Friday, 30 November 2012

Review: Silver Linings Playbook

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Silver Linings Playbook poster

Silver Linings Playbook
122 mins / Dir. David O. Russell

You'd be forgiven for thinking, from the trailer, that Silver Linings (as The Weinstein's UK marketing division would lead you to believe it's called) is an upbeat, quirky RomCom about a couple of kerr-azy folks who can just maybe solve all of each other's problems!

Well the bad news is, it isn't that. The good news is, it's so much better for not being that.

The film is more of a study of the psychological states of the characters, their interactions and triggers. It is consistently funny, although you'd be pushed to call it a comedy first and foremost. SLP still contains all of the moments in the trailer, but there's more space between the gags, so they come over a lot drier. It's also worth mentioning that if you've ever noticed any traces of OCD or addictive behaviour in yourself or your loved ones, this won't be an easy-watch in places (although it's arguably going to be even more difficult if this is your introduction to it). Bradley Cooper is engaging as always, with just enough humility to take the edge off his necessarily loud performance, Jennifer Lawrence is equally likeable/believable*1, and the two have an excellent chemistry as two damaged souls. Robert De Niro threatens to derail proceedings at an early stage by over-egging the pudding*2, but the more screen-time he gets, the more sympathetic his character becomes (I'm not usually a massive fan of De Niro, but he is doing well in this).

Silver Linings Playbook is nicely paced, neatly scripted and beautifully acted. It's not quite in the same class as Wallflower, but it's of the same school, certainly. The ending is perhaps a tiny bit too neat considering the tone of the rest of the film, but it's pulled off with enough style to leave you with a grin.

But the best thing seems to be that they've got Nurse Gladys Emmanuel to play Bradley Cooper's mum! Not the actress, the character. Now there's a turn-up.


*1 for once. …what?
*2 This is a metaphor, not a euphemism.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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