Random Article


 
Must See..
 

Silver Linings Playbook Review

 
9a386ede_smush_Silver
9a386ede_smush_Silver
9a386ede_smush_Silver

 
At A Glance...
 

Age Rating:
 
Actor: , ,
 
Length: 2:02
 
Release Date: 11/16/2012
 
Story Line: 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.
 
Producer: The Weinstein Company
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
4/ 5


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

We liked?


Acting, Characters

Not so much?


undefined storyline


Final Fiendish Findings?

In the end Silver Linings Playbook is a superbly acted film with interesting characters. I would not be surprised to see some Academy nominations for the performances by Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence or Robert De Niro. It’s an honest portrayal of living life with mental illness and the awkward situations that stem from that. The writing could have used some polishing but overall it does not detract from the film in any great way. I would say the film is very much worth the watch.

0
Posted November 27, 2012 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings?
 
 

 

[Please note that this review may contain some small spoilers!]

How does one begin to describe Silver Linings Playbook? You could argue that the movie is a romance, or you could say that it’s an in-depth commentary on living with mental illness, or even a family drama. I think it’s safe to say it is all these things, but moreover this film is about connections. The connections between families, friends and spouses are all explored through the eyes of the film’s protagonist Pat (Bradley Cooper) who has lived the majority of his life with undiagnosed bipolar disorder.

When we meet Pat he is being checked out of a mental health facility, where he’s been for the last eight months after a violent outburst stemming from his wife’s infidelity. He’s positive and upbeat and seems to be one of the least worrisome cases in the hospital. However, once home and away from that controlled environment the audience is quickly shown the true extent of his problems. It is important to know that this film deals realistically and bluntly with the effects that bipolar disorder has on both the party with the disorder and the family which struggles to support them. There are uncomfortable moments in the film that can make you feel uneasy, but those scenes are also what allow the movie to communicate so powerfully.

The highlights of this movie for me were twofold, the acting and the relationship between Pat and Tiffany. Tiffany is played by Jennifer Lawrence, who most of us will know from ‘The Hunger Games’. Her character is also emotionally damaged, stemming from the grief of her husband’s death but she deals with this by searching for attention, usually sexual in nature. Both Pat and Tiffany share a certain social awkwardness that bonds them together even as they both use the other for their own gains; Pat using her to get in touch with his estranged wife and Tiffany using him as a partner in a dance competition. Despite their selfishness, the relationship develops and deepens as they begin to find a kindred spirit in each other.

For a film coming out in limited release, Silver Linings Playbook boasts a cast worthy of a summer blockbuster. Bradley Cooper, better known for the Hangover franchise, hands in possibly his best performance to date. As Pat, he is vulnerable while having a manic episode in one scene and in the next is able to convey his confusion at other people’s reactions even while displaying a disturbing obsession with his estranged wife. It’s the multitudes of emotions and thoughts that Cooper puts into each scene that make his portrayal award worthy. At no point in this film does one think “oh this is an actor playing a bipolar person”; he truly inhabits this character.

Jennifer Lawrence’s turn may be quite a surprise for those of us who only know her as Katniss Everdeen. She is gritty while maintaining an innocence that allows her to come off as likeable, despite her abrupt nature and less than stellar behavior. In a supporting role, she holds her own with her costars and impresses the audience.

Robert De Niro takes on the role of Pat’s father, Pat Sr., and of course it is not shocking that De Niro turned in an outstanding performance. After all the man is a Hollywood legend, well respected and sought after as a performer. However what really struck me about this turn as Pat Sr. is the subtlety. Through his character’s behavior (he is a bookie with a severe case of OCD) the audience can clearly deduce where his son’s habits developed. In one scene in particular, Pat Sr. seems to reach the end of his tether and begins taking some responsibility for how his son went undiagnosed all those years, though those are not the words used nor the subject broached. “Maybe I spent to much time with your brother” Pat Sr. says, but through De Niro’s performance you can read between the lines as he pledges to do better and be there for his youngest son.

So yes, the acting and characters in Silver Linings Playbook are strong. However, the story itself could have used more defining. There is a clear motivation for both Pat and Tiffany but in the end Pat’s feelings give way to others with little to no explanation. When he finally sees his wife, which he has been obsessing over throughout the movie he is calm, his actions seemed a bit disingenuous, especially when you consider how honest the rest of the film was.

There are also a couple scenes throughout that don’t seem to have much purpose. These mainly revolve around ancillary characters such as Pat’s best friend and his wife. They’re a bit puzzling and actually serve to slow the momentum of the film.

In the end Silver Linings Playbook is a superbly acted film with interesting characters. I would not be surprised to see some Academy nominations for the performances by Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence or Robert De Niro. It’s an honest portrayal of living life with mental illness and the awkward situations that stem from that. The writing could have used some polishing but overall it does not detract from the film in any great way. I would say the film is very much worth the watch.


Laurel Deneen

 
Lover of movies, television, theater, comics and general nerdery, Laurel hails from Minneapolis Minnesota. She has a geeky husband who requires more than the average amount of attention, a dog who thinks she's a dragon and she secretly longs to be a penguin.