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Review: Silver Linings Playbook

January 19, 2013

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:
  • Review:

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!lawrence

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).lawrence and cooper

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.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.silver

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.

From left to right: Bradley Cooper, Director David O. Russell, Jennifer Lawrence.

From left to right: Bradley Cooper, Director David O. Russell, Jennifer Lawrence.

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.

You may know where the story is headed, but I guarantee that this story is just as much about the journey as it is about the destination…and a dance competition unlike any other you’ve ever seen!silver-linings-playbook-dance

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

Silver-Linings-Playbook

Score: 5 out of 5 stars for Silver Linings Playbook

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Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!

T, The Focused Filmographer

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2013 6:15 pm

    I still have not seen this. I feel like I probably should see this before the Oscars, but I’m going to be pretty busy soon.

    Like

    • January 21, 2013 7:25 am

      gotta love classes… ha!

      See this one as soon as you can though, my friend!

      Like

  2. January 19, 2013 7:14 pm

    I thought Jacki Weaver was pretty good, but yeah, that nom surprised me too.

    Definitely one of the year’s best, but not quite enough ooomph to make my top ten. 😦

    This sentence right here sums it all up perfectly: “this story is just as much about the journey as it is about the destination…and a dance competition unlike any other you’ve ever seen!” 😉

    Like

    • January 21, 2013 7:26 am

      Thanks for checking out the review, Fogs. I was impressed by the performances and it really was a great film.

      I think there were far better performances that deserved the Oscar nod, although I’m not saying that Weaver wasn’t any good.

      Like

  3. January 19, 2013 8:10 pm

    Nice review. I’m usually not keen on David O. Russell’s work, but this was a pretty good film. It also had De Niro’s best role in about fifteen years.

    Like

    • January 21, 2013 7:27 am

      Thanks man. I thought this one was so well done. and De Niro was a big shining light in this film. Everything came together pretty well for it.

      Like

  4. January 19, 2013 10:04 pm

    This is definitely in my to watch list

    Like

    • January 21, 2013 7:27 am

      soon to be on your “already watched” and “one of my faves” lists! 🙂

      Like

  5. January 19, 2013 11:27 pm

    Completely agree, even about Weaver’s performance not being oscar worthy. There’s a reason not a single person predicted her in my nominations game I held, there were more than a few other fine actresses who deserved that spot. Great review 🙂

    Like

    • January 21, 2013 7:28 am

      The Weaver nom was such an odd choice. you’re right…no one saw that coming.

      Thanks for reading and for the kind comment.

      Like

  6. January 19, 2013 11:31 pm

    Great review T. This flick was so great, but what made it even better was the fact that it was filmed in my hometown and made me feel closer to home.

    Like

    • January 21, 2013 7:29 am

      Dan the Man. Thanks.

      filmed in your hometown? How awesome is that?! Did you get to see any of the filming? or perhaps did you go to a casting call and get in the film yourself?

      Like

  7. January 20, 2013 6:07 pm

    T…i think this it the first 5-star review I’ve read of yours? Wow 🙂

    Like

    • January 21, 2013 7:35 am

      Thanks Paula. I hesitated giving it that score only because I don’t want to add to the hype and have people disappointed, however, I don’t think that will happen…and the film deserved the score. Def the first 5-star in a while (Argo and The Avengers) 🙂

      Like

  8. January 21, 2013 3:59 am

    Nice review Terrence. I personally had a great time watching it.

    Like

    • January 21, 2013 7:53 am

      thank you my friend. I really enjoyed watching this one and only wish I didn’t have to wait so long to see it.

      Like

  9. March 5, 2013 1:58 am

    I just saw it last night and was thrilled by it. Even Pat’s dad (De Niro) has his own set of mental problems (OCD). And I’m glad Pat and Tiffany didn’t pull of the big move in the dance, and that they just got along with their routine when they flubbed it.
    Jeff Lee

    Like

    • March 5, 2013 4:39 pm

      Thanks for reading and commenting. De Niro was fantastic too wasn’t he?

      they really did a great job bringing the story together through the characters and their actions. A great film!

      Like

Trackbacks

  1. Silver Linings Playbook Review: Excelsior! | Rorschach Reviews
  2. » Movie Review – Silver Linings Playbook Fernby Films

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