Silver Linings Playbook (15)

Film

Drama

Silver Linings Playbook.JPG

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Nov 13 2012

When stars put on their no-make-up, serious faces to play characters with mental illness you can’t help getting a bit cynical. They might as well tattoo  ‘Nominate me for Best Actor, pretty please,’ on their foreheads.

In David O Russell’s new comedy, two of Hollywood’s new favourite actors, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (he’s the alpha-guy in ‘The Hangover’, she’s devil-tough Katniss in ‘The Hunger Games’) have recently suffered breakdowns. Oh, and they bond via the medium of modern dance. Sounds like a textbook case of actors rattling the worthy tin for prizes? Funnily enough, not this time. ‘The Silver Linings Playbook’ zips along on its off-beat energy and fast-paced wisecracking script. It’s undemanding, but funny, honest even, about mental health without being patronising (most of the time) and best of all, it’s brilliantly acted.

After a nasty incident involving his ex-wife’s lover and a bi-polar diagnosis, Pat Solitano (Cooper) has spent eight months on a psychiatric ward. Back at home living with his folks, he’s convinced that his ex is waiting for him to get better (in spite of that restraining order). In Pat’s house American football is a religion. His dad (Robert DeNiro, gilding the lily) is an illegal bookie who’s borderline obsessive and has anger issues. Pat’s long-suffering mum (played by the incredible Jacki Weaver – watch her in little-seen Aussie gem ‘Animal Kingdom’) holds the family together with her warmth and homebaking.

This world isn’t a million miles from Russell’s last film, ‘The Fighter’ – ordinary America. And the Solitano household reminded me of that old line about home being the only place where they have to take you in. Anyone who’s lived with someone with mental illness will recognise this dysfunctional bunch – how much weirdness a family will live with and swallow (‘Oh, that’s just dad, don’t mess his remote controls’).

When Pat meets Tiffany (Lawrence) and discovers that she’s friends with his ex-wife, he agrees to be her dance partner in a local talent competition – if she passes a note to his ex. In an oddly touching scene, the pair bond over prescription drugs (‘they just take the light out of your eyes, don’t they’). Tiffany has problems of her own. Since her husband’s death she has become a sex addict. Yes, that sounds phony – it’s one of a few bum notes (another is an unfunny Indian psychiatrist). But Pat and Tiffany’s love/hate relationship is a treat to watch – all sparring banter, loose-lipped and without boundaries. The acting is sparky and intelligent, with Cooper proving there’s more to him than flashy good looks. As for Lawrence, she acts every role like there’s a soulful storm raging inside of her. If awards glory comes the way of this pair, it will be deserved.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Wed Nov 21, 2012

Duration:

122 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|20
1 person listening
tynah

Two mad people come together fall in love and are cured. We know that they are made because he wears a bin bag and she has sex. And they shout. Almost all the dialogue is shouting. Which doesn't make it any more interesting or convincing. Just louder. And they dance. It's Dirty Dancing with nutters. It was very difficult to know who was really mad. And this could have been an interesting angle on mental illness in families and society as a whole but it wasn't developed. It was shallow, boring and unoriginal. It was American.

Justin Berkovi

Not bad - both leads v v good, in fact brilliant. But the boring sports stuff lets the film down, it's given too much prominence. Could have been better.

David Glowacki

The first 40 mins the script is wonderful,the acting excellent overall the film is quite compelling.The seriousness of the story is set off nicely with the black humour..However like 90% of American films it then fall apart..After the good opening it starts to wobble and descends from taut sharp film making to slapstick humour and Brian Rix type situation farce with a large dose of strictly come dancing thrown in..Even the good acting by the two main characters falls away due to the narrative degradation.The OTT sentimental ending is pure saccharine....Poor

Andy Conway

Very fair review, although I thought that the psychiatrist character was well played, and I heartily agree with the readers who similarly praised this movie. I can only add that this was a great Christmas watch and yet another top notch American Indie. For me, all the cast acted their socks off, with Lawrence's performance the top of the (Christmas) tree. Yes, you have to go with it in many ways, but like Robert and Jo above, I was happy to, because SLP's key message, that to "madly" live life without fear is better than hiding, conforming, and not living at all, was conveyed so well and with great humour. Solid 4 stars.

Eric

A situation where mentally unstable people manage to help each other. Good acting, some laughs, good suspense, edgy and rough relationships make an original and attaching movie although some scenes are a bit to long.

Robert

This was a film of two halves. In the first half there was a moving portrayal of an American suburban family fractured by a son with mental health problems. However, half way through the sugar comes out and the film turns into a slushy romantic comedy. That is not to say that there is anything wrong with that - after all it enables one to come out of hte film with a happy heart, which was not the obvious ending from the first half - but one feels that the second half could have been more challenging. That said, this was a very well acted - especially Jennifer Lawrence, but really all the leading parts - and very well directed film that was very enjoyable and very heart warming, if not without its faults. Definitely a film to go and see, especially in a cinema that does the excellent sound track justice.

Robert

This was a film of two halves. In the first half there was a moving portrayal of an American suburban family fractured by a son with mental health problems. However, half way through the sugar comes out and the film turns into a slushy romantic comedy. That is not to say that there is anything wrong with that - after all it enables one to come out of hte film with a happy heart, which was not the obvious ending from the first half - but one feels that the second half could have been more challenging. That said, this was a very well acted - especially Jennifer Lawrence, but really all the leading parts - and very well directed film that was very enjoyable and very heart warming, if not without its faults. Definitely a film to go and see, especially in a cinema that does the excellent sound track justice.

critique

Solid American suburban romantic comedy drama, elevated slightly above the norm by a decent cast and moderately kinetic camera work.

great leads

Really enjoyable. It is very cute, but not cutesy. Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are both great leads. Didn't think Cooper was two-dimensional at all, thought he did a great job, as usual. I hate rom coms as a rule, but liked this one.

Merrittpr

A feel good film that is easy to watch. Not a classic but a worthwhile watch worth the 3 stars....

scrumpyjack

Cute, good looking mental couple have cute, good sounding banter then perform a cute, refreshing dance routine and in the process achieve cute, comfy "closure". Those with inexperience of the issues will enjoy, those with plenty of experience of slick, daft Hollywood nonsense will to....abet in a different way. 7/10

Ric

Brilliant movie...why?i could relate to it & the characters were believable as individuals & as a couple. The story was intriguing and all with a happy ending. Go see people.

Ian

As a film it shows its secrets in small but regular updates. It starts slowly but only really gets to full speed when Lawrence is on screen. She is superb but what drags the film back is Cooper's somewhat two dimensional performance. De Niro and Weaver give excellent support and Tucker manages, just, to keep things in check. You can see the ending some way from the end but that does little to reduce its impact. De Niro's final father son pep talk sets the scene for a conventional but still moving ending. Its very good but not quite brilliant. Like the Hunger Games Lawrence dominates a flawed film. Expect best actress nominations a plenty for Lawrence and a few best supporting nods for De Niro. 8 out of 10 a solid 4 star film.

sticky

Very disappointing follow-up to the director's brilliant 'The Fighter'. No depth (dealing with mental illness) and, for a so-called rom-com, unconvincing romance and not one single laugh. A very good Jennifer Lawrence is handicapped by a mugging, unsubtle Bradley Cooper.

Jo

I loved it. It is such a refreshing romcom, to have 2 characters who are far from perfect, the film shows that there's a bit of madness in all of us, and what is 'normal' anyway? Original and very witty. I will see it agian I enjoyed it so much.

Jo

I loved it. It is such a refreshing romcom, to have 2 characters who are far from perfect, the film shows that there's a bit of madness in all of us, and what is 'normal' anyway? Original and very witty. I will see it agian I enjoyed it so much.

Jay

Being not the biggest fan of David O Russell's quirky off-beat dramas of the past, i actually found "Silver Linings" to be somewhat bitter sweet, with, as the reviewer commented, seeing more range to Cooper's acting abilities than just being good looking and hung over. Jennifer Lawrence also gives us more of her promising talent auspiciously seen in "Winters Bone" instead of being overshadowed by the "Hunger Games" nonsense. Russell gives a slice of suburban America as he did with "The Fighter", and presents us a slice of the fractured perfect family, with Robert De Niro's Pat (back on form, sir) trying to reconnect with his son. With a somewhat conventional ending, this film is a surprisingly entertaining movie, that doesn't deal with mental illness in a heavy handed, tactile fashion.