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Silver Linings Playbook was released at the end of 2012 and is now available on DVD (£7 on Amazon).
Runtime 122 mins
Bradley Cooper - Patrick "Pat" Solitano, Jr.
Jennifer Lawrence - Tiffany Maxwell
Robert De Niro - Patrizio "Pat" Solitano, Sr.
Jacki Weaver - Dolores Solitano
Chris Tucker - Danny McDaniels
Anupam Kher - Dr. Cliff Patel
Julia Stiles - Veronica Maxwell
Brea Bee - Nikki Solitano
Shea Whigham - Jake Solitano
John Ortiz - Ronnie
Paul Herman - Randy
Dash Mihok - Officer Keogh
Pat Solitano leaves a mental hospital after 8 months of treatment - he is bipolar - and returns to live with his parents. Pat's life fell part when he discovered that his wife, Nikki, had been having an affair. On discovering Nikki and her lover in the shower together, Pat beats the guy up with the result that Pat ends up in a mental hospital. The film starts as Pat is released after 8 months of treatment - he is bipolar. He goes to live with his parents but a restraining order prevents him from seeing his ex although he desperately wants to get back together with her. We get to hear Pat's story through his therapy sessions with Dr Patel but like so many sufferers of bipolar disorder Pat doesn't believe he needs to take any medication to manage his condition.
He is introduced to Tiffany by his friend Ronnie and although an unlikely couple, the two strike up an unusual relationship. Tiffany is a widow and is also mentally scarred. Tiffany knows Pat's wife, and agrees to help Pat get a letter to her if in turn he agrees to do her a favour.
What I thought
The film is superbly acted with an impressive cast. It got Best Actor, Best Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress nominations at this year's Oscars but in the event only won Best Actress. All were worthy performances but Jennifer Lawrence really stood out. I was surprised to see her in this role as the last time I'd seen her was in Hunger Games when she played the sixteen year old lead, Katniss Everdeen; another role in which she was very convincing. Clearly Tiffany is a much older woman but Lawrence plays her extremely well capturing her vulnerability whilst really giving the impression of someone on the edge. Bradley Cooper also does a great job of portraying someone with bipolar. It soon becomes apparent that the whole Solitano family is a little unusual - Robert de Niro is excellent as Pat's father and a fanatical Philadelphia Eagles fan.
At the start of this film, I felt decidedly uncomfortable. Is it right to make entertainment out of mental illness? From the beginning the film touched a chord, I have a stepdaughter who was diagnosed as being severely bipolar in her early twenties and has struggled to manage the condition ever since. So much of the portrayal rang true for example being woken at 4 am to have some obscure conversation. At one point my other half had to leave the room complaining that it wasn't really his type of film and he went off to make a cup of coffee as a diversory tactic.
However once we got over the initial unease, it developed into a great little story that had us both hooked. Stick with it. It's a thoughtful insight into a much misunderstood disorder, very well acted and, yes, it is entertaining.
One thing that often bugs me about films is the way that the ending is predictable, or it turns out that the popular rather than realistic final end point is chosen. It really annoys me that the easy route is taken. However, I don't mind this when some of the content is brilliant, as it serves its purposes and deserves to have a cushty ending.
The Silver Linings Playbook is a film about two people who develop a close friendship and realise that they can help each other out. Bradley Cooper plays Pat, recently released from a mental hospital following a violent outburst. He meets Tiffany, played by Jennifer Lawrence, who needs a dance partner for an upcoming competition. Tiffany agrees to help Pat try to win his estranged wife back in return for helping her with the dance competition.
It's one of those strange social situations where you're not entirely sure how the plot actually develops but before long you're watching this brilliantly acted random plot based drama which is full of award deserving actors who make something seem a whole lot better than it actually is. The screenplay itself, taken just on the plot, wouldn't wow me in the slightest. Based on a book, I'm not entirely sure it's a book I would even have given a second glance unless I was considering buying it as a gift for someone else. However, digging a little deeper unveils the sort of depth that is quite incisive and thought provoking.
Pat is disturbed and deluded. the way Cooper acts the character, you're always on edge, even when he has his moments of lucidity. Generally, if you met someone like him it would take a while before you started to realise something wasn't quite right, but watching the film it's instantly noticeable. Lawrence manages to play Tiffany with danger in her eyes right from the first moment she appears on screen. Even at some of the more serious times, I found myself almost smiling, not because of the content, which was sometimes anything but amusing, but because of genuine appreciation of some acting prowess. To say she eclipsed the rest of the cas would be a lie, as to be fair the support was also impressive, but she and Cooper were on top form.
The direction and soundtrack were emotive. There's no other way of describing it. Time was taken to allow the stars to develop the two lead characters, but you always had the impression that something had an element of control over them, that they weren't fully in charge of their own functions. The mental health issues weren't actually discussed in great detail, but on occasion the combination of everything was so socially awkward and well manipulated from behind the camera and inside the actors' heads that you couldn't help but laugh at the more amusing moments.
Overall, this is an extremely accomplished performance in places. I have to say that it occasionally got carried away with itself, but the presentation largely was very good and you could not fault what at times was some of the best character depth acting I've seen in a long time. Highly recommended, focus on the characterisation.
'Silver Linings Playbook' is a film adaptation from the novel of the same name by Matthew Quick.
Pat (Bradley Cooper) returns home from a mental institution for violent behavior due to his bipolar disorder. He is desperately trying to reconcile with his wife who has left him, but when he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), sister of his best friend's wife, who is recently widowed with problems of her own, they form a strange friendship that with their co-operation might lead Pat back to his wife and Tiffany to winning a dance competition.
The themes of the movie are pretty serious and in this way make the movie deep and meaningful. The relationships and character dynamics are strongly executed and portrayed, especially between Pat and his parents, Pat's longing to be with his wife and then Pat and Tiffany's relationship. However, the pace of the film was a tad slow and the plot I felt was a bit random.
The success of the movie definitely lies in the complexity of themes, relational dynamics and the cast, which pulls all of these things together. As the movie reaches a climax, there is a strong and emotional scene which Jennifer Lawrence completely steals and captures our attention in.
Unfortunately, the ending was somewhat predictable and cliched, with a romantic comedy/drama feel to it. Whilst it is the happy ending we all expect, it lacked a depth and drama that would've kicked it up a notch.
Bradley Cooper- Pat
Jennifer Lawrence- Tiffany
Also stars Robert DeNiro, Julia Stiles and Chris Tucker.
Both Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence deliver a performance of a lifetime in 'Silver Linings', playing uniquely different characters, each with their own mental and social problems. Lawrence is diverse, emotional yet funny and definitely deserved her Academy Award for this role and shared an awkward chemistry with Cooper in one of his most serious performances to date.
Nominated for 8 Academy Awards, 'Silver Linings Playbook' was definitely one of the potential heavyweights at this year's Oscars, but only won one for Jennifer Lawrence's performance, which reflects somewhat accurately of the movie itself.
Though an overall strong and thoughtful piece, the pace is slow and at times does not flow very smoothly, with the dull plot lifted by the performance of the two leads which is really the reason I watched this to begin with. I shan't go as far as to say that I was bored, but at 122 minutes long, I was definitely anticipating the outcome, which had an unfortunate romcom predictability.
Star - Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence
Certificate - 18R
Genre - Comedy
Run Time - 122 minutes
Country - USA
Blockbuster Rental- £3.50 per night
Awards - I Oscar Win (8 nominations)
Amazon -£7.00DVD (£10.00 Blue Ray)
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So, 'Silver Linings Playbook', a classic Hervey Weinstein sting, a star packed ok adult comedy hyped up to the eyeballs at Oscar time, the usual swag bag of nominations and awards swung over Weinstein's shoulder on leaving the building, the super talented Jennifer Lawrence the only aspect of the film that truly lives up to the trumped-up buzz. Ever since Weinstein's win for Shakespeare in Love (1998), his company, Weinstein Pictures, has made it their business to spend big money on hyping films they are involved in, down to a fine art now. He has a producer credit on no fewer than 265 movies, clearly hired to bring that hype machine to the party to boost the gross, more PR consultant than a money man. Its incalculable how many superior movies have lost out to this guy's shameless tactics. Once a movie gets the 'Oscar Buzz', The Academy tends to fall in line and vote for it. Saves time on actually watching the short list, right?
Among its 8 Academy Award nominations, Silver Linings Playbook became the first film to earn nods in all four acting categories since Warren Beatty's Reds (1981) and the first "Big Five" (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Writing) nominee since Million Dollar Baby (2004), another hyped up bore.
The Weinstein Company bought the rights to the book of the same name before it was even published, the script potential that hot, and planned for Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella to produce the film. But they both unfortunately died in 2008 and that was that for a bit, some 5 years and 25 rewrites later seeing director David O. Russell take on the challenge, ignoring advice from Pollack at the time, who told him it was tricky to have mental illness, emotional, troubling, funny and romantic content all in one movie. I think the last to make that work was One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.
= = = Cast = = =
Bradley Cooper ... Pat
Jennifer Lawrence ... Tiffany
Robert De Niro ... Pat Sr.
Jacki Weaver ... Dolores
Chris Tucker ... Danny
Anupam Kher ... Dr. Cliff Patel
John Ortiz ... Ronnie
Shea Whigham ... Jake
Julia Stiles ... Veronica
Paul Herman ... Randy
= = = The Plot = = =
Pat (Bradley Cooper) has been released from a psychiatric hospital into the protection of his family; the thirtysomething Philadelphia blue-collar boy suffering a bipolar relapse after his wife dumped him for a history teacher. Dad, Pat Snr (Robert De Niro), a big Eagles fan like his son, hopes they can pick things up and cleanse the estranged Veronica (Julia Stiles) from his life with some good old home cooking from mum Dolores (Jacki Weaver) and football. But Pat still holds a torch for Veronica and determined to get her back.
At a support meeting he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), the sister-in-law of his best friend Jake (Shea Whigham) and a declared sex addict, recently suffering the loss of her husband in a traffic accident. The pair form a friendship through their shared neurosis and Pat sees chance to open communication lines with Veronica through Tiffy, which she takes advantage of, declaring that if he trains for and enters a dance competition with her then she will deliver a letter to Veronica. Tiffany thinks that it will do him good and impress Veronica. But, you guessed it; Tiffany is falling for Patrick so in an emotional bind.
= = = Results = = =
I can't help thinking that this film would have been better with a lesser known cast. There are much better Indies out there like this with lesser budgets and names that are far more fun and edgy. Sadly you need names to get nominations these days.
It's good but nothing special, a reasonably smart and gently funny film around interesting and challenging themes. Fair enough, they had a crack at making jokes around mental illness without causing offence and it worked a treat, a subject that needs tippy toes. But I don't think it's a film that you would ever watch twice like you would Cuckoos Nest, the true test of a quality movie, Silver Linings all a little light on story and reason.
Bradley Cooper was not really the right guy for the lead role and only there because he is box-office after the post Hangover movie success for me. The original plan was to go with Vince Vaughan and Zooey Deschanel in the lead, definitely not Oscar material if that horror story had happened. 'Swingers' is a long time ago Vincey and you really need to knock it on the head. That would have been a very different movie and I certainly wouldn't be reviewing it now, Chris Tuckers presence here enough to put me off renting as it was. Tucker is an incredibly annoying comic actor and only inserted here head first to box tick the ethnic quota. It's his first non Rush Hour movie since Jackie Brown (1997). I'm not surprised.
For its $21 million it did an impressive $236 million back, clearly appealing to an anxiety and depression ridden middle-class audience that can relate to those themes more than most. Casting Hollywood's most beautiful blue-eyed sexy actors to project mental illness was a bit of a copout though and they didn't seem the manicured type who would ever be locked up. The only people that are locked up today are the ones that stab members of the public on the street if they ever get out and they certainly don't look like Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, or get to go to a ballroom dance contests. But the critics raged about their performances, and the punchy script, capturing what mild mental illness and depression is all about and so room for humor, apparently, the film bombing along with that Weinstein hype to make ten times its production cost. I can see why people went to see it but, again, nothing special.
= = = = RATINGS = = = =
Imdb.com - 7.9/10.0 (212,435 votes)
Metacrtic.com - 81% critic's approval
Rottentomatos.com - 92% critic's approval
= = = = Critics = = = =
Entertainment Weekly -'A crazy beaut of a comedy that brims with generosity and manages to circumvent predictability at every turn".
Times UK -'This is a date movie that caters to the needs of both men and women: American football and comedy, ballroom dancing and romance'.
The Independent -'Silver Linings Playbook puts the "fun" in "dysfunction'.
Q Network -'tows the line of conventional, feel-good Hollywood rom-com, albeit dressed up in just enough art-house quirk to make it feel like something slightly radical'
The Guardian -'A romantic comedy for people who don't like what Hollywood has been calling 'romantic comedies' these days'.
Quad City Times -'I suppose the phrase 'serious romantic comedy' sounds like a paradox'.
Spectrum -'A deft treatment of its delicate subject material and some remarkable performances that give the film both touching, raw, authentic emotion'
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For a man just released from the mental institution, Pat (Bradley Cooper) seems to have an alarmingly optimistic view on his future well-being. He is convinced his estranged wife, who has taken out a restraining order against him, will come back to him and he's unafraid to try whatever he can to win her over. His strategy is to think positive. Because with all the good energy and vibe, he believes he has a shot at a "silver lining" (hence the title).
Pat has bipolar disorder for which he needs medication. When undiagnosed with this condition, he had the misfortune of walking into his home to find his wife in the shower with another man. He almost beat the guy to death, for which he carried out a sentence of 8 months in the aforementioned mental hospital. But armed with the motto "Excelsior" that gives him inspiration and a reliable recharge he needs to get back to his normal life, Pat is back. His parents however, Pat Senior and Delores (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver, respectively), aren't fully convinced that their son is fully in control of his situations. And just as they feared, he shows signs that all may not be well. Even worse are the non-family members who immediately ostracise Pat and label him according to the incident that now seems to define him wherever he goes.
Mental illness is a difficult subject matter to handle well, especially if it is the director's intention to include some humour into the mix. But David O. Russell, although not exactly the go-to guy for comedy, manages to sensitively address the issues surrounding his protagonist's everyday obstacles, and how the condition affects not only him but the ones around him. He allows his characters to be as outrageous as humanely possible, without ever mocking those with mental illnesses. They are never rounded off into broad stereotypes of unstable, screaming and psychotic caricatures, but often well-grounded and controlled with only brief moments of outbursts that fit in with the scenario. His incredibly touching approach is an often humble and rather beautiful one, as he succeeds in informing as well as entertaining. This may have been advertised as a standard rom-com but in fact it ends up being so much more than that.
With the introduction of Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) Pat's life becomes more complicated. As a self-proclaimed slut (she got fired from her job by sleeping with everyone at her office) mourning the sudden death of her cop husband, she's unafraid to speak her mind, much like Pat, and she seems to be the only one who understands what Pat is going through and what kind of help he truly needs. And in this central role, Lawrence, giving the most mature and gutsy performance to date, truly grabs on to your attention and never lets go. With twisted complications of her own to deal with, Tiffany is a tough nut to crack, but behind the cold eyes of hers there is a lonely human being who longs for a true connection, a friend, and someone who perhaps understands her. She is fearless, strong but in her extremely balanced performance, the now-Oscar-winning actress shows many sides to her young and vulnerable character.
It would appear Pat isn't the only one in his family with problems. His father, with subtle hints throughout the film telling us that he has OCD, has lost his job and has been making a living as a book-keeper betting on football games always loyally supporting the Philadelphia Eagles. So how does this little subplot fit in with everything going on? Pat Sr considers his son to be his own little lucky charm, although Pat Jr has a hard time accepting such nonsense. But in a tender, film-defining moment we see the quiet yet beautifully nuanced De Niro opening up ever so slightly, which to his character, is a huge step and he lets us know it. De Niro has done some terrible movies recently (even Dame Helen Mirren thinks so!) but with Pat Sr he is given the time and space to bring to screen a challenging role that makes full use of his timeless talent.
Caught up in the family chaos, and arguably the only sane one who acts as the glue keeping everyone together is the family matriarch, Delores, nervously standing by to diffuse whatever situation may flare up. This is Australian actress Weaver's yet another stunning supporting turn. Here she has less to do compared to the bigger names, no speeches or showy moments, but her warmth is just as easily felt as the worried mother and wife. She is so natural in exuding the love and devotion of a full-time housewife that she in fact plays a huge part in creating this loving family drama. She has been around unstable minds for her entire life, and in the background it is clear she has been acting as the family's much-needed glue as well as its cool head that brings everyone together. Weaver is a highly versatile actress and yet another fabulous performance to add to her resume can only make us wish for further success and attention in Hollywood.
It's not at all surprising that all four actors and actresses were each nominated for their designated "Best Actor" "Best Actress" "Best Supporting Actor" and "Best Supporting Actress" categories (including a win for Lawrence). This kind of achievement hasn't been done since "Reds" scored four acting nominations in 1982. And what a truly magnificent cast that has been assembled - in a seemingly ordinary story, with everyday characters you might well bump into, they still tell something extraordinary.
As the film increases the stakes when it comes to both Pat Sr's football bets as well as Pat Jr's blossoming relationship with Tiffany through a dance competition, there is a sense of forced overlap of sorts to make a bigger, rousing moment of victory, which marks the film's only notable misstep. But the high it ends on is a truly remarkable and sensational one, with the people you've constantly rooted for getting the ending they thoroughly deserve. David O. Russell shows that this is exactly how you do a feel-good ending.
About the film
Silver Linings Playbook is a comedy/ drama film that was released at the cinema on 21st November 2012. The DVD will be released on 1st April. Silver Linings Playbook is adapted from the novel of the same name by Matthew Quick. The film is rated 15 and has a run time of 122 minutes.
Plot (Taken from Amazon.com)
Life doesn't always go according to plan. Pat Solatano has lost everything--his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother and father after spending eight months is 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, 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.
Bradley Cooper as Patrizio "Pat Jr." Solitano
Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany Maxwell
Robert De Niro as Patrizio "Pat Sr." Solitano
Jacki Weaver as Dolores Solitano
Chris Tucker as Danny McDaniels
Julia Stiles as Veronica Maxwell
Anupam Kher as Dr. Cliff Patel
Brea Bee as Nikki Solitano
Shea Whigham as Jake Solitano
John Ortiz as Ronnie
Paul Herman as Randy
Dash Mihok as Officer Keogh
What I thought
Before watching this film, I didn't know that it was based on a book but now that I do, it makes me want to read it.
Bradley Coopers stars as Pat Jr, a man just coming out of 8 months of treatment in an institution. Pat is mentally unstable after the breakdown of his marriage and is now diagnosed as bi-polar. It was wonderful to watch Pat's character develop throughout the film, going from a complete mess and not really knowing what was going on in his life to being at a point where he is content and happy. I'm not really Cooper's biggest fan and I have to say that if it hadn't been for Jennifer Lawrence, I don't think I would have watched this film. However, Cooper is fantastic as Pat and really puts a lot into the role. A large range of emotions were needed to be able to play this role and Cooper is extremely convincing as Pat. One minute he's very down and sad but the next he is so happy he bounces off of the walls. I have to say that Silver Linings Playbook may just have altered what I thought about Cooper.
Jennifer Lawrence is equally as good, if not better, in her role as Tiffany. She, just look Pat, is quite mentally unstable after the death of her husband. She's loud, brash and very outspoken which is what I loved about her. The two characters really complement each other well as they are often at two different sides of the spectrum. Tiffany is a very confused character, not always knowing exactly what she wants or the right thing to say. She doesn't have a filter on when she talks and just does and says anything she feels like. While this is a drama film, it is also a comedy and between Tiffany and Pat, there are plenty of funny moments between them. Much like Cooper, Lawrence needed to be able to be very open and emotional in this role and she does it well. The role is very different from others she has played such as Katniss in The Hunger Games. I do think this was a fantastic role for Lawrence to take because it shows that she is more than a one series actress and now she has really made a name for herself.
I also really enjoyed the plot as much as the main performances. Pat is absolutely obsessed with his wife Nikki who he is separated from. He doesn't really understand this though and is determined to show her that he has changed and is a better man. It was heart breaking to see Pat in constant states of denial or confusion because he couldn't understand why things were a certain way. When he meets Tiffany, things change because he is confronted with someone who is very similar to him and also going through similar problems. The outcome of the story was pretty predictable but I didn't mind that at all. I thought the lead up to, and the ending, were wonderfully done and very inspirational to others with mental health issues at the same time.
Something that did bug me about this film though was the way that it was shot. Some scenes would finish in a really random way that didn't really fit with the rest of the film. Some scenes are also extremely short, jumping from one thing to another very quickly which can be very confusing. However, this does also make it possible to be able to realise how Pat is feeling, with emotions all over the place. Don't be expecting to be wowed with the settings in this film either. The majority of the film takes place in a small town where Pat and Tiffany meet and while the shots of the street over the changing seasons were nice, they just weren't anything special. Silver Linings Playbook isn't a film about stunning scenery though. It's a film about the characters and all of the attention is on them instead.
I really enjoyed this film and will definitely be buying it once it is released on DVD.
Bradley Cooper is quickly becoming one of my favourite actors. From hangover to limitless I just find that he is able to play all of his characters effortlessly, so I do make a special effort to watch films he stars in. When I noticed this film was coming to the cinemas I knew what my husband and I would be watching for our night out. This is the main reason I chose to watch this film but the storyline is also something I would usually watch too. So I was expecting good things from the film. It was released in cinemas in November 2012.
The film begins introducing us to Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper). We see that he has just been discharged from a mental institution where he was placed after a court order. We also find out that he is struggling with his bipolar disorder. Part of his therapy is to focus on the good things in life, his silver linings. So he is concentrating on getting back into teaching and winning his ex wife back. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own. The odd couple become very close friends and help each other through the hard times they have ahead. With each day come new challenges for them both. Can they help each other come through everything? This film follows the pair as they try to get their lives back on track.
I have to say that I have a close family member suffers with mental health problems. This did make me a little wary of the film as the main character has bipolar disorder, and I was worried about the way it would be portrayed. It is very sensitively done but they manage to find the line between humour and still showing the true struggles that someone will go through. Pat finds everyday things difficult and confusing and this is shown perfectly both through the acting but also the whole arrangement of the film. They also manage to add in a lot of humour so it is not all doom and gloom, and it is still a very light carefree watch.
The storyline is a little predictable so I knew early on what would happen. I still really enjoyed it as the actor's play the parts that well it makes me forget what the bigger picture is and just watch them. Each and every person in the cast is strong in their role. It is a film that within the first twenty minutes you can see the way it will finish, but it is the details up to the ending that make this film what it is. It is a romantic comedy but it really is a breath of fresh air compare to other stories that are remade over and over again which was a pleasant surprise.
I thought the acting was great. Bradley cooper portrays a 'crazy person' extremely well and each and every scene is thought out really well. It is comedy film, but this is one of the more serious roles that he has taken on. He manages to make us feel empathy for his character, and shows the day to day difficulties his disorder can create. His obsession with his Ex Nikki is the bases of the film, but at the same time they manage to bring a whole range of emotions into the story line so it is not too depressing.
Jennifer Lawrence is equally as perfect in her role. I did think she could maybe drift into the background a little with Pat being such a strong character, but she puts on a fantastic performance so there is no way she can be forgotten. The way her character bounces off Pat's is perfect in both providing humour, but still concentrating on serious issues. Her character is miles away from those she has played previously, and for me this film just proves what a fantastic adaptable actress she is. The two main characters could not have been picked more perfectly to work together, keeping the whole film a light but meaningful watch. There are also some really good supporting actors like Robert De Niro, Chris Tucker and Julia Stiles. They may not have big scenes in the film, but they are strong in their characters.
The camera work at time can be a little strange. I know it is purposely done to try and make us get in the mindset of the characters, but I just found it a little annoying at times. Jumping through scenes quickly and a whirlwind of different conversations within a few minutes' means you have to watch it. At the same time it pulls me in because I want to watch everything that is happening. Once I became used to the camera work I could see why it was done in this way. It helps us connect more with the main character, and show the confusion he feels with his life. It was a film that left me smiling and it may be forgeable in the future but for now I enjoyed watching it. There are no real special effects as it relies on the characters personalities to carry the film. As there is no action or anything over the top it is a simple set, mainly taking place on the streets or in family homes but the details to the settings is great.
I would definitely recommend this film and I will be buying it for my DVD collection. The acting is perfect and the film really managed to portray a sensitive subject well. It is a comedy love story, but it has a nice twist on all the other similar films which is very refreshing. I enjoyed the film a lot more than my husband, but he still found it watchable. The actors are all perfect in their roles, the characters are built well and it is a light hearted watch. I did think with the issues it covered it may have been a more serious film, but the makers have managed to find the perfect balance.
(Film only review)
Pat: You have poor social skills. You have a problem.
Tiffany: I have a problem? You say more inappropriate things than appropriate things.
This film has garnered a lot of attention from the Academy awards with eight nominations in total, including best picture and nominations in all four acting categories. I was interested in it as it tackles an issue which is quite sensitive in mental health which I have experience of myself. It is based on the book by the same name by Matthew Quick. The film is classed as a romantic comedy drama and stars Bradley Cooper (Hangover) and relative newcomer Jennifer Lawrence in the main roles. There is also a part played by Robert De Niro with supporting roles coming from the likes of comedian Chris Tucker and Julia Stiles. The film was released initially in September 2012.
Bradley Cooper plays Pat Solitano who has just been released from a mental institution after being inside for eight months on a court order. The release is based on a few conditions including him moving back in with his parents Pat Snr (De Niro) and Dolores Solitano (Jacki Weaver). He has lost pretty much everything including his job as a teacher, his wife and his house. He is diagnosed as being bipolar after beating up the lover of his wife Nikki. Since this incident he receives a restraining order preventing him from reconciling with his wife. He aims to get back on track by seeing the silver linings in his life and also by being healthy. He doesn't believe in taking his medication due to how it makes him feel.
He is invited to a dinner by his best friend Ronnie who is married to Veronica (Julia Stiles). Her sister, Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) is also there who has been recently widowed and is a recovering sex addict. She also has mental health issues. Pat wants to get his wife back and tries to do this through Tiffany. Tiffany agrees but only if he becomes her dance partner to take part in a dance competition.
This is a movie which tackles a sensitive and quite real issue in bipolar disorder. It does it though in a quite effective way. There are the predictable mood swings and the angry outbursts as well as some detachment from reality. Bradley Cooper plays one of his most serious roles and he does it very well. It is a serious role as he does have a serious illness but he is very funny also. You can connect to his character and the difficulties he faces as he tries to show his wife that he is doing well so he can win her back.
The support cast is fantastic and they all do a great job. This includes the likes of Pat's father played by De Niro who gives one of his best performances in recent times. Jennifer Lawrence is also great as the troubled young widow who is looking for a new outlet to move on from the death of her husband. She cements herself as one of the hottest actresses of the moment. Chris Tucker also plays a good cameo role as a fellow mental patient who appears from time to time to add a bit of fun.
The film is classed as a romantic comedy but it is unlike many others as it does not follow a clichéd script and dialogue. It is able to appeal to a wide audience and it is not a very typical rom com. It also blurs the lines between comedy and drama. It is quite long coming in at around the two hour mark and it does drag a little in parts but it also packs in a lot.The directing by David David O. Russell is also on point . This is easily one of the best films of 2012 and deserves the accolades it is getting. I would just about give it 5 stars overall.
Directed by: David O. Russell
Produced by: Bruce Cohen
Screenplay by: David O. Russell
Based on The Silver Linings Playbook by
Robert De Niro
Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography: Masanobu Takayanagi
Editing by : Jay Cassidy
Running time: 122 minutes