The Film Fatales tell you whether Silver Linings Playbook has a winning team (or goes for the gold).
2012. 211 minutes. Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, Jackie Weaver, and Chris Tucker. Directed by David O. Russell.
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. [imdb]
elizabeth: Mental illness sucks. Whether you are born with the ailment imprinted on your tiny soul or whether society beats you down so much that you lose your grip on reality, it sucks. And Hollywood sometimes does not do justice in allowing the audience to see just how someone in the throes of a mental illness really behaves if only to make the audience more compassionate toward people with an illness that you can’t readily see.
Bradley Cooper does a stellar job in bringing Pat Solitano’s demons to life. You feel his pain, you want him to win and when he slips, you want to comfort him. But Pat doesn’t need our help. Cooper takes a man beaten down by mental illness and brings out his humanity, survival instincts and humor and without giving the ending away, he puts in a performance that is worthy of an Oscar nomination. Thank God he did this while waiting to take on The Hangover Three. Hey, Bradley, act in more movies like this and I will make a beeline to the theatre.
Jennifer Lawrence’s performance as Tiffany, the young wounded widow, is heartbreaking, but it was worth the price of the movie ticket to watch an actress who can get into the soul of her character and become someone else. Major kudos to this young actress. Hollywood keeps dragging poor Lindsay Lohan back into the public’s eye. I think Lindsay needs to go away and get healthy, really healthy. Jennifer can handle the leading roles coming up just fine, thank you.
Nicole: God, I hate it when we agree. But I digress. When Hollywood deals with mental illness, the characters sometimes come off as caricatures. When bi-polar disorder and (what I presume to be) hypomania manifest, they tend to be in very particular ways that are different to each person affected. Sure, there are commonalities, but it’s not a cookie-cutter experience. I guess for some actors it’s easier to play a stereotype than the truth. It was interesting to watch Cooper and Lawrence showcase a truer interpretation of mental infirmity. Just two people who come together as they each come back to life after terrible setbacks.
I’m really impressed with Lawrence. I think she’s definitely got a long career in front of her. Even if it’s hard not to have chemistry with Cooper, ‘cause – well, let’s face it, he’s handsome, talented and for God’s sake, the man is fluent in French. So, I can’t imagine making the sparks ignite was too hard a task.
elizabeth: My only one complaint about this movie is that it is a tad too long. And if you hate football like I do, it can get a little painful. While I love DeNiro’s performance as a dad with his own set of problems (and with no fashion sense. Paging Tim Gunn), I was getting anxious for them to move on. I do get the part about the playbook (and so will you when you see it), but football cannot hold a candle to the family drama that is Silver Linings Playbook. And it was refreshing to see a movie that makes my own family appear to be “borderline normal.”
Nicole: I agree…again. This has to stop. As much as I love DeNiro, I felt like his character was predictable. I found myself wondering why he took this part. It could have been played by anyone, really. It certainly wasn’t a stand-out role. There were some different choices I might have made script-wise – the length being number 1. They certainly could have come to the same resolution by shaving off 30 minutes.
elizabeth: Okay, I have two more complaints. I could not remember the title and I hope it doesn’t hurt the movie. Another terrific movie was The Shawshack Redemption and that title hurt the movie when it came out. Good thing people found that movie later on. So write the title down, put it in a safe place and go see Silver Linings Playbook. My last compliant and then I promise to go away: I would like Bob DeNiro to know that a brown shirt and grey pants will never ever go together. Not in my shallow little world.
Nicole: This isn’t Project Runway, Cassidy. And you’re not Heidi Klum. Auf Weidersehen.
The Film Fatales giving Silver Linings Playbook