Sunday, January 27, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook

Honestly, I have been very impatiently waiting for Silver Linings Playbook to get to its wide-release date and, as a result, wishing that I was in a bigger city, where I would be able to watch films when they are actually released. But, for now, I'm here in South Mississippi, and I'm a deprived movie buff. Nevertheless, although I thought the trailer was a tad underwhelming, I had high hopes for Playbook, with all the Oscar hype and whatnot. I was afraid that they might overwhelm me with a sappy love story, but I was hopeful that Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro's humor would be enough to keep me laughing, even through the lovey dovey parts. So, once it finally made its way to Hattiesburg, I went to see Silver Linings Playbook.

I think most people would agree with me that there are very few film characters that are more interesting than those who are psychologically unstable. In Playbook, almost every single character has some sort of mental issue, big or small, and that makes for an amazing story. Even the romantic parts are interesting, because the relationship between Cooper's Pat and Jennifer Lawrence's Tiffany is interestingly odd and warped. The unique characters made for an unpredictable storyline and many, many hilarious moments. While there were many emotional moments, I think I probably laughed more than I have at a film in over six months, so kudos to David O. Russell for that.

Without a single doubt in my mind, this was the greatest ensemble of 2012, from the lead performances by Cooper and Lawrence, to the smaller roles of Chris Tucker and John Ortiz. While Les Miserables was phenomenally cast, Silver Linings Playbook put it to shame. Once again, kudos to Russell.

The one and only character that I did not absolutely love was that of Dr. Patel (played by Anupam Kher). As Pat's psychologist, Patel just didn't fit what the role should have been, in my opinion. It was the only aspect of the film that I felt was overdone. Patel was unnecessarily funny in a few situations, and I didn't care for that,

For starters, Bradley Cooper was phenomenal! Because I am a Hangover fanatic, it was hard for me to take him seriously at first, but the role was perfect for him and he for it. Once I got over the fact that it was Bradley Cooper, I was able to see how great the performance truly was. Although she wasn't as good as Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence was great in her role as Tiffany, and I have a great amount of respect for her as an actress. I don't know if she is going to make my best list this year, because there were so many great performances in 2012, but she is certainly deserving of her Oscar nomination. In addition to the two leads, I was also greatly impressed with Robert DeNiro, as Pat's father, and John Ortiz, as Pat's close friend. Both performances were hilariously great, and I think almost anyone would agree that they were great compliments for Pat's character.

The number of great films released in 2012 is so massive that even The Academy isn't sure what film will take home best picture this year. So, I don't know how I'm supposed to choose my favorite film from 2012. I keep thinking that I have seen the last of the good films, but then another film like Silver Linings Playbook comes along and screws up my list! The best thing is that I'm not even done reviewing all of the films that might find themselves on the list this year! So, hold on... there is more to come! However, I would much rather be in this boat than one in which I struggle to find any film or actor worthy of recognition. Anyway, I say all that just to reiterate how great this film was and how it shook up my (previously settled) lists for best actor/actress/film for 2012. Playbook was the perfect blend of humor and drama, accented by amazing performances and months of waiting to watch. I give Silver Linings Playbook 4.13 out of 5 stars.

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