Movie Review: Silver Linings Playbook
Silver Linings Playbook boasts powerful performances and a bizarre narrative that makes you laugh your entrails out during the funny moments and reach for the Kleenex during the others
Silver Linings Playbook
Dir: David O Russell
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence
It also makes you wish for every guy with a broken heart to find a Jennifer Lawrence to fix him and dance with.
Bradley Cooper stars as a bipolar man who has thrashed his wife’s lover and has arrived home after a stint at the psychiatric ward. Typical of O Russell films, the characters surrounding him exhibit eccentric energy as well; his father (De Niro in top form) is a thoroughly superstitious, semi-violent football addict who likes his TV remote placed only at a particular angle. His neighbour who is a super-hot but certified lunatic widow (Lawrence) develops an interest in him. In one scene our hero paces his room in the wee hours of the night because he cannot agree with the nihilist overtones of Ernest Hemmingway. Later when the attractive crazy widow from next door throws herself at him he blames her for her poor social skills, following which she literally chases him down the streets every morning.
O Russell gloriously demonstrates his knack of directing scenes of family conflict, all of which are so superbly staged one begins to wonder if they’re hilarious or heartbreaking. The banter between DeNiro and Cooper is in particular incredibly intense as a hint of mental illness running in the family is superbly established. The loud back and forth between the characters is bipolar as well, constantly veering from laugh out loud to crushing drama.
Both leads play wounded characters scrabbling their way to wellness, and no one else but Jennifer Lawrence could’ve pulled her role off — she is one of the very few Hollywood actresses who doesn’t confuse vulnerability with weakness.
Towards the end of the film Lawrence takes on the football crazy family and delivers a rapid-fire monologue that pretty much annihilates everyone else in the room. By the end of her monologue I found myself standing up and clapping, having fallen completely in love with Miss Lawrence. I’d be surprised if you don’t experience something similar.