Starring: Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games), Robert DeNiro (The Godfather Part II), Chris Tucker (Rush Hour)
Writer/Director: David O. Russell (The Fighter)
Runtime: 2 hours 2 minutes
Release Date: 21 November (US, UK)
Silver Linings Playbook may well be my favourite movie of the year. Go see it. Like, right now. What are you still reading this for? Go and watch the movie! You’re still here? Fine, read my review and then go see it.
If I were to sum up Silver Linings Playbook in a nutshell, I would describe it as a romantic comedy starring mental patients. Seriously, the characters of Pat (Cooper) and Tiffany (Lawrence) are two of the most bi-polar, easily angered people I’ve seen in any film. But their main flaw is the film’s greatest strength, as it constantly provides us with both comedic and dramatic situations that can rival any film that only attempts one. The story is formulaic, but it provides enough little twists that it never becomes completely predictable. The film takes a while to get going, but trust me. Once it gets going, you won’t want it to stop.
The performances in this film are phenomenal across the board. I never thought that Bradley Cooper had this much range, but he pulls off the task of playing a psychological mess without fault. Equally matching him is Jennifer Lawrence; I’ve always known she was a great actress, but this makes her previous performances seem like a warm-up. The film truly lightens up whenever they are on screen together, helped by the great script written by Russell. DeNiro gives a great supporting performance as Pat’s dad who is equally nutty and (I never thought I’d say this ever) Chris Tucker is great as Pat’s friend from the mental ward. Why he hasn’t been doing movies like this his entire career, I don’t know.
The film has an odd visual style, one which can grade at times but isn’t bad at all. The cinematography makes constant use of fast zooms and twirling around people. I hate to say it but every time they’d zoom into someone’s face, I expected Mike Myers to chime in with an “EXTREME CLOSE UP! WOAAAAHHHHH!” I was surprised to learn that Danny Elfman did the score, because his music is usually quite memorable but I never actually noticed it here. Again, these are by no means bad things; they’re just minor odd details I noticed.
I never thought I’d see a movie this year that could rival my love for The Cabin in the Woods, but Silver Linings Playbook could well be my favourite. It’s got a great story and stellar performances, and deserves plenty a nod at the Oscars in February. Excelsior!
FINAL VERDICT: 10/10