"Silver Linings Playbook" -- movie review
Release date: Dec. 25, 2012
Written and directed by: David O. Russell
Based on the novel by: Matthew Quick
Love is not perfect. In fact, it's anything but. It's amazing what draws two people together. Sometimes it's the same thing that also drives them over the edge. Yes, there is a fine line between passionate love and complete and total insanity. "Silver Linings Playbook" touches on the state of mental illness and how loves sometimes is the one thing that can drive people apart, make them do wildly insane things and ultimately bring you to where you need to be.
Take Pat (Bradley Cooper) for example. He's a school teacher who is pretty happy with his wife and his life until he comes home one day to find his wife, Nikki, in the shower, having sex with another teacher. To make it worse, they just happen to be listening to Pat and Nikki's wedding song. That's gotta sting a little. Pat didn't take it well. In fact he unleashed such a beating that it landed him in a mental hospital, diagnosed with an extreme case of bipolar disorder. Eight months later, Pat is released, moves back in with his parents (Robert DeNiro and Jackie Weaver) and vows to put his life back together and win his wife back. There is a silver lining in everything and he's going to find it.
Then there is Tiffany, a young woman whose husband died and she's having trouble dealing with the loss and moving on with her life. She overcompensates for her sadness by sleeping with nearly everyone she works with, including some women. The two seem to be on very different paths but despite the fact they think they are looking for one thing, they can't seem to stay away from each other.
What a year it's been for Jennifer Lawrence. First she starred in one of the biggest movies of the year, "Hunger Games" in March; and now she has a starring role in what is very easily one of the best movies of the year. She delivers a powerful performance that really will leave an impact even after the credits roll. She isn't alone. Bradley Cooper gives what is the best performance, hands down, of his career. Then there is DeNiro, who is magnificent as Pat Sr., a guy with OCD and a bit of a gambling problem and it's different from anything he's ever done. Throw in some equally great moments from supporting actors Jackie Weaver and Chris Tucker and this might be one of the best ensemble movies of 2012.
Director David O. Russell does a fantastic job of getting amazing performances from his terrific cast. But it's the screenplay, based on a book by Matthew Quick, which is really spectacular. It manages to be funny and touching all as it deals with the very heavy handed issue of mental illness, bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder as well as love, family and learning to let go of the past.
Needless to say, "Silver Linings Playbook" is a solid film from start to finish. It's a wonderfully written and fiercely acted movie that is a huge breakthrough for both Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.
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