David O. Russell adds another phenomenal film to his plethora of good films, which include Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees, and 2010’s acclaimed The Fighter, which won Best Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress. This new entry, Silver Linings Playbook, plays out fantastically, with an outstanding cast, committed performances, an intriguing story, sincere direction, and a powerful script. It stars Bradley Cooper (“The Hangover” series), Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone,” “The Hunger Games,”), the always-legendary Robert DeNiro, a surprisingly spellbinding Chris Tucker (“Rush Hour” series), and Jacki Weaver (“Animal Kingdom”). Each of their characters convey an enormous amount of passion and authenticity. Although Silver Linings Playbook tackles a rough subject (mental illness) with touching romance and earnest comedy, it perseveres through its charm and charisma, both from the story and Cooper and Lawrence’s strong chemistry. The story takes place in Philadelphia, PA (home of the Philadelphia Eagles, which, in the movie, is the family’s favorite team), and revolves around the troubling life of bipolar Pat Solitano (Cooper), who was released from a mental health facility after seeing his wife cheat on him with another man and almost beating the man to death. His estranged parents (DeNiro and Weaver) are slightly skeptical about his return, but Pat’s life changes when he meets Tiffany (Lawrence), who had also been in a mental facility after the death of her husband. Both start in what seems like a nervous friendship, but blossom into a romance that is both sympathetic and endearing. Silver Linings Playbook does contain a few scenes that may be uncomfortable, especially since both Cooper and Lawrence’s characters have some instability from adjusting back to their lives at home. But, like always, their unwavering acting makes up for it. Composer Danny Elfman, who has done a lot of Tim Burton films, displays both a magnificent and dramatic score; Silver Linings Playbook also offers an amazing soundtrack. The movie primarily gives a lot of insight as well, revolving around the ideas of family coming first, stable relationships, and staying positive in the worst situations. Blending all those ideas with great acting and sensitive direction makes Silver Linings Playbook another great cinematic hit, as well as a very possible Oscar choice.
Oscar Nomination?: Yes (Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Screenplay)
See the trailer here.