Silver Linings Playbook.

12 Apr

Hype. The dictionary definitions of this word are as follows: ‘Excessive publicity and the ensuing commotion’ and ‘Exaggerated or extravagant claims made especially in advertising or promotional material’. So many films over the years are a party to this word, where we as the viewing public are bombarded with press releases, billboards, trailers, promotional videos, viral campaigns….the list goes on and on. Often this ‘hype’ creates an illusion of grandeur, of superiority and excellence, and often we can be left disappointed. In the case of Silver Linings Playbook, where for around a year we heard of its release and its oscar-worthy performances, the hype was a success as the films excellence far outweighs its disappointments.

Starring Bradley Cooper (who at this moment in time is incredibly hungover…Part III is out very soon) and Jennifer Lawrence, the star of the recent box-office hit Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook follows Pat (Cooper) who after completing an 8 month stretch in a mental institution for beating up his wife’s lover, returns to his chaotic home where he meets Tiffany (Lawrence), a determined girl with a truck-load of her own problems.Silver_Linings_Playbook

Post-Oscars it is easy to understand why this film has been so highly received. A beautiful soundtrack, an astounding cast and a moving storyline are all significant components in this well-oiled machine. Superior to all of those however is the script. Developed by the director David O. Russell from the book by Matthew Quick, it is electrifying. At almost every given moment there are multiple levels of dialogue happening at once, delivered with such precision and finesse the audience are left, not confused but, buzzing. The back and forth between each character is exceptional, most notably between Pat and his Dad, Pat Sr. played by Robert De Niro, and adds to the already fast-paced momentum of the film.

Post-Oscars it is however difficult to understand why Bradley Cooper was not awarded his Oscar and Jennifer Lawrence was. Other than being up against an icon of the film industry Daniel Day-Lewis for his role as Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln, Cooper’s performance is by far superior to that of his co-star, portraying a young man with bipolar in a chaotic and troublesome world to absolute perfection.

silver-linings-playbook-bradley-cooper

In a low-calibre romantic comedy called ‘You, Me and Dupree’ Owen Wilsons character Dupree talks about everyone having a ‘ness’, qualities that only you hold that are no-one elses. To use myself as an example, Amy-ness. The last few years I have thought about this in terms of Indie-ness. Actors who have qualities that are lost in the mainstream but come alive and prosper in films that are either slightly left-field or ones that simply don’t have the resources to be advertised in every possible way. Ryan Gosling has this Indie-ness, as does McConaughey and Daniel Craig. Cooper is fast following in these footsteps and making a huge imprint in the dirt.

So the question is, does Silver Linings Playbook live up to the hype? For the most part I would say yes. The weight of Bradley Coopers performance, an astounding script that is brilliantly delivered by all the cast and a melodic soundtrack, all make this film really special. The final moments where Pat and Tiffany take part in a dance competition lack the somewhat climatic impact you are hoping for throughout the films build up, which does leave a slightly bitter taste in the mouth and mind, but over all it satisfies much more than most rom-coms of the modern era. Fast, charming and solid, an absolute must-see.

Silver_Linings_Playbook diner

Selling Point – Tiffany talking to Pat about her sexual experience with a woman. Literally one of my favourite scenes of all time, for nothing else but Pat’s reaction.

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