Title: Silver Linings Playbook
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director/Writer: David O. Russell
based on the novel by Matthew Quick
Music: Danny Elfman
Cinematography: Masanobu Takayanagi
Robert De Niro
Finally a cinema-going to officially culminate all the Oscar BEST PICTURE nominee of last year, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK treads upon a traditionally crowd-pleasing boy-meet-girl romantic genre while smartly embodying two main characters with distinguished personal mental foibles, which is a masterstroke to keep them refreshing and connected with the present quirk-emancipated modern generation.
After his ambitious brothers-boxers drama THE FIGHTER (2010), David O. Russell has ascended to the top tier of Hollywood where he can harness marquee stars and meaty source materials, thus, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK has all its edges to be winsome and lovable, but somewhat the final outcome doesn’t live up much to the heated expectation, personally I am rather stolid from the American football fanaticism and the “parley gamble” bidding is by no means a recommendable action to be encouraged (but it is an intrinsic default in the source novel, O. Russell should not take the blame here I suppose), anyway, the scenario does make wonders to gyrate a captivating duo-dance between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, both utterly committed to their characters, verbal ripostes are acetic and sharply accessible. The chemistry sparkles albeit of the age-gap of the actors (a inconceivable 15 years in real life).
Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar-crowning has sparked (understandably) controversies (like most of the years), but it is like the film itself, acceptable (for me), the stretch of her character may be impeded by the condescending male-perspective of winning the right girl, why on earth it always ends with a stale “it is the girl who lingers on the verge of being hurt” plot even under the exception of the mighty confidence discharging from Lawrence’s character. Her youth is the double-edged sword in this case, thanks to her mature countenance, audience may not detect it instantly, and the film also bypasses to specify her age. So it is a younger example of Helen Hunt’s win and looks like a future Jodie Foster career orbit, plus her Kristen Stewart popularity (THE HUNGER GAME franchise will continue lighting her path), she is the “it girl” in Hollywood right now and a role model of the industry.
Bradley Cooper, a later-bloomer in his leading man status, has seized an unexpected earlier harvest in Oscar-nomination than most of his contemporaries, although constantly in the danger of being overshadowed by his more sapient co-stars, performance-wise, it is his own victory. Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver, are not in my top 10 list of the year, since the script doesn’t challenge them hard enough, but they do reflect the slice-of-life authenticity of the endearing parents (except that De Niro’s weeping scene is too maudlin to endure). And forget about Chris Tucker, I don’t know why he pops up here to interrupt his satisfactory (both to him and to me) holed-up.
So, it is a happily-ever-after meet-cute full of mentally unstable people with various neuroses, the steady-cam cinematography looks hipster but also impairs one’s concentration, the ultimate dance-routine is fetchingly shot, but the banal ending does causing a compulsive meh before the credits rolls, although the final speech is fine and (artificially) sincere.