Reel Reviews: This playbook may be golden

Bradley Cooper shouts something about spelling to Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook. - The Weinstein Company
Bradley Cooper shouts something about spelling to Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook.
— image credit: The Weinstein Company

On a good day, Patrick Solitano (Bradley Cooper) is able to keep the fact that he is bipolar under wraps. The problem is that lately, he hasn’t had very many good days, but it’s not for a lack of trying.

After serving eight months in a mental institution, he is released to the care of his parents, where he begins the long task of returning to his normal life, with his job, his wife and his friends.

Things become a little more complicated when he meets Tiffany (Jeniffer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

Silver Linings Playbook is nominated for eight Oscars, including best actor and actress for Cooper and Lawrence, as well as best supporting for both Robert DeNiro and Jacki Weaver. The film also is nominated for best picture, but is it deserving?

We say, “It’s a simple and effective film with solid performances and a good story.”

HOWE: Who would of thought that Cooper could actually act and not just rely on his good looks and charm to get by in movies? He gives a great performance in Silver Linings as he struggles to accept that he has a mental illness and is not 100 per cent cured, like he thinks he is. I think his nod for an Oscar nomination is warranted after watching him in this, yet saying that I don’t think he’ll win.

TAYLOR: I agree. I’d like Joaquin Phoenix to win for his shattering performance in The Master, but Cooper is very good.

Patrick had a look in his eyes, especially in his quiet moments, where you could see he was dangling from his last, raw nerve.

Cooper is often just “the face” in a movie. Perhaps that will change now that everyone knows he can act.

HOWE: Lawrence gives a good, solid performance, as does the reliable Robert DeNiro. I find that he is better suited for these roles, rather than his tough guy image. It was nice to see some emotion that felt real and it was beautifully captured by director David O. Russell. If you want to see a great film with a great cast then I would definitely recommend this movie. It could do pretty well at the Oscars.

TAYLOR: I liked the way the movie unfolded: First we’re in the institution, where everyone seems crazy, then we move out into the real world where Patrick’s problems are very apparent, then we slowly begin to realize where that crazy came from and that, in fact, everyone is a little bit crazy, at least some of the time. I’d be willing to bet that every family has a relative with faulty wiring. If you don’t know who it is, it’s probably you. Put on a fresh garbage bag, pump those crazy legs and run to this movie.

— Taylor gives Silver Linings Playbook 4 unfiltered utterances out of 5.

— Howe gives it 4 duct taped trainers out of 5.

Silver Linings Playbook is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

— Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are movie reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.

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