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Saturday, January 19, 2013

[7.25/10] Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Brief review: Adapted from Matthew Quick's novel of the same name, "Silver Linings Playbook" is yet another winner from gifted director David O. Russel, who brought us the near flawless boxing drama "The Fighter" back in 2010. Although a bit overrated in general, we can't deny that Russel, who also wrote the script, has adapted the story in an excellent way, balancing the bipolar nature of it with ease and true sophistication, without sucking the delightful quirkiness out of it. Sure, it's intentionally moody, but the story which brings together two flawed, and mentally disturbed characters, with very similar struggles, has an edge that most rom-coms are lacking these days, successfully avoiding the cliches. The film's witty verbal fights, awkwardly amusing situations and 'full throttle' anxiousness contrast beautifully with the Russel's gentle direction, as well as the vulnerability of the two protagonists. Speaking of characters, those are definitely the driving force of "Silver Linings Playbook", as well as the cast that plays them. Bradley Cooper does a stellar job in a rather unusual and unexpected role for him. He embraces the lunacy of his sympathetic character to the fullest, and the end result is great. Most talked-about actress of 2012, Jennifer Lawrence, is every bit as good, if not better as the tough cookie, Tiffany, and they both share a genuine on-screen chemistry. Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver both give superb performances, without which this film would never be the same.

Overall summary: As honest and outspoken as its lead characters, if overlong, and slightly overrated, "Silver Linings Playbook" very cleverly balances comedic and dramatic elements, delivering laughter, sincere emotions, sharp dialogues and quirky romance to its viewers.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Everyone has been raving about this film, and I do want to see it, but it's good to know I shouldn't go into it with giant expectations.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Alex, I know, and that's why I ended up being slightly disappointed by it. It was very good, but far from exceptional. Don't expect to be blown away or anything like that.

Arun said...

Thanks George for the review. I enjoyed "The Fighter" for Chris Bale's Oscar winning performance.

Looks like Russell has another big winner on his hands.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

B2B, you're welcome. :)
I enjoyed The Fighter for numerous reasons, one of which was its grittiness. Bale's performances was out-of-this-world, but I thought Melissa Leo's was just as good.

Yep, Russel delivered with this one as well. :)

Unknown said...

I liked this a lot, but the flaw was Cooper. He has absolutely no depth and had no chemistry with Lawrence whatsoever. In every scene he looked as though he were a student trying to keep up with the teachers. He is completely undeserving of his Oscar nom in my opinion. There were far, far, far better performances that received nothing. Great film, the story was intriguing and I loved everyone else.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Mel, I'm not a big fan of Cooper either, but I actually thought he did a great job in this one. The role suited him well, and the chemistry with Lawrence was on fire. Having said that, the movie didn't blow me away at all. I liked it, but I'm definitely not rooting for it to win any Oscars.