Silver Linings Playbook' is the exuberant new movie from David O. Russell, centering on primarily a man and a woman who have psychological issues from their pasts. They try to overcome their problems by helping each other along the way. The film is very dramatic at times with well-drawn characters and offbeat humorous scenes.
O. Russell's interpreted script is stunning as it flows so well with the narrative from the adapted book of the same name by Matthew Quick. From watching the film, I could tell the script would be very difficult to adapt as there are many issues that need to be translated to screen but it needs to be subtle. This perhaps is down to the genius direction of David himself. He has shot this movie so smoothly that the end product is glossy but not in a 'Hollywood-esque' way. The film is still dark and grey in many areas but the glossy finish to the movie keeps the audience positive for a 'happy ending'.
Taking nothing away from David O. Russell but I think he gets a great deal of help from the unblemished acting from a formidable cast as the trio of Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro especially deliver the brilliantly penned dialogue so exquisitely. I believe the two elements that made this film so special and a potential Award Season force is the chemistry between the main protagonists and in addition the dry, offbeat comedic scenes. The chemistry between Cooper and Lawrence really makes this film tick. They are honest, straight and flirtatious in an obscure manner. The audience really wants them to be a couple but their issues and at times volatile emotions get in the way. Their performances together really get the best out of each other. De Niro (Pat Snr, Cooper's father) deserves a mention too as he produces a great pivotal role in this movie as his and Bradley's relationship is re-building due to both of them having issues in the past. I truly believe Robert is vital in his role to give this film another dynamic.
The second element to why I think the film works is the offbeat humour as there are a few scenes that come to mind where the comedy really helps deliver the sequence. Largely, the main scenes where the humour is used are when Cooper and Lawrence are finding out more about each other. The humour is dry, tactless and very shocking at times. For instance, one line Pat Jnr (Cooper) says after Tiffany (Lawrence) just told him her husband was dead is "I'm sorry... How did he die?" Anywhere else but this film it would be frowned upon, but Cooper just makes it work.
The Verdict To sum up, I found this film captivating and dazzling just for the sheer honesty of it. When Lawrence and Cooper are in scenes, I squirm and wait for some sort of awkwardness but the discomfort never arrives because the honesty of the pair prevails; this possibly is a 'nod' to the psychology used in the film as the patients are taught to be honest and have no secrets. I think Bradley Cooper puts in a career best performance and Jennifer Lawrence just gets better and better. Robert De Niro, for me, lately has been a bit lacklustre in his recent offerings, but his brilliance triumphs here as I believe he gives his best performance in a supporting role for many years. I think this film will be looking for some big awards, and to be honest I think it deserves them.