I’m not sure what I was really expecting when I started to watch Silver Linings Playbook. All I do know for a fact was that I was not expecting what I got in any way. Needless to say, Silver Linings Playbook completely surprised me, and even though I don’t normally pay much attention to awards shows, I sincerely hope that this movie wins in the categories that it is nominated for. Which, according to my research, are: Best Picture, Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Supporting Actor (Robert de Niro), Best Supporting Actress (Jacki Weaver), Directing (David O Russell), Film Editing (Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers), and Best Adapted Screenplay. So in total this movie is nominated for 8 Oscars. But enough of all this awards talk!
Silver Linings Playbook, to put it simply, is about a man who is released from a psychiatric hospital where he was placed after assaulting the man that his wife was having an affair with. This man, Pat, suffers from a mental illness. To be more specific, he suffers from bipolar disorder. He then meets a young widow, Tiffany, who was suffering from depression after the death of her husband. I would have to say that ultimately the movie is about their struggles, though it is definitely much more complicated than that.
This movie left me feeling raw during many different moments while watching. It does not gloss over or sugar coat any aspect of mental illness that is portrayed within the film. Both leading actors, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, do such a fantastic job at playing their respective parts that it feels hauntingly real, and like it isn’t a film at all.
Throughout the film I felt the frustration, anger, sadness, et cetera of each of the characters. Beyond that, I think that I understood where each character was coming from as much as I possibly could without actually being them, which I believe is a testament to the writing of the screenplay itself as well as the actors.
Something that surprised me after watching this film was that it is actually adapted from a novel of the same name. Considering how much I enjoyed this film, I will definitely read the novel when I get the chance.
There is so much that I can say about this film, though unfortunately most would contain spoilers. But I will say that I think this movie could change the “romance” genre. May it’s a step away from the happy-go-lucky or plug-in values into a set formula type of romance films that have become the norm. Instead, what we have with this film is a story of two broken people trying to heal, and somewhere in all of that, they begin to care for one another and help each other in more ways than one.
Before I end this, I want to leave you with two quotes from the film that have really stuck with me:
“I opened up to you and you judged me.”
“I do this! Time after time after time! I do all this shit for other people! And then I wake up and I’m empty! I have nothing!”
I think it’s going to require another post to talk about those two lines in more detail.