Belated Silver Linings Playbook Review

[Minor spoil alert]

Last year, I wrote about my surprise when I found out about Silver Linings Playboook.

Theatrical release poster

Time went by and I only got around seeing the movie three weeks ago. And then promptly forgot about the promised review until I was reminded of it by a post on A Canvas Of The Minds Facebook page.

In case you don’t remember, the movie is about Pat Solitano (played by Cooper)’s intent to rebuild his life having just been released from a mental institution where he spent the past eight months. Pat is bent on reclaiming his life exactly as it was before before his hospitalization. But he’s in for a couple of surprises and a few epiphanies too.

A lot of things have happened since my first post.

First of all, let me start by saying I simply loved the movie. Every single aspect of it. Even the corny ending and I am not very fond of corny endings. OK, fine. I really didn’t love the corny ending. I hate corny endings.

Now, this past Tuesday when I went to see Warm Bodies -a great movie by the way. Highly recommended, especially if you like Zombie movies. On my way out I picked out the Cineplex magazine as I always do. This month is the 2013 Oscar Preview issue.

And what do you know.

I found that Silver Linings Playbook has the following nominations:

  • Best Supporting Actress – Jacki Weaver
  • Best Supporting Actor – Robert De Niro
  • Best Actress – Jennifer Lawrence
  • Best  Actor – Bradley Cooper
  • Best Director – David O . Russell
  • Best Picture

I have to say I like how the issue of mental illness is handled. Not that it is the first time mental illness is portrayed in a Hollywood movie. But almost always it is as a side story. Not the main characters but a family member or a close friend and not really all that important to the main plot.

Not here. This movie is about mental illness and the struggle to achieve mental health. They are not making fun of it and neither are they underscoring it nor blowing it out of proportion.

That is not to say there are no funny moments. I laughed hard several times. You know that moment when you completely identify with the character because you’ve done the same thing so many times? Yeah, that.

I have to say that more than a few times I found myself laughing harder than the rest of the people in the theatre. Perhaps it is only funny when you have lived through the same things because you relate?

Cooper is brilliant as Bipolar-afflicted Pat. And so is everybody else in the movie, for that matter. There are no weak characters there. Just different shades of great (no pun intended).

My favourite scene is when Pat and Tiffany Maxwell (played by Lawrence) get into a conversation about medications. It’s a fast-paced, matter-of-factly exchange on the different medications they have taken, what they do to them and why they should not be mixed. I think that pretty much all of us can related to that. I have lost count of how many medications and combinations I’ve been on. Some of us – the brighter ones, even keep a binder for them.

Of course, not everyone agrees with me. Movie critic Jordan Richardson described this way: “David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook is a convulsive, clichéd, impossibly frustrating motion picture.” His full review is in the Related Articles section at the bottom in case you are curious as to what are his reasons.

13 thoughts on “Belated Silver Linings Playbook Review

      • Lunch Sketch says:

        Work and life are OK. Thanks!
        Was a rough week last week … just not coping. Some old thoughts that I had not had in a long time. Might Canvas it in a week or two.
        I feel better now. As you can see from my latest post, I took my son, one of his mates and Miss 8 camping.
        For me, camping is physically tiring, but always a complete mental escape. No problems solved or cure found for my ills, but a much needed rest for a tired mind is always achieved.

        Not everyone’s cup of tea I know … but works for me :)

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