Silver Linings Playbook – Review

4/5 – The movie where you realize Bradley Cooper is a serious actor.

It has to stink having the movie where you show the world that you’re a really good dramatic actor comes out the same year that Daniel Day Lewis has a new movie. That’s exactly what happened to Bradley Cooper with Silver Linings Playbook. If Daniel Day Lewis wasn’t in Lincoln this year, I think Bradley Cooper would walk home with the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role.

I like Bradley Cooper a lot, but if you had told me this time last year that I thought he would be the runner up for the Best Lead Actor Oscar, I would have called you nutty. Before Silver Linings Playbook, Cooper has been known mostly for his very good comedic skills (Wedding Crashers, The Hangover) and movies that banked on his good looks (The A-Team, Valentine’s Day). 
Silver Linings Playbook is the movie that tells the world Bradley Cooper is one damn good actor. In the movie, he plays Pat, a guy who had to do a stint in a mental institution after having the worst day of his life. In Pat’s defense, I think everything he did to that teacher in his bathroom was justifiable.
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Pat has issues: rage, insecurity, an obsession with his separated wife, and Cooper plays these issues brilliantly. His parents have issues in the movie too, and you can see how they’ve influenced Pat in how well Cooper plays him to be both a little like his mother and a little like his father. 
Speaking of Pat’s father, Robert De Niro turns in a great performance as Pat Sr. Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook is the antithesis of Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln. In Lincoln, Tommy Lee Jones’s Thaddeus Stevens is Tommy Lee Jones in a wig. But Pat Sr. is not just Robert De Niro in an Eagles sweater. There were points in the movie where I found myself completely lost in the family dynamic of Pat’s family. I wasn’t seeing Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro on the screen. I was seeing Pat and Pat Sr.
I can relate to Frank Sr’s superstitions. My dad and I once banned my mother from 
the living room when we thought she was jinxing the Yankees during the World Series.

Jennifer Lawrence reminds you that she’s the same actress who excelled in Winter’s Bone, not just the face of Hunger Games. She has a scene-stealing scene confronting Pat and his family. This scene is definitely what has garnered her so many awards nominations. It’s definitely the second-best scene in the movie.
What’s the best scene? Without a doubt it’s a scene I don’t want to spoil, but one that comes near the very end of the film. I laughed hysterically, and then did so again a few moments later, and that’s all I’ll say on that.

David O. Russell once again created an excellent movie. His last movie, The Fighter, was my favorite movie of 2010. While Silver Linings Playbook is not my favorite movie of 2012, I definitely give it a very high recommendation. 

I fully expect their dance to be incorporated into many weddings.