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‘Silver Linings Playbook’ strikes gold


Published: Friday, January 25, 2013

Updated: Friday, January 25, 2013 14:01

Over their short eight-year existence, The Weinstein Company has produced a number of hits and a number of misses. From busts like “Hannibal Rising” to hits like “Inglourious Basterds,” they’ve managed to garner Best Picture winners the past two years. With “The Silver Linings Playbook” in the running this year for the award, they may be poised to take three in a row.

And this film certainly deserves the nomination. It’s a charming love story about two very dysfunctional people trying to simply exist without medication. And they barely succeed. The movie plays out equal parts comedy and drama, with a surprising lack of romance. Of course, two people that have no mental block telling them to shut up does not conjure up the ideas of romance in the first place.

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence play Pat Solitano and Tiffany Maxwell, two people who should probably have therapy far more often than they do. The two meet for the first time to absolutely hilarious results at a small dinner party thrown by mutual acquaintances. The first conversation, if you could call it that, is when you realize exactly what kind of movie you’re in for.

Pat, trying to get in touch with his estranged wife (who has a restraining order against him) asks Tiff to deliver a letter from him. In return, Tiff asks for Pat to participate in a dancing competition.

The direction in the movie is the only thing that I take a slight complaint to. The director, David Russell, indulges in far too many close-ups and art shots, but thankfully the acting more than makes up for it (with Lawrence returning from her stumble in “House at the End of the Street”). From the two main actors to the supporting cast, including DeNiro and Chris Tucker, the acting is far and away one of the best things about this film. Especially pay attention to the scenes with Pat’s psychiatrist, an Indian doctor who is hilariously American. They bring an already brilliant and lively script to its fullest. And easily, “Playbook” has one of the best soundtracks in the past few years, from Led Zeppelin to a wonderful Dylan/Cash duet to Sinatra, the music blends perfectly with the movie.

Will it win Best Picture? It’s certainly a possibility, but regardless, this is a must-see movie for comedy and drama lovers alike. 3½ out of 4 stars .

Brendon Stennett can be contacted at

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