Silver Linings Playbook has just been added to my Top Ten Movies of 2012. It’s laugh-out-loud funny and heart-warming, screwball comedy meets 80s romance, with a pinch of Cather in the Rye. Part Hepburn/Grant, part Dirty Dancing, part Benny & Joon. It’s a winning combination.
I’ve been a fan of David O. Russell since Three Kings (1999), which brought together the diverse talents of George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, and Spike Jonze. He is consistently able to get unexpected and wonderful performances from actors, and great chemistry between actors. Which might be why each of the Academy Award acting categories this year has a nominee from Silver Linings Playbook, and two years ago there were three acting nominations for The Fighter (The Fighter was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Editing, all categories for which Silver Linings was also nominated).
I love the family Russell has created in the Solitanos. Robert DeNiro and Jacki Weaver as Bradley Cooper’s parents, the push and pull of superstition and self-care, it all feels wackily real and awkwardly caring, the way families are. And Jennifer Lawrence shines as the romantic entanglement, a character that sidesteps manic pixie dream girl to be a believably complicated character who is dealing with her own issues and has her own goals.
We have it for two weeks, through Thursday, January 31. This Sunday, 1/20, Steve Satullo will lead a discussion after the 3pm matinee.