Director: David O. Russell
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert Deniro, Jackie Weaver, Chris Tucker, Julia Stiles
Rating: Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity
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.
Looking back at all the film's I've enjoyed over the last couple of years I've realized that the films nominated for awards at the Oscar's are usually not the favorites of mine. Every year hollywood nominates the same categories for best picture and it becomes old and tiresome seeing George Clooney and Meryl Streep walk away with multiple awards. Not knocking those two actors but unpredictablity is not something the Oscar's is good at and over the years my interest in the awards have become less and less interesting. When I heard a romantic comedy "Silver Linings Playbook" was nominated for 8 academy awards I was quickly intrigued. This film felt very different from the usual films noinated at award season and I actually wanted to see it. The negative about a film being nominated at the Oscar's is that it gets a very slow release date. The film had been in limited release since Thanksgiving and just now has gotten a wide release, but after seeing this film it was well worth the wait.
The film based on the novel by Matthew Quick is about Bradley Cooper's character, Pat, who has just got released from a mental hospital after a dangerous incident 8 months prior. Once he is released the film focuses on his intentions of recovering his marriage that was in the middle of a separation and just rebuilding his life in general. Things become more complicated for Pat when he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) who is also someone dealing with a mental break in her life and the two help each other recover. The main thing that drew me into the film from the start was the premise. A film like this is a very hard one to make. Dealing with mental illnesses is always a dangerous topic to touch upon because if one thing is done wrong the film can become too after school special or just very cliched. Director David O. Russell did a good job of handling everything in the film in way to make it very grounded and relatable. In most films dealing with mental disorders the supporting character are usually shown to be more superior mentally to the character with disorder but in this film David O. Russell does something different that I really appreciate it.
David O. Russell shows that even though the main character of Pat (Bradley Cooper) and Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) are dealing with mental disorders that everyone in general is dealing with problems similar to this. Pat's father played by Robert Deniro is Compulsive Gambler dealing with OCD his mom has a hard time dealing with real problems and Pats friend is having marital troubles. He shows through his oscar nominated screenplay that all of us to some extent are dealing with mental problems some of us to higher extents but none the less we are still dealing with these problems. Another thing that was so good about the screenplay was the interactions between the character. Every actor in the cast was phenominal and did a very good job interacting with each other. None of the dialouge felt filler and to some extent really showed the emotional depths of the character. Even in the subplots of the film the dialouge was still enjoyable and didn't take away from the film like the subplots usually do in films.
This film is nominated in all 4 main acting categories at the Oscar's this year for Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert Deniro, and Jackie Weaver but those nominations all along don't give this incredible ensemble performance the credit it deserves. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence give in my opinion the top two acting performances this year. Bradley Cooper is an actor I have always seen potential in but none of his acting performances have never really justified his talent but this is the true beginning in my opinion to his career. No matter how great the screenplay is of this film, Coopers ability to portray this very complicated character required a lot of talent and Bradley Cooper played him pitch perfect I was honestly surprised how well he played this role. Jennifer Lawrence played a very good counterpart to him as an equally messed up individual. The character of Tiffany in the book was originally written to be someone at the same age of Pat at 30, but David O. Russell thought that even though Jennifer Lawrence was 21 at the time of the shooting believed she could do the role, and when watching the film no one could tell she was only 21. She played the role with such maturity and vulnerability that if she doesn't get best actress at the Oscar's there is something really wrong with film today. The supporting cast in this film also do a great job, there isn't a bad acting job in this entire film. If there is two people I would like bring up specifically is Robert Deniro, who finally did a film that he was doing more than just playing Robert Deniro and Chris Tucker who appeared out of nowhere as Pat's friend from the mental hospital and both were excellent in their roles. Overall, everyone brought their A games for this film and it can really tell in the final product.
With the same old same old being nominated for multiple Oscar awards every year its a true breath of fresh air when a film like this comes around and gets the recognition it deserves. I honestly cannot say anything bad about this film from the directing, the acting, and the story everything about this film just worked. Overall, this is a film I believe everyone should watch as even the most cynical person can't help but smile at this film's charm and I can't wait until the Oscar's where I really hope this film runs away with the show. This film is hands down the best film to be released in 2012.
Final Grade: A+