’s life after the movie was over and missed watching their story.
Russell draws you into the world of Pat and his family and allows you to obsess, laugh, sigh, cry, cringe, smile, panic and more right along with everyone in the film as he shares not only Pat’s story, but the smaller contributing side stories of all the other people in his life. While its fluctuation back and forth between comedy and seriousness seems to distract at times, it is evenly balanced and helps tell the story in a manner that plays out like real life…full of ups and downs.
Currently ranked in IMDB’s Top 250 movies of all time, go see Silver Linings Playbook. While this is still not THE “movie of the year” for me personally, I can definitely support the sentiment of that statement. I will say, however, that I didn’t feel Jacki Weaver’s Oscar-nominated performance was anything stellar.
Touchdown!!! for Silver Linings Playbook
Score: 5 out of 5 stars for Silver Linings Playbook
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
-T, The Focused Filmographer