I love a film with no CGI. Further to that, I love a film that still hails to the old school philosophy that a good film rises and falls on strong characters, great writing, excellent acting and equally good direction.
Silver Linings Playbook is one of those films that Hollywood only produces about once a year as for most studios they’re just too risky. What they don’t understand however, is that a film about two main characters dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and bipolar is more relatable to the average person than most Hollywood productions.
Silver Linings Playbook tells the story of a Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper), who has lost everything. His wife, job, and house and as it appears his sanity. After spending eight months in a state institution Pat is finally released to the care of his parents as he embarks on a ludicrous and delusional journey to win back the love of his ex-wife. During his days which consist of reading Hemingway and running, Pat meets Tiffany (the gorgeous Jennifer Laurence) who is suffering from bipolar disorder after the death of her husband – and as you can assume, dark hilarity ensues.
At its heart, Silver Linings Playbook is a cute love story wrapped in the reality of normal everyday people dealing with their mental health. Funny at points, heartbreaking at others, Silver Linings Playbook deserves all its accolades and Oscar nominations. The acting in this film is where it takes off. The hardest thing for any actor, especially those of superstar status, is too seem believable to the character they play. To be able to perform their craft in such a way that you no longer see the actor, or your preconceived notions about them, and just see the character – to be believable.
The joy of this film is seeing Bradley Cooper actually act, instead of walking around with his shirt off, and Robert De Niro back to his best as the Eagles obsessed NFL fan, and father to Pat. Jennifer Laurence shows why she should be considered one of the most exciting actors to come out of Hollywood in a long time. Beautiful and intense she nails the emotion of each of her scenes. A serious supporting role by Chris Tucker (Rush Hour) and an equally believable Jacki Weaver, rounds off the cast perfectly. Hopefully the success of this film will drive some further non-CGI believable human stories in Hollywood. This could easily be the film of the year.
A silver lining in every situation? Absolutely.