Movie for Psych Majors and Sports Fans: Silver Linings Playbook
By Steven Tringali ‘13
Published: Friday, February 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 01:02
Movies are meant to entertain, inform, and sometimes even distract an audience from their daily lives. Silver Linings Playbook demonstrates how a film can combine these aspirations to accomplish the ultimate objective of captivating an audience with a story that finds the extraordinary in the ordinary.
With director David O. Russell at the helm, Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper as Pat Solitano, a former high school teacher who is released from a mental health facility after receiving treatment for bipolar disorder, and Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany Maxwell, a recently unemployed young widow recovering from a sex addiction.
Supporting Cooper and Lawrence is Robert De Niro as Pat Sr., a bookmaker on a quest for his own restaurant, and Jacki Weaver as Dolores, Pat’s well-meaning mother. Both De Niro and Weaver received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Actress, while Cooper and Lawrence are in the running for Best Actor and Best Actress—the first time a film has been nominated for all four acting awards since 1981.
Set in Philadelphia, the film features themes of working class families and the devoted following of the Eagles, on whom Pat Sr. repeatedly places bets. Russell also explores the theme of mental health and portrays a subtle understanding of the complex nature of mental illness, from addiction to bipolar disorder to the highly superstitious game day rituals of Pat Sr.
The genre blending of romantic comedy and drama creates a story that accurately portrays the lives of working and lower-middle class families.
Despite their 15-year age difference, Cooper and Lawrence bridge the gap with a chemistry that flares and dims, sputters and sparks more than Fourth of July night sky.
With such an honest portrayal of seemingly ordinary circumstances by such an accomplished cast, eight Academy Award nominations, and a plot with as many turns as the final dance number, Silver Linings Playbook will please almost any palate.