Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

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9.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Good looking movie with great acting

A rather predictable storyline that takes a while to find direction

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Silver Linings Playbook

Studio:  The Weinstein Company

Genre(s):  Drama/Comedy/Romance

Release Date(s):  September 8, 2012 (Toronto Internation Film Festival)/November 16, 2012 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

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Yeah, I admit it, my sister has bad taste

Patrizio Solitano Jr. (Bradley Cooper) is just out of a mental institution after a court-ordered stay due to his assault on his wife Nikki and her lover.  Now diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, Pat finds himself in a fight to win his wife back despite a restraining order.  With his mother (Jacki Weaver) trying to keep Pat on the straight and narrow and his father (Robert De Niro) dealing with unemployment, being a bookie, and his own obsessive compulsive behavior, Pat meets his friend’s sister-in-law Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence) who also has mental problems after the death of her husband.  While they both fight to keep balanced, they find themselves in an uneasy alliance for Pat to get Nikki back, and Tiffany to have a partner for a dance competition.  When Pat’s father makes a bet that Pat worries he can’t cover, Pat and Tiffany must work harder than ever to succeed.

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Hey wait, are you talkin’ to me?

Directed by David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook adapts the Matthew Quick 2008 novel.  The movie was met with great critical acclaim and managed to snag a ton of Oscar nominations including all four acting categories (which hasn’t happened since Reds in 1981).  The movie’s full list of Oscar nominations include:  Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Cooper), Best Actress (Lawrence), Best Supporting Actor (De Niro), Best Supporting Actress (Weaver), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing (this also classifies it for “the Big Five” which is Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay).  Jennifer Lawrence ended up taking home Best Actress for the film.

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Hey, this notebook doesn’t even have any silver…what a crock!

I liked Silver Lining Playbook more than I expected because it was kind of unexpected.  From trailers, the movie was made out to be a laugh a minute goofy romantic comedy and for the basic premise it is true, but the movie is more than that.  The picture has a surprising dark side which I did enjoy a lot.

I will say the plot is kind of so-so.  It is pretty obvious what is going to happen by the end of the movie and what you expect to happen does happen.  I thought there might be more turns or twists, and that the characters problems would come more into play.  Instead, things end up working out for the best and the classic “romantic comedy” mold almost overrides the “comedy drama” mold which I felt the movie fit better in.

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It’s a madhouse…a madhouse I say!!!!

What really saves and pushes the movie is strong acting.  Bradley Cooper shows some acting chops and works on proving he’s not just a pretty face.  His comedic timing which he has demonstrated before does play really well into the script.  Lawrence gets her hand at comedy too, but I feel her dramatic scenes work much better and are better paced than some of Cooper’s humor (Anne Hathaway was original cast but backed out for The Dark Knight Rises).  De Niro remains solid and has two of the best moments in the film in private moments with Cooper, but I also feel Weaver’s subtle role as the family glue is great and she has such a nice infectious smile that almost…almost covers her fears (but not quite which is why she’s so good).  Even Chris Tucker who I find annoying manages to keep control and a small role by Julia Stiles is always welcomed.

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I hope you dance!

I do like Russell’s filming style.  On chaotic scenes it feels very chaotic.  I constantly found myself tense through the movie and expected the worse…I think Russell’s approach is part of the reason.  Still with all the chaos, some of the nicer or more traditional scenes came out great.  It is an interesting flow for the movie since it does walk this fine line of standard comedy and gritty drama.

The Silver Linings Playbook is an interesting film and much better than I expected.  What could have been an average movie was lifted by great acting and directing and turned it into a much better film.  I do feel that there is some rockiness in the script which takes a while to find direction, but fortunately the movie is fun to watch and it is overshadowed.  Excelsior!

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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