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Sometimes a movie surprises you and “Silver Linings Playbook” did that for me. It is deserving of the award nominations and wins it has received.
I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure Mr. Hangover Bradley Cooper could pull off the performance I had heard so much about, but he did. Also, I’m not a fan of strong language in films, and this has a bushel full, but the story pulls you in.
Cooper’s character is fresh out of a mental hospital and dealing with life and all its pitfalls again. He was serving a court-ordered hospitalization after beating up a man he caught cheating with his wife. In the hospital he is diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, something he didn’t realize he had been suffering from his entire life. He also has an irrational expectation of getting back together with his ex-wife.
Along the way, he meets Tiffany, played by Jennifer Lawrence (“The Hunger Games”). She has a few problems of her own. After the death of her husband, she becomes an angry sex-addict.
Somehow, between both their mental illnesses they befriend one another and decide to compete in a dance competition.
What is compelling about the film is although it focuses on Cooper and Lawrence and their own particular illnesses, it also reveals that everyone has problems and issues to deal with.
Cooper’s father, played by Robert De Niro (“Meet the Parents”), has an obsession with luck when it comes to the Philadelphia Eagles. He runs a booking racket out of his home and even has to have his remotes point a certain way if he thinks it will help his team win a game. He is enslaved by his sports superstitions.
Friends, family and various other characters enter into the story and all have their own brand of problems.
The film deals with these issues with the right mix of comedy and drama by exploring the reality behind people’s problems and showing that no one is exempt from problems.
In everyone’s little corner of the world there are problems. Some people handle it well, some don’t and some are just hiding what’s wrong. “Silver Linings Playbook” explores these issues and ends up being a sweet little film.
The film does however have adult situations and very strong language including many F-bombs. It’s not for the younger crowd.
It is nominated for eight Academy Awards including best picture and acting nods to Cooper, Lawrence, De Niro and Jacki Weaver (“The Five-Year Engagement”).
Lawrence, a Kentucky girl, also picked up a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Her performance warrants the recognition.
Comedian Chris Tucker (“Rush Hour 3”) also stars and brings comedic charm to his scenes.
The film is harsh and deals with tough subjects but with a bit of heart mixed in.
“Silver Linings Playbook”
Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity
Runtime: 122 minutes
Release date: Dec. 25 limited, Jan. 18 in Elizabethtown
Rating: Harsh language but a soft hearted film
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For movie reviews visit her reporter page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Becca-Owsley/96924584861.