Film
“Silver Linings Playbook” Powerful Masterpiece
By LaDale Anderson
Nov 21, 2012 - 7:33:26 PM

HOLLYWOOD—I’ve said this for years, some of the best movies of the year find themselves being released in the months of November and December. It’s a strategic approach from film studios as they release the best of the best during the Awards season. The picture “Silver Linings Playbook” is one of those gems of a movie with phenomenal acting from its stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Both Cooper and Lawrence portray Pat and Tiffany, two strangers who cross paths at the right moment. 

Neither have storybook tales. They are a little off, suffering from mental illnesses, but find comfort in one another. There is nothing like a bond when you connect with someone who gets your situation. It’s like talking to someone who says I totally understand how difficult it is to have your wife cheat on you, when they’ve never experienced it.  Pat is grappling with that dilemma. After his wife cheats on him, he beats the other party to a pulp and lands in a mental ward. After being released everything that he once had he realizes is now gone.

 

Pat has the love and support of his parents Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver, but even they can’t help their son in his time of need, that’s where Tiffany ( Lawrence) steps in. Tiffany understands Pat to a degree; they are in similar situations and spending time with one another allows both characters to grow. It’s initially Tiffany helping Pat to woo his wife back in return for a favor, but as time passes the bond between the two friends grows. 

Robert_De_Niro.jpg
Robert De Niro in "Silver Linings Playbook."

 

David O. Russell, who gained fame as the director of “Three Kings” and 2010’s “The Fighter” weaves a tantalizing tale of romance amongst unbalanced people. As a screenwriter, he pays careful attention to bringing his characters to life over a time frame; nothing instantaneously happens overnight.  It’s a gradual process where the audience learns more and more about Tiffany and Pat’s mental illness. Speaking of mental illness, it’s a taboo subject that many people shun from, but the reality of the “Silver Linings Playbook” is there are many people out there that suffer from such illnesses and we as a society hate to acknowledge it. 

 

I particularly like the idea of meshing football into the dramedy. The Solitano’s are avid fans of the Philadelphia Eagles.  Pat’s father (Deniro) will do anything in his blood to make sure that his love of the Eagles rubs off on his son and everyone around them. If you enter their house expect to see memorabilia and to engage in countless situations about the team. To say that this family is die-hards would be an understatement.


The acting in this ensemble piece is all Oscar-worthy, particularly Cooper and Lawrence who shine in their respective roles. This is some of the meatiness material for both actors. Lawrence already won rave reviews for her work in “Winter’s Bone” and I guarantee another Lead Actress nomination for the actress for this role. She could be the front-runner to beat. Cooper takes on a role that is charming, yet conflicting at times. He’s the hero that may not always seem like the hero, and Bradley does exceptional work at finding that balance; you connect with his character on many more levels than one would suspect. De Niro and Weaver are also perfection as Pat’s overbearing parents wanting to help their struggling son get back on his feet. 

 

“Silver Linings Playbook” is a movie that resonates with the spectator, you may not always identify specifically with the lead characters, but you know someone that resembles them. I can’t help, but say my spirits where exceptionally high after watching this beautiful, yet complicated love story depicted on the screen.



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