Friday, November 23, 2012

Silver Linings Playbook

Movie Name: Silver Linings Playbook
Year of Release: 2012
Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher, John Ortiz, Julia Stiles, Shea Whigham, Dash Mihok, Matthew Russell, Brea Bee
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

Director David O. Russell continues his fantastic streak of impeccable films, following "The Fighter", which garnered Oscars for both Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. "Silver Linings Playbook" follows the story of Pat Solitano, who has just been released from a mental institution, after experiencing a severe traumatic episode, which resulted in violence (brought on by his wife's infidelity). Upon his release Pat goes to his parents house, who try to help him cope and adjust to his new reality. Pat is bipolar and desperately wants to reconnect with his wife (who has a restraining order against him). Into this mix comes Tiffany, a young and beautiful widower, who also has experienced grief and trauma in her life, and who brings a totally unexpected bout of energy to Pat's life.
David O. Russell has always managed to convey the oddities of life in ways that are simultaneously endearing and sometimes a bit shocking (the Gulf War in "Three Kings" for instance). The rawness and range of emotions that are usually on display on his films, showcase his sensitivity for engaging on matters that are not usually the most accessible. In this case he tackles someone with a serious mental condition, and makes a story that is simultaneously caring, touching and unnerving. The film showcases  fantastic performances from Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro (and the rest of the cast as well), who bring the story to life with authenticity and a veracity that makes this film indelible and a pleasure. Not to be missed.