Starring: Bradley Cooper Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro
Director: David O. Russell
The last time we saw David O. Russell in the director’s chair was when he delivered the fantastic The Fighter but now he is back with Silver Linings Playbook - which is an adaptation of the novel by Matthew Quick.
Silver Linings Playbook is Russell’s take on a romantic comedy and trust me when I say that we have seen no film in this genre this is anywhere near as good as this movie is - it is a real gem.
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
This movie blends humour and charm as well as looking at the impact that mental illness can have on an individual and the people around them.
Russell himself has adapted Quick’s novel and while there are moments of laugh out loud humour the director never trivialises or makes fun of the affliction and problems of the two central characters.
This is the best performance from Bradley Cooper to date as he plays Pat as a man who is desperate to win back his wife and get his life back on track but struggles with the problems that face him.
Cooper is best known as a comedy actor but he resists the urge to perhaps overplay the mental illness for laughs and instead he delivered a performance that is honest, engaging and incredibly heart-felt.
Jennifer Lawrence is also superb as she cements herself as a very versatile and talented actress - there could well be another Oscar nod in the pipeline for her in the new year.
Tiffany is probably the most complex and interesting character who is fiery and at times dark and yet under the surface she is a character with a large heart who is looking for companionship in someone.
Together Cooper and Lawrence command the screen as they have a fantastic and genuine chemistry that really pushes the movie forward.
Together they face problems and challenges as well as giving the audience some laughs along the way - this is one of the best movie partnerships of the year.
They both bring a very fresh and a very real feel to their characters as well as a charm that makes the audience root for them.
There is also a great turn from Robert De Niro who is in the supporting role of Pat’s football loving father. He brings real gravitas to this part and delivers a very touching performance; the scene where he apologises to Pat for not spent a lot of time with him as a child is a particularly good.
It would have been great to see more of Chris Tucker and Julia Stiles because they both seemed to have quite interesting characters but the centre of the story was elsewhere so perhaps that would have only muddied the waters.
Silver Lining Playbook is a movie that is packed full of family drama, family dynamics and black humour as well as a lot of heart and warmth.
Russell really has brought the best out of his actors and they have all delivered top notch performances and really brought these troubled and interesting characters to life.
Silver Lining Playbook is just a fantastic movie from start to finish and it is one that really should not be missed.
Silver Linings Playbook is out now
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw