FILM: “Silver Linings Playbook”

Reviews by Pete Mason

Silver Linings Playbook is probably the best romantic comedy in recent memory. I say that because I don’t watch romantic comedies, so when one is nominated for an Oscar, I’m interested. And I really did enjoy the film, especially the ensemble acting that combined two generations of actors and all points in between. There’s a lot of emotion and weight to the film, keeping you invested in the outcome, enough to justify award nominations, but not awards.

Bradley Cooper is Pat, just released from a mental hospital and looking to reconnect with his estranged wife, and coping with bi-polar disorder and treatment. He meets Tiffany through a friend, and starts the ‘who’s more fucked up?’ type relationship. Her husband was killed and she took to sleeping around to cope with the loss. They meet and worlds collide, then mesh, then lead to the big event of the film – a dance competition. While this winds up being a great story line, the twist that comes closer to the end makes it even more interesting, fully grasping your attention and leaving a pleased disposition on all.

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The cast makes the film collectively, not individually. Bradley Cooper gets dramatic as Pat and plays crazy damn well, Robert DeNiro plays his OCD father with Jacki Weaver as his mother who kept it together through the entire film (and the only non-name actor in the film) all nominated for acting Oscars. Jennifer Lawrence is the most high profile actor of the film up for an Oscar, and she is great in the role as the depressed and coping Tiffany, afflicted and adjusting to being a widow, but I don’t see her giving the best performance of the year – she reminded me this was a romantic comedy, and while it was a good one, it wasn’t a four-star, A+ film. The actors played off each other so well that it made the acting the highlight of the film, again, taken collectively. Surprisingly Chris Tucker was a nice touch in the film, coming and going with just the right dose of crazy personality and the accompanying tension, and not overdone, to the film’s benefit.

There are many romantic comedy films like Silver Linings Playbook, and while some think of it as an Oscar-caliber film, the cast truly makes the movie. The film is great, especially for the fantastic acting.

“Silver Linings Playbook” is currently being screened at the Spectrum 8 Theaters in Albany. The movie is rated “R” and runs 122 minutes.

REVIEWS OF ADDITIONAL OSCAR BEST PICTURE NOMINEES:
“Argo”
“Zero Dark Thirty”
“Amour”
“Les Miserables”
“Lincoln”
“Django Unchained”
“Life of Pi”

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