Silver Linings Playbook Review

Posted 9 years ago by myetvmedia

Silver Linings Playbook, may prove to be the movie of the year. It has wracked up Audience Awards at film festivals including the most telling, the “Peoples Choice Award” at TIFF 2012 in Toronto. The TIFF “Peoples Choice Award” has proven to be a remarkably good predictor when Oscar time roles around. Silver Linings Playbook is lined up with 8 Oscar nominations.  

Winning the audience award at TIFF signaled great things for Silver Linings Playbook  based on the record of  other winners over the last 34 years.  The TIFF People’s Choice Award winner has become such an accurate forecaster of Academy Award attention that it has raised the importance of TIFF as a festival venue to lofty heights. Four Best Picture Oscar winners found early attention at TIFF as winners of this prestigious award; The King’s SpeechSlumdog MillionaireAmerican Beauty, and Chariots of Fire. Other films receiving the Peoples Choice Award since 1978 have gone on to accumulate impressive international awards accounting for 105 Oscar nominations and 39 Oscar wins in various categories including 9 Best Foreign Language Film Oscars.

Silver Linings Playbook features excellent performances from Cooper and Lawrence, while Chris Tucker’sroll as loony-bin escapee provides many laughs. The film is the only one to have Oscar nominations in all acting 4 categories, something that is rare.

Written and directed by David O. Russell, starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Chris Tucker, Silver Linings Playbook is a witty, romantic comedy about family dysfunction, self-acceptance and — of course — love. Russell proves with this film that he has not lost his comedic edge.

Pat Solitano (Cooper) has seen better days. After an altercation with his wife and her lover, Pat has been committed to a state-run mental institution. When his mother checks him out early, Pat moves in with his parents and tries to reclaim his life, starting by winning back the affections of his estranged wife.

Unfortunately for Pat, a restraining order stands in the way of achieving his goal. He quickly finds a way to circumnavigate this when he is introduced to the equally troubled Tiffany (Lawrence), a friend of Pat’s wife.

Tiffany’s brother–in-law describes her as “crazy”. Recently widowed she has embarked on a binge of sexual promiscuity and self-discovery. When Pat and Tiffany meet for dinner they believe the other to be crazier. The dinner that proceeds is completely void of any adherence to social norms or niceties and is hilariously awkward.

Despite their initial hesitation, a friendship buds, and they decide to help one another; Tiffany will deliver letters to Pat’s wife and in return Pat agrees to be Tiffany’s partner for an upcoming dance competition. What starts as a reluctant alliance evolves into something much more touching and deeper fuelled by Pat’s tremendous optimism.

Pat’s strategy for dealing with his life post-psychotic break is to look for the silver lining in every situation. It is with this same sense of optimism that Silver Linings Playbook represents the plight of its characters in this oddball, touching comedy. David O. Russell fans will enjoy his wonderful wit. Look for Silver Linings Playbook to have a significant presence come Oscar time.

-Astrid Handling

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