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Silver Linings Playbook– Movie Review

Submitted by on November 26, 2012 – 10:00 pm6 Comments

Silver Linings Playbook follows a mentally ill man as he returns home after eight months in a treatment facility to his working class Philadelphia suburb to live with his bookie parents and pursue his delusion that his wife will return to him. Did I mention it’s a romantic comedy?

While mental disease and Eagles football might only seem romantic in certain sections of Upper Darby, director David O. Russell and a stellar cast mine the material for a truly touching love story that blurs the line between crazy and sane, and shows that even deeply damaged people deserve to be with the right person.

Pat Solitano Jr. (Bradley Cooper) lost everything after undiagnosed bipolar disorder sent his marriage and job spiraling, and he almost beat his wife’s lover to death after discovering them. He pleads out to time in a mental treatment facility, and returns home relentlessly optimistic about winning back his wife, insisting that things like weeks of silence and a restraining order are normal for couples. But when Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a depressed young widow, he begins to face obstacles that were not part of his plan for a happy ending.

Cooper is fantastic as Pat. Pat’s illness is not sugar coated (much); he is at times violent, obsessive, willfully ignorant, and just plain irritating. But Pat’s optimism is so infectious, and he struggles so earnestly with every new roadblock in his path, that I was rooting for him pretty much from the beginning.

The movie is a crazy mess plot-wise, so if Cooper’s central performance doesn’t hook you, I can understand how you might not enjoy it as much.

Russell shows a restrained hand in Silver Linings, especially compared to some of his earlier work. As if striking a compromise between the trippy landscapes of Three Kings and the stark unobtrusive realism of The Fighter, Russell offers just enough shaky camera work and warped soundscapes to make the world seem familiar, but unsettling- much like, I imagine, Pat sees it.

The ensemble cast, including Robert DeNiro, Jacki Weaver, John Ortiz, and Julia Stiles, brings life to a gallery of immediately recognizable friends and family with their own obsessions and problems: gambling, superstitions, materialism, crippling work pressure, and failing marriages. But everyone is painted compassionately.

Did you see Silver Linings Playbook? What did you think?

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  • S.A.Foust says:

    I loved this movie! Was not expecting it to be so heartfelt and comical. Yes it does focus on mental illness and family disfunction but does so honestly and lovingly. Cooper and De Niro are awesome as usual but the supporting cast makes the film. And Chris Tucker was incredibly touching as Cooper’s buddy who kept trying to get out of the mental hospital himself. Great film, will probably see it again.

  • C Blake says:

    This was a great film, supporting casts make this film. Absolutely outsanding! It was heartfelt and comical, loved it!

  • C.Bell says:

    In a word: One of the finest works on the subject of mental illness ever done with reality . With every emotion attached to it. It will make you laugh, cry, get angry and want to hug all the incredible actors.

  • betty baker says:

    at first I was not too sure about it, but ended up really enjoying, will definately watch it again and again…

  • I did not know how to react to the coming attractions. Was it to be a dark comedy? Do I really want that kind of entertainment? But, the acting, directing, and writing became more than I expected with the added benefit of realizing the fine line between mental illness and those of us think we are mentally “healthy.” While noone steals the show, DeNiro passes Pacino in my family with this performance. Sir Robert not going to make me cry! Well, he scores a TD here as does the entire ensemble. On the way out of the theatre, the consensus objection of the night: “Why doesn’t Hollywood make more of this type of dramatic film?”

  • Sue says:

    I loved it! Bradley Cooper really brought out the pain of mental illness. Great acting here from all. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie! There are so many people in pain like this and we may not know. Good movie for all to watch. I have seen first hand in life how mental illness can destroy people. I hope a silver Lining for all!!

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