Silver Linings Playbook
David O. Russell
I knew exactly nothing about this before I saw it, except who was in it (and I didn’t even know Robert DeNiro was in it until he was nominated for an Oscar for it). I found it charming.
I think Bradley Cooper must have been on screen 100% of the time. (I don’t mean in the frame on literally every shot, but that he was in every single scene of the movie. Am I right about that?) If you had asked me if I thought he had the chops to pull that off in a movie that I think does deserve the acclaim it’s gotten, I would have said, “no.” Probably more accurately, I would have said, “I guess I haven’t seen him that much, but, I mean, come on. No.” I would have been wrong in that imaginary situation. I don’t blame Unka Joe for pulling for him as much as he is for the Oscar. I have my own feelings about who should win, but Cooper is effectively frustrating, delightful, annoying, and exciting. He’s really good.
But we know all this (or we do if we’ve seen the movie). Everyone is good. I’m happy DeNiro got a decent part again so that he could actually act and not play some silly comedic role like he has been for 15 years (turns out he deserves Oscar nominations when he plays real parts, who would have guessed?). I’ll say Jennifer Lawrence’s name because otherwise Unka Joe will yell at me, although I don’t really know what I want to say about her. She’s great, as she ALWAYS is, but I don’t feel like I have anything interesting to say about her performance (that’s not a knock on her, just on me).
I do wonder about Jacki Weaver. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked her character, but was that performance Oscar-worthy? I assume this is one of those situations where someone will say, “Fletch, you weren’t paying attention to the subtlety of her performance, she was really the anchor of the movie” or something like that. I thought she was good, and fit in nicely, but I also knew going in that she was nominated for an Oscar, so of course I was paying attention to her, and I still just don’t quite get it. Tell me I’m wrong, but please also explain it to me. I feel like this was a little Weinstein magic.
I very much appreciated the extreme superstition, I know that world. And I also very much appreciated the celebration of mediocrity at the end of the dance competition. Obviously there was a lot more going on, but still.
And when’s the last time you saw Chris Tucker? He was just right.