Friday, February 22, 2013

watch for the signs: Silver Linings Playbook

Title: Silver Linings Playbook
Director: David O. Russell
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert Di Niro
Rating: 5.0/5.0
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
First, just let me say that this film has made me so happy. I literally danced out of the theater (ask all the confused people walking out with me). It's uplifting and heart-wrenching and perfect.

Bradley Cooper plays the over-confident Pat, who you can't help but fall in love with. He's awkward and in love. He wants to get his marriage back together, which can be challenging when you've been slapped with a restraining order from your wife. Jennifer Lawrence plays Tiffany, who's personality is all sharp edges and elbows. But she becomes the unconventional solution to Pat's problems.

(let's pause for a moment to appreciate the range of Jennifer Lawrence)

David O. Russell (The Fighter) has written yet another brilliant screenplay. With its sharp dialog and quirky themes it's sure to be a classic. I think the most ingenious part of this screenplay is the parallelism that repeats throughout the entire movie. Both Pat and his father must face their mental conditions.

Robert De Niro plays Pat's father Pat Sr., who is "harmlessly in love with the Eagles" as Mr. Ebert put it. I couldn't have been more pleased with his performance in this film. He and Jacki Weaver are perfectly cast as the supportive parents.

I would love to say that there is a show stealer here (although I thought Chris Tucker was hilarious) but there isn't. They're all so brilliant that I really can't pick just one. Jen is perfection. She's gorgeous and terrifying and poignant. She's sharp edged, but that's because she's been broken so many times. Bradley Cooper for all the awards! Bradley is adorable. You just want to wrap in a big hug for the entire movie. He has no filter, so he says whatever comes to mind, proper or not. But it's endearing because, deep down, you know he means well. If these two don't win Oscar's I don't know what's wrong with humanity.

You'll notice I gave it an even 5.0 (btw, finish the movie and you'll totally see the parallel with the 5.0...SPOILERS). Not because I think that the movie is a 5.0, but because the actors in this film make it so great. You could cast this same script with different actors and it would probably be a disaster. And that is a reason to see this film. This story is good, and the acting is great. These actors worked hard on this film and it shows. Their performances are so real and touching. This is probably the best acting I've seen since Winter's Bone (especially from Jennifer).

This film also has a really great soundtrack. I've been listening to it since I got home. Danny Elfman writes some good tunes.

Also, can we talk about these Oscar nominations? 

  • Best Actor: Bradley Cooper
  • Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence
  • Best Supporting Actor: Robert Di Niro
  • Best Supporting Actress: Jacki Weaver
  • Best Director: David O. Russell
  • Best Editing
  • Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Best [freaking] Picture
Those are some serious stats my friends. This film is coming in heavy, and against some stiff competition too (Lincoln, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty). 

my reaction when they win any one of these

I definitely recommend this film with no reservations what so ever. It's worth every penny (and more). I know I'll definitely be seeing it again.

[Sources: Tumblr - Obiwanskenobi, IMDB]