Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Disorders And Football

Today's film is the first film since 2005 to be nominated for the 'Big Five': the five Oscars that all films dream of holding. Best Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay, and Picture. Only three films have won all five (It Happened One Night, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Silence Of The Lambs) and nothing has been nominated for all five since Million Dollar Baby in 2004. Admittedly, today's film shares similar themes with One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, but does it have what it takes to gain equal success at The Oscars. This is Silver Linings Playbook.

The film opens with Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) being discharged from a mental health institution by his mother, Dolores (Jacki Weaver), after 8 months of a court ordered stint. After discovering his wife, Nikki (Brea Bee), was having affair, Pat pummelled the involved man to a pulp, was institutionalised, and had a restraining order placed upon him. Now, out of care, he tries to come to grips with his bi-polar disorder and tries to settle back into his old life with the intention of winning back Nikki. He soon meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a girl with similar disorders, who seems to take a liking to him straight away but, as well as trying to fit in to his father's (Robert De Niro) superstitious affairs, Pat really just wants to impress Nikki. He loses weight, takes up jogging, and it seems like the secret to getting back with Nikki may lie within Tiffany and her connections. But will it be smooth sailing for Pat or will his history and therapy get in the way?

There was clear reason to think Cooper's role was trash.

Silver Linings Playbook is a rarity in casting. It has been nominated for all four acting Oscars (as well as the big five. Phewie!) which only 12 other films have ever done. The last was Reds in 1981. No film has one all four - only two have won three. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, as a pair, have incredible chemistry on screen. Admittedly, their connection is not necessarily the most positive at many points - their arguments stand strong as some of the best moments of the film. Cooper, supposedly, does a very decent job of portraying bi-polar (though there's a lot of debate over this) but, as a none sufferer, it seems real enough. Lawrence reflects the realism in her portrayal of Tiffany but still has all the heart you'd expect from such a film. Weaver and De Niro both take hold of their roles with real dedication. It is wonderful to see De Niro back on form after he seems to have done some Focking dreadful films (geddit?)  and this is really on form. The heartbreak of seeing a son that just is not the same and watching them live a life where their family is no longer their most important aspect in their life is completely visible in De Niro's performance. Similarly, Weaver's motherly nature is at the forefront of her performance with a heart bigger than the hug she would offer. A lovely performance, if not moving sometimes.

Brad counts his Oscar nominations.

A true feel good story. A whole range of emotions are presented throughout Silver Linings Playbook, and each audience member will be touched by something different. Whether it is the idea of family supporting each other no matter what, having a mental disorder, or even love, there is something for everyone. A well selected soundtrack supports a wonderful film. However, the comedy can sometimes jar with, what is really, a serious subject matter. Laughing with mental disorder seems a little obscure. But that doesn't take away from the films merits. It is still a wonderfully enjoyable piece of cinema and is bringing attention to really important factors in our society that often get overlooked. David O. Russell brings something that we need to take note of to our screens.

A completely delightful film. Touching, funny, and, most importantly, topical. A film that makes you think and look at the world around you.

Best Bit? The finale is guaranteed to put a smile on even the most miserable bastards face.

No comments:

Post a Comment