Silver Linings Playbook is hands down one of 2012’s best films. The combination of phenomenal acting from the entire cast and brilliant directing from David O. Russell, helped to create what many audiences across the nation are calling their favorite movie of the year.
The movie details the struggle of bipolar patient Pat Solitano, played by Bradley Cooper, and his endeavors in remaking his life after being locked up for 8 months in a mental hospital for nearly beating his wife’s secret lover to death after finding them together in the shower. After his release from the hospital he is still bent on regaining the trust of his wife Nikki, although that is very doubtful (especially considering that she has a 500 foot restraining order against him). His sporadic family consists of a compulsive gambling father, played by Robert De Niro, a caring yet shaken mother, played by Jacki Weaver, and a slightly conceited brother, played by Shea Whigham. The family tries to cope with Pat’s temporary bouts of insanity until his vision of getting his wife back is interrupted at a dinner party he attends at his good friend Ronnie’s house. Ronnie’s sister-in-law, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is also somewhat mentally perturbed, and immediately takes up a liking for Pat. The rest of the movie details her challenges of trying to get Pat to let go of his feelings for Nikki in order for her to be able to be with him.
Unlike from most romantic comedies, Silver Linings Playbook manages to convey the true feelings of romance along with hilarity without the cheesiness that typically accompanies the two. Every emotion Cooper and Lawrence portray feels very real to the viewer, and the insanity accompanying the relationship of two mentally unstable people creates a comedic tone that is unique to the movie. De Niro adds displays of quirky obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms, such as organizing household items just right in order to aid the “juju” of football games he is betting on.
The movie is based on the book of the same name by Matthew Quick, which allowed David Russell to expand on the already expansive originality found in the plot. This on top of Russell’s fast paced directing style leads up to create an incredible piece of work. The film has already been nominated for an Oscar in every acting subcategory, a feat not accomplished at the Academy Awards since 1981. It also received four Golden Globe nominations (including best picture), with Jennifer Lawrence winning best actress.
Silver Linings Playbook was an incredible movie and I encourage everyone to witness its greatness; those who may not think romantic comedies are their type of movie may be surprised at how much they enjoy this film.
Since the writing of this review of Silver Linings Playbook, the film has won a number of awards, including the Oscar for Best Actress to Jennifer Lawrence.